Leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has accused the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) of promoting bad governance and injustice in the country.
This came as the Association insisted it has no form of hatred for Islam or Muslims, as perceived by the Council, as a result of its cry over the ‘lopsided appointments’ carried out by the Federal Government in favour of Muslims.
Reacting to a statement by the NSCIA, which was said to have used vulgar, immature language and unprintable words to describe CAN, the Association criticised the council for failing to examine the entirety of appointments made by President Muhammadu Buhari, which was described as a sign of weakness.
The General Secretary of CAN, Joseph Daramola, who expressed the disappointment of the Association in a statement made available to newsmen yesterday in Abuja, faulted the Council for choosing to remain evasive on the issue of appointment revolving around the Court of Appeal. The statement reads in part:
“The NSCIA evaded those troubling issues that are well known not only to Nigerians, but members of the international community; those knotty issues that have pushed our country on the edge of precipice.
“By so doing, NSCIA has unwittingly exposed itself as a promoter of bad governance, divisiveness and injustice in Nigeria under the Buhari administration. “Why did the Council remain evasive on the big issue of the Court of Appeal? Interestingly, there was never a time when CAN ever attacked or made veiled reference to NSCIA over the obvious lopsided appointments in the country.
“CAN’s concern has always been directed at the Federal Government as a concerned non-governmental group, but NSCIA as an underdog of government, rather took it upon itself to speak for the government. We wish the council had allowed the government to speak for itself.
“We are disappointed with the tone of the highest Islamic body in the country for the abysmal and tragic condescension, knowing that the Council is made up of eminent and highly respected personalities.
“But we will not join them in the mudslinging because we chose maturity, candour, moderation and objectivity over parochialism and fundamentalism because we have the facts and figures which the entire world knows as well to prove our points beyond any (un)reasonable doubts.
“Of course, we need to set a record straight by underlining the fact that CAN, as a body, does not have hatred for Islam and Muslims or whatsoever. It is the highest degree of cheap blackmail for any individual or group to have made such puerile and empty claim.”
CAN further disclosed that unlike its Muslim counterparts, it has always criticised government over unjustifiable attacks against any Muslim leader in the country, including the then continued incarceration of the former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd), and the leader of Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Ibrahim Yaqoub El Zakzaky, despite courts’ rulings. “CAN was among the potent voices calling for their release.
Similarly, whenever terrorists or bandits attacked any Muslim community or mosque, CAN always comes out publicly to speak against it. But CAN has never seen NSCIA reciprocating that whenever their brethren attacked Christians, or predominantly Christian communities or churches. Who hates who in this context?
“NSCIA claims that it would not allow the serial falsehood of CAN and its propensity for character assassination of people on the basis of their religious identity to stand because truth is irrefragable.”
CAN further dared the Federal Government or the NSCIA to publish names, state of origins and religions of the appointments by President Buhari into security and other key national offices, including key positions in the judiciary.
“Out of all these, maybe only one or two are Christians and from the South! Others are the Accountant- General of the Federation, all heads of the agencies and parastatals,” the body said.