CAN faults questioning of officials by DSS over Boko Haram video
Military denies allegation of religious bias
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has described as unfortunate the questioning of some of its leaders by the Department of State Services (DSS) over a video some Christian leaders have allegedly been using to mobilise funds for the rebuilding of churches destroyed by Boko Haram
Among those allegedly interrogated by the DSS were a former Chief of General Staff, Lt.-Gen. Joshua Dogonyaro (rtd.), representing TEKAN/ECWA bloc of CAN and a retired High Court Judge, Justice Kalajine Anigbogu, representing the Christian Council of Nigeria bloc.
Others are Mrs. Osaretin Demuren, representing the Organisation of African Instituted Churches and a former deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Tunde Lemo, representing the Christian Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (CPFN) and Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN).
Special Assistant on Media and Communication to the CAN President, Adebayo Oladeji, who spoke with The Guardian on the development, wondered when it has become an offence to raise funds for victims of insurgency.
“Is it wrong to assist those people whose houses and churches were burnt? Is it a crime to find ways of assisting those whose spouses, children and relations were killed by the terrorists?” he asked.
According to him: “They said the video footage was inciting for reportedly showing pictures of the churches burnt and people killed. If that is the problem, all they need to ask us is to withdraw it and replace it with a better footage.”
Oladeji also said for Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State to say on Channels Television that CAN was being investigated for sourcing for funds to fight in the Southern Kaduna was unfair. He added that no right thinking Christian will do that using the CAN platform.
What CAN is asking for, he explained, is a sense of belonging in their fatherland.
“We pray for Nigeria and its leaders. Just two days ago, the Information Minister, Lai Mohammed, said in Ilorin that CAN was looking for religious war! He said it was a fallacy that Muslims are killing Christians. We leave him to God,” he said.
However, the Nigeria Military has denied reports that it is supporting the agenda of one religious faith over the other in Nigeria by sponsoring the killing of the devotees, saying efforts are under way to track the carriers of the report.
There were reports on Tuesday alleging that the Nigerian military had perfected plans to deploy some of the surrendered Boko Haram terrorists to a section of the country where they would eliminate Christians and give advantage to the purported Islamisation of the country.
But a statement issued yesterday in Abuja by the Director Defence Information (DDI), Brigadier-General Rabe Abubakar, said security issues must not be joined with politics and religion. He said the report was misleading, baseless and concocted to create divisions in the military.