The Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) has slammed the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), accusing them of “unnecessarily overheating” the polity ahead of the 2019 elections.
This was the position of the group in a statement released on Sunday by Khalid Aliyu, secretary of the JNI, a group led by the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar.
The group challenged CAN to register as a ‘political party if it wants to test its popularity’.
“The herdsmen debacle – it must be understood that this is a coinage mischievously invented by CAN over time and its biased errand boys among media practitioners to stereotype an ethnic group so as to achieve a pre-planned agenda,” the statement by Aliyu read.
“Why is the whole herdsmen issue heightened now i.e. 2018? Simply CAN is unnecessarily overheating the polity because 2019 is around the corner.
“Our take is that CAN should better go and register as a political party and contest election if they want to test their popularity!
“We, nonetheless, make bold to say that CAN is deliberately covering up by using the ‘herdsmen’ debacle as a franchise to perpetrate evil as witnessed in the ‘Boko Haram’ tale.
“As cases of Christians dressed in Muslims’ garb to bomb churches is still fresh in our memories. The infamous Lydia Yusuf of Bauchi state, the Miya Barkatai would-be Christian bombers also in Bauchi state, as well as the foiled bombing of the Radio House in Abuja, after which the then minister of information and Marylyn Ogar, then SSS spokesperson, changed the storyline are still fresh in our memories.”
He alleged that CAN had now devised a new approach of destabilising Nigeria in order to achieve its agenda.
“If not so, would one explain Mr. Asake’s (CAN spokesman) silence about the New Years’ eve killings in Rivers state, but mentioned that of Kwara state and other places? Selective amnesia indeed,” he said.
“Is CAN not supposedly representing all Christians? If not so, why forget to mention the gruesome attack in Rivers? Is it because no Muslim is involved, and therefore it’s not a crime?
“Talking about the killings in Benue state, why did Asake remain mute on the arming of thousands of ethnic militia by the Benue state government (as reported by some sections of the media), an act which is seen as a prelude to the most unfortunate spate of horrendous experiences in the state.”
The JNI’s spokesman said Asake’s reference to the spate of killings in many parts of the north as Jihad exposes his “stark socio-historic illiteracy and his height of enmity against the Muslims and Islam”.
“To put the record straight, JNI condemns killings of innocent souls wherever they happen and whoever is involved. JNI also condemns the generalization of criminals as representatives of the whole, thus leading to unjust stereotyping and name-calling,” he said.
Aliyu warned CAN and other Christian leaders not to take the patience of Nigerian Muslims for foolishness.
“CAN and other Christian leaders such as Bishop Mathew Hassan Kukah, Pastors Oyedepo, Suleiman and recently El Buba should not take the Nigerian Muslims’ patience for foolishness, as their hate speeches are becoming really provocative and outlandish,” JNI spokesman said.
“Hypothetically, as a religious body, they are expected to be part of the solution rather than the problem they have now become.
“The Muslims know that the ‘Nigeria is secular’ sloganeering is mere mendacity seeing that the government and its policies are more tilted towards Christianity and Christians signs and practices. So CAN should free us from the hypocritical secularity claim.”