NSCIA hails judiciary on seven-year-old Muslim boy judgment
Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) has commended the judiciary for meticulously carrying out investigation and delivery of justice on the gruesome murder of a seven-year-old Muslim boy, Kazeem Rafiu, by a pastor.
A statement signed by its Deputy Secretary General, Prof. Salisu Shehu, hailed the recent death sentence passed on a pastor, Erinmole Adetokunbo, and another Christian, Adedoyin Oyekanmi, over the killing of Rafiu.
The accused were said to have, on June 7, 2017, viciously cut off the innocent boy’s head, buried it under the altar of their church and threw his body into the canal.
NSCIA commended the Ikeja Special Offences Court and the judge, in particular, Oluwatoyin Taiwo, for the sense of justice and called for speedy actions in many other similar cases including, Mohammed Alkali, who was reportedly murdered in 2018.
NSCIA said it would not join others to give blanket condemnation of Christianity because a pastor is involved. The organisation said individuals are separate from religions and advised adherents of other faiths to emulate it whenever issues concerning Muslims are involved. It also specifically advised against the use of the terms ‘Islamisation’ and ‘Fulanisation’ of Nigeria without any evidence to proof.
The Council said its stance is derived from its belief that ‘criminals are criminals’ and they should be treated without appealing to base emotions or using the crime of a minority to vilify, malign or torment the majority.
“It said neither the church nor the Bible asked the ‘evil pastor’ and his accomplice to do what they did and that they should be distanced from the teachings of Jesus.
“If the Council had chosen to be cantankerous like others, innocent Christians would have been unduly tormented, the church would have been maligned and the polity would have been overheated on the sensationalisation of a pastor murdering a Muslim and burying his head in his church,” the statement said.
NSCIA condemned weaponising religion for political expediency and advised against constant harassment of Muslims for the misdemeanour of crimes committed by persons associated with Islam.
“Religious leaders should rather be circumspect in their utterances and pronouncements as true people of God, not politicians in cassocks. They should resist the temptation of inflaming passions through the baseless allegations of the so-called ‘Fulanisation’ and ‘Islamisation’, which are a smokescreen for their discreet atrocities and undisguised bigotry against Muslims in Nigeria. This is just a piece of advice and religion is essentially about giving advice.