CAN insists on violation of religious freedom in Nigeria
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), yesterday, said it is unwavering in its support of the recent placement of Nigeria on a watch list of countries that violate religious freedom by the United States government.
The body, therefore, urged President Buhari to be fair to all Nigerians, stressing that the country belongs to all, irrespective of their religious and tribal persuasions, as any policy that is discriminatory is nothing but persecution
In a statement in Abuja, National Director, Legal and Public Affairs of CAN, Evangelist Kwamkur Samuel, observed that the group would only stop complaining when there’s a just society, where the rule of law, fairness, and social justice are allowed. It appealed to the Buhari-led government to let the Constitution be its guide in all its policies and operations.
Kwamkur condemned the Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence Sa’ad Abubakar III for allegedly saying there is no religious intolerance in Nigeria, and for faulting CAN and the US government’s position on the matter.
He said: “If truly the Sultan said Christians are not being persecuted in Nigeria simply “because not all Fulani are Muslims,” then with due respect, he got it totally wrong… It was painful reading from the media that the Sultan said there was no case of Christian persecution in a country, where Christians are being killed on a daily basis and their landed property confiscated. It would have been better if the Sultan had remained quiet the way he did when those killings were taking place.
“Recalling the several hundreds of innocent people, whose lives were cut short by Fulani herdsmen in Southern Kaduna, Benue, Plateau, Adamawa and Taraba States, (states with Christian majority), it is an insult and insensitivity for anyone to be claiming that the unprecedented persecution did not occur. It is also an act of disrespect to the dead.
“If those responsible for the genocide in the Middle Belt were Fulani atheists, “whose main interest is to protect their cattle,” what stopped him from condemning the unprecedented genocide? By the way, if Fulani atheists took it upon themselves to be killing Christians the way they did in Benue, Southern Kaduna, Plateau, will it still not be called Christian persecution? Do Fulani atheists have the right to be killing people the way they did and are still doing in some part of the country…
“We are happy that the Sultan did not fault our claim that there were unprecedented killings in those areas. Maybe the security agencies would have helped to unmask the culprits and their religion, if they had not appeared powerless while the killings lasted. It is reprehensible that to date, those who killed our brothers and sisters after raping and maiming them for weeks are still at large as if they were spirits.”
On the observation made by the Sultan that, if there have been cases of Christian persecution in the country, CAN have raised it at the Nigerian Inter-Religious Council (NIREC), where the leadership of both religions meets, Kwamkur said:
“We wonder why the Sultan could not also come to NIREC to fault our position, instead of using the public forum.
“The Sultan should not pretend as if he was unaware of several times we had gone to President Muhammadu Buhari to complain about systematic and deliberate killings of our brothers and sisters, and the need for the killers to be brought to book and the killings stopped to no avail…”