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CAN’s reaction to Buhari’s statement is hateful, says group

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Buhari. Photo: TWITTER/NIGERIAGOV

The Companion (Association of Muslim Men in Business) has condemned the comments credited to the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) on President Muhammadu Buhari’s encounter with the U.S President, Donald Trump, recently accusing him of being responsible for the killings of Christians in Nigeria.

“The comments credited to the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) vice president and chairman of the association in Kaduna State, Reverend John Hayab, saying that the president’s response to the rather offensive and ridiculous question asked by President Trump ‘that the killing was cultural, and not religious – as being weak’ and another confirmation that the present administration does not care about the carnage in the country”.

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The group considered the statement as being hateful and a total display of religious bigotry, asserting that such a declaration could only come from a biased religious leader.

“Who does not know that the crisis painted sectarian in parts of Kaduna (Southern Kaduna) for instance, has been recurring before the present administration and largely caused by the differences between the natives and settlers?”

In a statement signed by Amir (President), The Companion Lagos District, Alhaji Abdul-Ghani Abdul Majeed, said that CAN shocked the association, when cited cases of suspected bandits and massacres in Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina, Birnin Gwari, Southern Kaduna, Taraba, and Plateau.

Majeed said, “For all the killings that have occurred in the mentioned States, the truth of the matter is that the gunmen kill both Christians and Muslims. It is therefore utterly misleading to say that only Christians were the target or to fault the response that the crisis was cultural and not religious.

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“Was the CAN leader expecting Buhari to admit to a carnage he never committed? Perhaps Rev Hayab would have been happy if President Buhari had responded to Trump by saying, “Yes, I am responsible for the killing of Christians in Nigeria.”

He noted that Hayab is not alone in this tendency by Christian clerics to always pit Christians and Muslims in the country.

“Our group, therefore, submits that CAN leaders must always exercise restraint, moderate their emotion, shun religious bigotry and embrace the true spirit of love, as well as peaceful coexistence with others, as preached in their scriptures,” he said.

He reiterated that the inflammatory statement could further sow the seed of discord among the Christian and Muslim faithful.

Continuing, he advised “We therefore admonish that Christian leaders should have a rethink and always be mindful of their outburst and its effects on the public. It is a disservice to God and humanity to always attempt to paint Muslims as enemies of Christians and vice versa”.

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