CAN’s Denial Of ‘Religionising Politics’ Unconvincing – Muric

CAN’s Denial Of ‘Religionising Politics’ Unconvincing – Muric

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Added by February 2, 2018

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has described as unconvincing the denial by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) that it is asking Christians not to vote for Muslim candidates come 2019.

MURIC had alleged on Tuesday that the Christian umbrella body is instigating Christians against voting for Muslim politicians. However, CAN denied the allegation on Wednesday.

In a statement signed by MURIC Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, and sent to Concise News, the group said CAN cannot absolve itself from its allegations, insisting that the Christian body had directed churches to pray for Christian victories in the 2019 elections.

The statement also alleged that CAN directed Christians to go into politics, warning them that it would be a disaster if a Christian does not emerge president in 2019.

The statement read in part, “We are not convinced by CAN’s denial though its denial did not surprise us. It is only natural. Yet in spite of the denial, Nigerians know that CAN’s body language speaks volumes. Its hate speeches are legend. Its bitter expressions underline its frustration. CAN is desperate to install a Christian president in Nigeria.

“Can CAN deny calling on all churches to pray for Christian victory in the wake of the Benue killings? Nigerian churches were told to spend the whole of Sunday January 7, 2019 praying for victory for Christians. The directive was issued by CAN in its January 5 press statement. That directive naturally caught our attention and we monitored the manner the prayers were offered in some Nigerian cities. We heard more curses than prayers in some noisy churches. While some prayed for victory for Christians, most churches rained abuses, invectives and curses on the Buhari administration. It was more of hysteria than the atmosphere of serenity required in places of worship. CAN has stirred up emotions in Nigerian churches.

“Can CAN also deny that it has openly directed Christians all over the country to go into politics? CAN openly gave that instruction on 19th January, 2018. What assurance do we have that there was no hidden message in that directive? What assurance do we have that there were no other secret messages sent round after the public directive? Who is a fool?

“If religion is a private affair, why is CAN always interfering in the privacies of its followers. Why must they be directed in a matter unrelated to religion? Religion is a private matter when it pleases CAN but it is a public affair when it suits the umbrella Christian body. As far as CAN is concerned, Christians are free to organize themselves publicly but Muslims must never be allowed to come together publicly to organize their affairs. Such double standard is, to say the least, disgusting.

“Can CAN also disown a certain John B. Damuna who calls himself the Assistant Coordinator of the Christian Youth Organization of Nigeria Northern chapter? John Damuna in a document in our possession warns Christians that it would be a disaster if a Christian did not emerge president in 2019. He claims to be carrying out the directive of CAN. We are going to be silent about what he said concerning herdsmen and almajiris in the same document so that we do not stir another crisis.”

MURIC urged CAN to admit its actions and statements honourably as “it is no longer religion when we say one thing and pretend we never did. Let us leave such antics to politicians. The alternative is to derobe and don the toga of politics.

The Muslim group wondered why CAN is desperately craving for a Christian president when out of the 19 years since the advent of democracy in 1999, Christians have ruled for 14 years leaving Muslims with only 5 years

“The last time we checked, ex-Presidents Mathew Okikiola Obasanjo and Goodluck Ebele Jonathan were still Christians. If it is true that Obasanjo ruled Nigeria for eight good years (1999 – 2007) and former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan was in power for six years (2010 – 2015), CAN cannot rationalize its present craving for a Christian president.”

The group reminded both churches and mosques to be mindful of their language as 2019 approaches. It advised an apolitical stance in order to allow for a peaceful election and post-election season.

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