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Kerry’s visit to Nigeria discriminatory, says CAN

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Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari (R) welcomes US Secretary of State John Kerry upon his arrival at the Presidential villa in the Nigerian capital of Abuja, on August 23, 2016, as part of Kerry's three-nation tour focussed on counterterrorism. Kerry on August 23, 2016 congratulated Nigeria on its recent military successes against Boko Haram while warning against the use of excessive force to fight extremists. PHOTO: PHILIP OJISUA / AFP

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari (R) welcomes US Secretary of State John Kerry upon his arrival at the Presidential villa in the Nigerian capital of Abuja, on August 23, 2016, as part of Kerry’s three-nation tour focussed on counterterrorism. Kerry on August 23, 2016 congratulated Nigeria on its recent military successes against Boko Haram while warning against the use of excessive force to fight extremists. PHOTO: PHILIP OJISUA / AFP

• Chides DSS, police on Zamfara killings
• Cautions on breakdown of tolerance

The President of the Christian Association of Nigerian (CAN), Rev. Supo Ayokunle, has faulted the recent visit to Nigeria by United States Secretary of State, John Kerry.

He described it as discriminatory and aimed at furthering agenda by the Federal Government to persecute the country’s Christians.

Kerry, during the two-day trip had, after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, visited the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar III, and also met with the 19 northern governors.

In a statement in Abuja, yesterday, Ayokunle accused Kerry of not respecting the heterogeneous nature of the country, and favouring northern Nigeria and Muslims, to the detriment of the Christian community.

He said the Secretary of State’s attitude reinforced accusations that the President Obama administration and key US politicians openly supported the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2016 general elections.

Ayokunle said the visit sent a wrong message, alleging that Christians under the Buhari administration were under siege.

The CAN leader said: “Kerry’s actions speak volume. His actions and body language were very divisive. Why did he meet with 19 states governors, without southern governors? Is Nigeria north alone? Why did he go to the north alone? If the U.S. Secretary of States is coming for an official visit, it is understandable. But we demand an explanation on why he was selective. Has the Sultan’s palace become another State House? Was Kerry invited by the Sultan?

“We have 36 states in Nigeria. He only selected northern governors. It was a visit to the north, not to Nigeria. It was surely a very divisive visit. With it, Kerry has heightened fear and tension among Christians in the country. If they cannot bring us together, they should not interfere in our affairs.”

While condemning the killings of Christians in northern Nigeria, the CAN president said: “With the selective persecution, mostly by the Department of State Service (DSS) and the Nigerian Police, it is obvious the administration is anti-Christians. Have the DSS arrested the Muslim youths who burnt down a Catholic Church in Niger State because they were worshiping on Friday? What happened to the ECWA pastor who was killed in his farm in Obi Local Government Area of Nasarawa State? What has happened on the Redeemed Christian Church of God preacher who was murdered in Kubwa, Abuja?

“Look at the recent case in Zamfara State. Christians where burnt alive. What has happened? They will tell you, they are still investigating. Have they been arrested and charged to court? If the government cannot sit up and protect Christians, tolerance is going to break down. They should do the right thing. They should not provoke Christians. Have we ever seen this government bring anybody to book? A government that doesn’t listen is not for the people.”

Ayokunle urged the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) to, as a matter of urgency, intervene in the case of one Joe Chinakwe, who was arrested for naming his dog ‘Buhari’. He argued that naming an animal after anyone is not a criminal offence.

“The NBA should take up that case and ascertain whether the man has the right to give any name to a dog. They should protect the man’s human rights and explain why the case is not a criminal offence,” he said.


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3 Comments
  • Emeka

    The Fulani herdsmen, Buhari’s business partners have struck again killing a seminarian and disemboweled a pregnant woman. This same Keri, Obama and America frustrated the fight against Boko Haram by Goodluck Jonathan for whatever reason best known to them obviously not because of corruption because what we are witnessing now is corruption plus anarchy under this government. So why are they supporting this Government? The reason is because Obama is a Muslim and a member of the Illuminati and these people will always support their own. The real God is not asleep. Vengeance is His. Like He fought for Israel of old against their enemies, He will fight for Christians in this country. Now they are planning to bomb Niger Delta the way they committed genocide against the Igbos and the South South during the Biafran resistance but they have not raised a finger against Buhari’s Fulani herdsmen. God is watching. You can Islamise this country if you desire but be sure that the anger of God awaits you.

  • Fred Chigozie

    Am yet to believe the songs of praises we sang last year for Buhari and highest betrayal a Christian presidential candidate got from Plateau, Benue, Nassarawa, Taraba, this is what traitors get. America predicted split and were threatened by the rate of economic growth and had to use Jega, INEC, to impose PMB on us just to move us back to Egypt. It is getting clearer.

  • Maigari

    This reaction from the CAN elites highlights the dangers of using religion. The CAN felt ‘left out’ and wants to create a sense of division by highlighting the North/South divide. Come on must every action be left to interpretation to the religious leadership?