CAN urges Nigerian government to seek foreign help to protect residents

The President, Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Rev. Samson Ayokunle, on Saturday, urged the Federal Government not to be ashamed in approaching countries that have the capacity to help Nigeria to protect her sovereignty and the citizenry from attacks by insurgents and bandits.
The President, Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Rev. Samson Ayokunle, and President Buhari

The President, Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Rev. Samson Ayokunle, on Saturday, urged the Federal Government not to be ashamed in approaching countries that have the capacity to help Nigeria to protect her sovereignty and the citizenry from attacks by insurgents and bandits.

Ayokunle stated this when he inaugurated the new national chairman of CAN’s Youth Wing, Mr Belusochukwu Enwere, in Abuja.

He said going by the spate of insecurity in the land, especially banditry and kidnapping, the government seems overwhelmed by the continuous security challenges in parts of the country.

He noted that the lesson to be learnt from the recent series of attacks by criminal elements was for those in power to realise the worsening state of affairs and get motivated to seek help from the United States of America, Israel, and other countries with superior military power to sustain and win the war against insecurity

Ayokunle stated, “It is very obvious that Nigeria needs assistance. I’m not President Muhammadu Buhari, but I’m sure that he will be worried as well.

”He should be willing to seek help from anywhere because insecurity has reached a worrying point where nobody is safe.

“We need help, let me use the opportunity to tell the President to reach out to Israel, United States and other countries that could be of help to Nigeria, the problem of insecurity is becoming overwhelming.”

Ayokunke also said that CAN was worried because of the perceived persecution Christians experience in the hands of insurgents and bandits.

“The insecurity, banditry, and kidnapping are against the human race. We are seriously worried in CAN because we are affected by the security challenges in Nigeria. The insecurity, banditry, and kidnapping are against the human race.

“The President and the leadership of CAN have spoken severally against the security challenges and it does appear that it is too overwhelming to the present government.

“We will continue to pray for the government because there is a lack of security everywhere, from Adamawa to Lagos, Sokoto to Enugu, the highway is not safe.

“Even when you’re in your house, you’re not safe. We are seriously worried, the onus is on the government to protect the people.

”And the first assignment of the government is to protect everybody, including the government officials because they too are not safe.

“The governors are not safe, you know what happened with Katsina, the home state of the President. I’m sure the President too will be worried as much as we are,” Ayokunle said.

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The Commander, U.S. Africa Command, U General Stephen Townsend, wrapped up a three-day West African visit February 22-25, 2021, with a stopover in Nigeria to meet with the nation’s leaders and further the long-standing partnership and security cooperation between the two countries.

A press statement by the Embassy on Friday, said: “During the visit, Townsend met with the Nigerian President’s Chief of Staff, Ibrahim Gambari, and National Security Adviser, Babagan Monguno, to discuss regional security issues and to express the command’s gratitude for the assistance provided during a hostage rescue operation last year.

“When we asked for their help, the Nigerian government answered the call. Our hostage recovery mission in October would have been impossible without their support.

“They quickly provided assistance that helped the U.S. military to save an American life. That is a strong example of our partnership with Nigeria.”

Townsend also met with senior military officials, including the Minister of Defence, Bashir Salihi Magash, and the Chief of Defence Staff, General Leo Irabor, to talk about on-going cooperation in the region and greater maritime security and threat mitigation.

Nigeria is a key partner in countering violent extremist organizations throughout the Lake Chad Basin.

Townsend said furthermore: “The bilateral relationship between Nigeria and the U.S. is built on several pillars including security cooperation.

“U.S. Africa Command will do our part to advance the security cooperation pillar, so that Nigerians can enjoy the more secure future they all deserve.”

As close partners, the U.S. and Nigeria have worked at ensuring the collaborative relationship continues to grow to include a commitment to interoperability. Nigeria purchased 12 A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft, which will be delivered later this year.

“Nigeria’s purchase of A-29 Super Tucano aircraft is another example of their commitment to interoperability and security in the region,” he added. “Our economic relationship with Nigeria is already strong, and we look forward to the continued strengthening of security relationships. Nigeria’s leaders understand the importance of a collaborative approach to ensuring stability in West Africa and partnering on areas of mutual interest.”

The Commander also met with the U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard.

Leonard said: “General Townsend’s visit to Nigeria demonstrates the strategic importance the United States places on our bilateral relationship with Nigeria.

“Our security cooperation partnership with Nigeria’s military will strengthen the country’s capabilities to secure land and sea borders, enhance overall security, and combat terrorism in the North East.”

As part of the visit, Townsend participated in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Nigeria Military National Cemetery to honour those who have given their lives in the service of their nation.

During the visit, the delegation expressed their condolences for the seven service men killed in the crash of a Nigerian Air Force aircraft in Abuja.