CAN Faults Buhari’s Presence at OIC Conference

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President Buhari and President Idris Deby Itno of Chad hold bilateral meeting in Makkah, Saudi Arabia on the margins of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Summit.
  •  Urges FG to heed Obasanjo’s warning on Islamisation, Fulanisation agenda

Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has expressed concerns over the constitutionality of Nigeria’s representation by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC) meeting in Saudi Arabia.

It also said the Federal Government should listen to the wise counsel of former president Olusegun Obasanjo on the alleged West African Fulanisation and Islamisation agenda instead of resorting to attacks on his personality.

It raised issues about the unconstitutionality of Nigeria’s membership of Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the rush to attend its meeting by the President.

In a statement issued on Saturday by President of CAN, Rev. Dr. Samson ‘Supo Ayokunle, the Christian body said the “truth is evident” for those who care to see the danger of Obasanjo’s warning except those who are either part of the agenda or are just being mischievous.

The statement signed by the Special Assistant (Media & Communications) to CAN President, Pastor Adebayo Oladeji, said it was regrettable that despite opposition and outcry over the unconstitutionality of Nigeria’s membership of the OIC, the president deemed it fit to jet out of the country immediately after being sworn in to attend such a conference as his first assignment.

“This is an organisation which states it is ‘the collective voice of the Muslim world’ and works to “safeguard and protect the interests of the Muslim world in the spirit of promoting international peace and harmony”. Are the government officials listening to those who voted them into power at all? Is the government not heating up the polity?

“We all remember how Nigeria was smuggled into OIC during the military. We wonder if the President is ready to attend the meeting of the World Council of Churches or be asking the Vice President to represent him whenever the members meet,” it said.

On the attack on Obasanjo over his position on alleged Islamisation and Fulanisation of the country, the Christian body said it was not good for the government to rein abuses or pour venoms on our former leaders whenever their thoughts are critical to the government’s action or policies.

It called on the federal government to pay keen attention to Obasanjo’s thought-provoking position rather than disparaging him.

“We appeal to the Federal Government to listen to Obasanjo on his counsel over the alleged West African Fulanisation and African Islamisation agenda instead of resorting to disrespecting him and misinterpreting his noble warnings to the nation,” it said.

CAN regretted that while the likes of Obasanjo are treated as honourable statesmen and institutions in developed nations like the United States and the United Kingdom, they are antagonised and vilified at home.

“This is not only unfortunate but exposes us as a people that have lost their moral values. Obasanjo sacrificed a lot for this nation in order to make it one and great! He deserves respect and his pronouncements should be treated with caution.

The truth is evident for those who care to see the danger of Obasanjo’s warning except those who are either part of the agenda or are just being mischievous. When the perceived genocide started in Southern Kaduna, how many of the suspected herdsmen involved in the barbaric attacks were arrested by the security men? How many of them have been detained and are being prosecuted?” CAN stated.

On the order to mop up legally held guns, CAN said that the federal government must be seen to be acting in the interest of the generality of Nigerians and not protecting or preserving a section of the country.

CAN accused the relevant security agencies of not doing enough to deal with the alleged killings and kidnappings by bandits and herdsmen, adding it smacks of bias on the part of federal government to appear to be defending and advocating for a group being accused of spearheading the atrocious incidents.

It said that another example of justice denied was that of Kaduna State.
According to CAN, where the Kaduna State government once claimed that they had arrested 17 suspects responsible for the killings in Southern Kaduna, three years after no one has heard anything about the case again.

CAN faulted the composition of the nation’s security councils and other agencies of the government by President Buhari, insisting that such an important security architecture must not be dominated “by people who share same faith and ethnicity with him”.

“This is unprecedented in the history of Nigeria. The preponderance of the Fulani people at the corridors of power is what Chief Obasanjo refers to as fulanisation agenda.

“As President Buhari begins another term, we appeal to him to have a blueprint for the security challenges facing the country. He should see the whole country as his and avoid lopsided appointments in every facet of the government, especially, the appointment chief security officers,” said CAN.