The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has rejected plans by Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State to bring in foreign mercenaries to help tackle insecurity in the state.
El-Rufai had after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday vowed to hire foreign mercenaries to fight against terrorists following the Monday night attack on a Kaduna-Abuja bound train.
He also stated that four others of the seven North-Western states—Katsina, Zamfara, Kebbi, Sokoto— may join him to hire foreign mercenaries if the Nigerian government does not end the ongoing spate of terror attacks in the region.
Reacting, CAN Chairman in Kaduna, Reverend John Joseph Hayab, in a statement urged the Nigerian Government to call the governor to order to avoid a bigger problem.
The association said if any other Nigerian make such an idea in public space, he would have been accused or arrested by the government for undermining the security agencies and the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.
“The attention of CAN Kaduna State has been drawn to newspapers stories making rounds that Governor Nasir el-Rufai, threatened to deploy foreign mercenaries should the federal government fail to combat banditry and end terrorism.
“While CAN agrees that terrorists have had a field day, CAN reckon that if any other Nigerian had made or muted such an idea in public space, such would have been accused or arrested by the government for undermining the security agencies and the Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces.
“Accordingly, CAN doubts if any section of the Nigerian Constitution allows any officeholder, apart from the C-In-C, to invite a foreign combatant into the country.
“Moreover, it was a similar strategy that El-Rufai employed years back when he claimed to have compensated some herdsmen, which led to the escalation of the security situation, particularly in Kaduna State.
“For CAN, the approach to give gunmen money so that they would stop attacking the populace has backfired and Kaduna State is paying dearly for such a miscalculation at present.
“CAN acknowledge that what Nigeria needs currently is a sincerity of purpose from all stakeholders and the citizenry towards finding lasting solutions, not subjective statements that could further heighten the presence of bandits in Nigeria.
“CAN will continue to pray and urge citizens to be on the watch against any erroneous direction that could do this country no good but harm.