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Saturday, 28 December 2019

‘Sultan’s outburst against CAN unjustified’

‘Sultan’s outburst against CAN unjustified’

The Nigerian Christian Graduate Fellowship (NCGF) on Friday faulted the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar for attacking the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) over its comments on ‘persecution’ of Christians.

The President of the Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs and Sultan of Sokoto took a swipe at the leadership of CAN on Wednesday at the 77th Islamic Vacation course organised by Zone A of the Muslim Students Society of Nigeria.

Abubakar was reacting to the recent United States’ placement of Nigeria on the watch list of countries where religious intolerance and breach of freedom of worship is rampant; resulting in incessant killings of adherents of Christian faith by Islamic fundamentalists, while government looks the other way.

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The Christian group described Sultan’s outburst as unnecessary and unjustified, adding: “We thought the Sultan should address the subject matter of the international opprobrium which Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen have brought to the nation rather than make scapegoat of Christian Association of Nigeria.

“Or is his Eminence contesting that there is no religious intolerance in Nigeria? If that is the position, we can say that the Sultan is being economical with the truth or is an accomplice.”

A statement jointly signed and issued in Abuja by the NCGF, President, Prof. Charles Adisa and its General Secretary, Mr Onyenachi Nwaegeruo, said: “We in the Nigerian Christian Graduate Fellowship (NCGF) find the Sultan’s outburst against CAN for expressing it’s feeling on the subject matter unjustified and rather unfortunate.

It can be described as a case of the chick leaving the knife that killed it while antagonising the cooking pot. The pot is just playing its role and didn’t contribute to the chick’s misfortune.

“CAN simply expressed its support to the international community who begun to see what she has been lamenting over the years about Islamic fundamentalism and government tacit support and its effect on Christian faith in Nigeria.

“An interrogation of the subject matter shows that it is either the Sultan and the institution which he leads are in willful ignorance of the issues at stake or he has chosen to play to the gallery as government spokesman.

“For the Nigeria Christian Graduate Fellowship, that tutorial on the need for CAN to analyze issues before reacting is unnecessary.

“The Sultan cannot fault CAN and its allies on the issue of research on effects of Islamic fundamentalism in Nigeria.

“We are aware that there exists quantum documentary evidence of the murderous acts of Muslims against Nigerian Christians.

“Further, we are aware that the information at the disposal of the US which informed the decision to blacklist Nigeria is a combined effort of independent investigators and domestic observers of the nefarious activities of Muslim extremists and terrorists, especially Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen.

“Though the Nigeria Christian Graduate Fellowship is not CAN leadership, in agreement with CAN, we are embarrassed on the double standard attitude of the Sultanate, an institution that has kept mute to the serial decimation of Christian communities in the North which has now suddenly found its voice because the government that has carried on as an appendage of the Sultanate is under fire. It is understandable why his Eminence has become the government spokesman.

“In case the Sultan and the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs willingly choose not to document the overwhelming evidence, or they have but chose to hide the facts, the Nigeria Christian Graduate fellowship here highlights the recorded incidents leading to the US decision

“But before we do this, may we remind his Eminence that it is ungodly that his office has never, to the best of our knowledge, condemned these murderous acts, even the most recent ones in Yobe State and Chibok in Borno State where Boko Haram attacked Christian communities on Christmas eve. But you found time to react to listing of Nigeria as a place where Christians are being killed on a daily basis.”

The Christian group went further: “In the ongoing dispensation alone, several thousands of souls were wasted in Southern Kaduna, Benue, Plateau, Taraba and Adamawa. In 2019 alone over 1000 people were killed in the Northcentral.

“Those who doubt this fact should go to Goggle; the records are there.

“There have been mass burials in those areas and no single culprit has been apprehended, not to talk of prosecution. Instead, it is the Buhari administration that has been either justifying the killings or telling us that the criminals were coming from Libya.”

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