Kaduna, Nigeria, October 28, 2012- Just when the non-Muslims and Muslims in Kaduna were just concluding celebrating Eid-El-Kabir, St. Rita Catholic Church in Kaduna was bombed, killing 15 people and injuring about 150—almost all women and children. Such disregard for God’s creation is by all definition, the work of the devil, no matter in what garb it is presented.
People of goodwill are tired of the same old clich├ęs of condemnation and appealing to the state and Federal governments to bring the perpetrators of such devilish acts to justice. Each time the killings occurred, Nigerians embarked on the usual ritual of public condemnation. At the end of it all, the government did nothing to prevent further occurrences.
We noticed and commend the speed at which security was beefed up as soon as the state realized that the non-Muslims in the area might retaliate. However, this is simply licking one’s wounds. The atrocity should have been prevented in the first place. These cosmetic and bandage-type efforts will not solve the Kaduna question. Each time the non-Muslims are lured to sleep—this time, last Sunday, after the Eid-El-Kabir celebration—they were attacked. How long must this go on before ordinary citizens take the law into their hands?
We wish to point out that if the Nigerian state and the U.S. refuse to realize it, Kaduna state is the second front in the Al-Qaeda African project in Nigeria. This is true, not only because of its historical importance, but also because of its politics and centrality.
SOKAD has raised this question in the past and is not tired of repeating it. Why should those who mastermind persistent pogroms be freely allowed to be emboldened enough that they can repeat the offense?
We posit, once again, that the time has come to bring to justice any and all who has flouted the rule of law in Nigeria. People of influence—religious, political, and economic—should not escape punishment. Those who do not raise a weapon are not free of guilt if they have control over the hand that does. There is no doubt; the suicide bomber is only a foot soldier. Boko Haram and its franchises and sponsors in the state should not be allowed to live to continue to carry out such ungodly acts, in the name of religion.
Enough of the talk, condemnation, and pontification. Now it’s time for action. The St. Rita massacre should not go unpunished. A government that cannot protect its people has no moral grounding to govern.
Professor Tunga Lergo (President, SOKAD-USA)
Dr. Freeman Kamuru ( Financial Secretary, SOKAD-USA)
Dr. Martin Shinkut ( Coordinator, SOKAD-USA)
Mr. Filmon Raman (Chairman, SOKAD-Canada)
Mrs. Esther Simon (SOKAD-Canada)
Ms. Magang Sule (SOKAD-Canada)
Dr. Pius Simon (Coordinator, SOKAD-Canada