Jonathan dragged CAN into partisan politics
Sir: About 20 years ago in our Iwereile village, I experienced what Bashir Olanrewaju Atoyebi was talking about on Harmony FM, that some Muslim clerics take undue advantage of ceremonial occasions to extort money. The Imam was invited to pray for the opening ceremony of Iwereile Day and the Ọ̀lẹ n tẹ̀lé Àlùfáà (the Indolent who is following the Alfa) of the Imam put down two bowls in which people were to put money, saying one was for Iwereile and the other for the Imam. I found it appalling. Christian clerics are generally not different but extortion is usually within church service, with particular reference to harvest and thanksgiving ceremonies. Hence they try to create service occasions (revival; vigil; anointing; deliverance; exorcism; healing; etc) outside of morning devotion and Sunday worship, as avenues for extortion. Muslim clerics don’t demand tithe but each system has its own way of “doing it”.
The former acting president, Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan, who took undue advantage of the death of Umaru Musa Yar’Adua to truncate rotational presidency became interested in who became the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and he was said to have worked for the emergence of Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor. The latter received a jet when Jonathan attended his birthday ceremony in Warri town. That was the jet that the Jonathan presidency later used to launder money and seized by South Africa. Oritsejafor was making CAN to play political role, as the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA). Yar’Adua already poisoned Jonathan’s mind against Boko Haram. Yet Boko Haram’s anger became whittled after the death of Yar’Adua. What infuriated many northerners and decent Nigerians was Jonathan’s truncation of rotational presidency, which rekindled the Boko Haram crisis. It became difficult initially in 2011 to know whether the truncation was Nigeria’s problem or the governmental terrorism against Boko Haram.
The crisis dovetailed into Jonathan versus Boko Haram and Oritsejafor’s CAN became Jonathan’s bulldog, barking at Boko Haram, and the latter replied with church-bombings, until I told Boko Haram to spare innocent church worshippers and remember that Christians were not its original target but the Fulani Muslim imperialists, represented by Yar’Adua and NSCIA. Then the current President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (GMB) came and added to Nigeria’s burdens on two fronts: protection of the Fulani herdsmen terrorists and demonisation/oppression of the Shiites. If CAN is born again under its current President, Pastor Samson Ayọkunle, then it should not only oppose the unjust creation of colonies with public funds for the Fulani herdsmen but also the unjust treatment of the Shiites. How can you send a military General and his convoy to drive through processing Shiites? The Fulani Muslim imperialists know how to start demonisation of any people they want to attack whether the person is Afọnja, who to them represented a leader of pagans; or the group is Boko Haram, which to them represents a sect or division which is unacceptable to the Quran that they equate with God Almighty (idolatry).
If CAN is ready for fuller justice, then it should also oppose a situation in which only Christian and Islamic doctrines are taught in Nigeria’s public basic schools, to the exclusion of African Traditional Religion and other religions. Pastor E.A. Adeboye should order the Pastor Professor Yemi Osinbajo to resign from the bloodshed that GMB represents, 2015 till date. Boko Haram and the Shiites must be allowed to exist as peacefully as under the OBJ presidency. People of God should oppose all forms of injustice.
Prof. Ọlọjẹẹde Oyeniran Abiọjẹ wrote from University of Ilorin.