The leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has advised the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, to stop discrediting the organisation in his avowed resolve to douse religious tension in Nigeria and win the heart of the government of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The vice president had last week said at a public function that there was no agenda to Islamise Nigeria and that no one could possibly do so, just as he berated Christian leaders for raising the alarm on the issue.
Reacting, however, the President of CAN, Rev Samson Olasupo Ayokunle, said the vice president was talking tongue in cheeks, reiterating that the plot by the Government of President Buhari to Islamise Nigeria was real, urging Osinbajo to cross check his facts well before making public remarks on the issue next time.
In a statement signed by his Special Assistant (Media and Communications), Pastor Adebayo Oladeji, Ayokunle said the vice president has no fact before jumping into his conclusion.
He said most Christian leaders in Nigeria were taken aback by the remarks credited to Osinbajo in the media and had sought the intervention of the leadership of CAN to set the record straight with documented facts pointing towards the varieties of plot by the present government to Islamise Nigeria.
The CAN President said Osinbajo was indeed, oblivious of certain issue, stressing that the body of Christians in Nigeria has long been aware of the grand plot to Islamise Africa, with Nigeria as a major focus, stressing that Nigerian government has been working in tandem with the Organisation Of Islamic Countries (OIC) and Islam In Africa Organisation to achieve this.
Reeling into archives, CAN President said: â€œThe OIC met in London in 1983 with a follow up meeting in Nigeria in 1989 and had issued a communiquÃ© to Islamise Africa with Nigeria capturing a great attention. This is a public knowledge while facts could be obtained from Wikipedia with links on OICâ€™s Conference in London, 1983 and Abuja Declaration of 1989.
â€œIt is also a matter of fact that Nigeria was later made an observer member of the body (OIC) through General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida. Under General Sani Abacha, another Muslim leader, Nigeria was made full member in total violation of the constitution that the nation is secular and our government should not be religiously partisan.
â€œFrom then on, conscious efforts were on to draw Nigeria into joining different Islamic organisations in keeping with the resolutions of OIC & Islam in Africa Organisation (IAO). (See their communiquÃ© tagged â€˜Abuja Declaration of 1989).â€™
Ayokunle said that CAN has not been opposing, and will not oppose Islamic evangelism in any part of Nigeria, even if done with the support of the government since Christians also evangelise, but that the Christian body will never support any government to make Islam a State religion under any guise.
He stressed, â€œWe are not opposed to Islamic evangelism by any Muslim group if done with a peaceful motive. The Christians also exercise their constitutional rights to do so through revivals and gospel rallies. But we are opposed to the government of Nigeria adopting Islamic resolutions aimed towards a compelling of this country, contrary to the dictates of the constitution.â€
CAN, however, advised Osinbajo, a Professor of Law, to use his good office to correct the imbalance in the Nigerian system and other alleged unconstitutional actions noted with the government in order to reduce tension in the polity.
â€œOur worry as a body is that Nigeria started getting active in international Islamic alliances and organisations in total violation of the constitution. But the vice president seems not conscious of this and the motive behind adoption of the Sukkuk Bond. Then we ask, Is Sukkuk constitutional? Is Sukkuk not part of the resolutions of OIC & IAOâ€™s it not part of Nigeriaâ€™s adoption of Islamic Sharia and financial system that it is mandatory for all governments in Africa subscribing to Islam?
â€œWe also ask why the present government joined Islamic Military Alliance against terrorism? Are we an Islamic nation to so do? Canâ€™t Nigeria fight terrorism without joining Islamic coalition? Why would the government continue to consciously heat up the polity?â€