*Buhari, Nigeria’s ruler and an alleged hater of Christians
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has welcomed the United States of America placing of Nigeria on a special watch list for religious intolerance. CAN, in a statement signed yesterday by its president, Rev. Samson Ayokunle, said that although the body was not happy that Nigeria is listed among countries where religious intolerance is one of their hallmarks but it gladdens its hearts that, at least, the global community is not unaware of the fact that Nigerian Christians under the current government have become endangered species in their fatherland. Ayokunle said that the reasons given by the US were too glaring to be disputed.
He said that the US, like every other country, has an embassy in Nigeria that monitors and reports back what the country goes through and the approach being adopted by the government to addressing the situation. The cleric said that the leadership of the CAN had made this known to President Muhammadu Buhari in all “our meetings with him to see the whole country as his constituency and to avoid nepotism as much as possible; but instead of correcting the imbalance, one of his aides is fond of abusing and insulting the association using every unprintable word.”
The statement reads in part: ‘’The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), a few days ago, called for an amendment to the Nigerian constitution with a view to adding more Sharia contents. Since the chief justice has not denied the story and the government has failed to call him to order, it is crystal clear that the US government has more facts than the government thinks. If the government is sensitive to our yearnings and aspirations, how come no Christian is heading any of the three arms of government in the present dispensation? This is unprecedented in the history of this country since Independence. Is that one of the reasons why no Christian is worthy of occupying any of those sensitive positions?’’
CAN said that another slap on its face is the composition of the National Security Council (NSC) of the country. ‘’We learnt that 98 per cent of its members come from one part of the country and people of the same faith. Let the government unmask its members including their religions and states of origin. The government is telling us that Christians are not worthy of those key appointments but to play the second fiddle. So, another thing that could be responsible for the action of the US government is the lopsided appointments in the polity, which confirms popular fear and perception that the government is against the Christians.
‘’We have made it abundantly clear to President Muhammadu Buhari repeatedly that the lopsided appointments of his government in favour of one religion and a section of the country is unconstitutional, violates Nigeria’s Federal Character principle and so it is unacceptable,’’ Ayokunle said. The association added that there is enough evidence to prove that the subtle Islamisation agenda and nepotism are real.
Meanwhile Nigeria’s government has rejected the United States of America (USA) designation of Nigeria as a country which engages in or tolerates severe violations of religious freedom. It said that the US fell for the antics of the discontented and the unpatriotic few Nigerians, stressing that the iniquitous tag stemmed from an orchestrated narrative that had long been discredited.
In a statement issued in Abuja, yesterday, the minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said that the good people of Nigeria enjoy unfettered freedom to practice their religion. He, however, blamed failed politicians and disgruntled elements – some of them supposedly-respected leaders for latching on to religion as their trump card, especially in the run-up to the last general elections to oust the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.
Mohammed said: ‘’It is unfortunate that the US fell for the antics of the discontented and the unpatriotic few, who will not hesitate to hang Nigeria out to dry on the altar of their inordinate ambition and their sheer animosity towards Buhari’s administration.”