From Musa Solomon, Yola.
A group of five Christian organizations have said they will continue to pray for the healing and good health of President Muhammadu Buhari, but will no longer sit idly by and watch christians discriminated against in the distribution of political offices they are eminently qualified for.
The Arewa Christians Association, Concerned Professional Christians, All Para-Church Organisations , Nigerian Christians in Diaspora, and Youth Wing of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in a joint statement from Yola, the Adamawa State capital observed that when christians are removed from office in the last two years, they are promptly replaced with Muslims, in what they claim is an agenda that will not augur well for the country.
In the statement, signed by Mr. Daniel David Kadzai, the five stated that the present government is not only executing Islamic agenda, but that it is out to kill the Christian religion.
They warned that Nigerians, and particularly Christians, should not be taken for granted over the recent systematic removal of Christians from sensitive positions.
The group warned that any further attempt to cover up or justify the suspicious motives for the suspension of the duo of Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir David Lawal, and National Intelligence Agency (NIA) Director-General, Ambassador Ayo Oke, will not be accepted adding that removing them without replacing them with Christians will add more salt to injury.
“We must resist any further form of marginalisation or persecution against Christians . We Christians resolved to resist any further form of marginalisation or persecution against Christians, the SGF was recognized as Christian by APC when he was detailed to mobilise Christians to vote Buhari in 2015, we insist same Engr Babachir David Lawal is been betrayed by APC on account of his Faith, we are speaking for all Christians and including him as an individual,” they stated.
The associations said that Christians will no longer accept the deliberate reservation of the headship of some government agencies and parastatals to adherents of a particular religion.
They lamented that many Christians, individuals and organizations have observed with regret the removal of Christian Religious Studies from primary and secondary schools curriculum in the North, pointing out that government is not treating Christians and Muslims on equal terms as enshrined in the Constitution.
“The worst form of social injustice, terrorism and religious bias is to deny Christian children their right to practice their religion despite the role of Christian Religious Studies in helping to shapen the moral character and integrity of our children as future Leaders”.
“Perhaps, it is in furtherance (of this) agenda that the A.P.C government appointed the likes of Prof. Ishaq Oluyede a known Islamist who has never hidden his bias and prejudice against Christians to head a most relevant institution like the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB).”
“Despite the denial that the government is not slipping Nigeria into an Islamic country as evident from previous antecedents, Nigeria’s participation at the Islamic solidarity sports federation speaks volumes and confirms the obvious.”
Quoting the late Usman Dan Fadio that “conscience is an open wound and only truth can heal it,” they submitted that further lies either by government or any religion can only deepen the wound of distrust and sow new seeds of discords.
According to the group of five, the Holy Bible says “…then you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free” (John 3:38). Where the conscience of the nation is hinged on packs of lies, only the truth can set Nigeria free. Not only saying the truth, but doing that which is truthful! We cannot tolerate any further lies and manipulations.”
The five maintained that in obedience to the biblical mandate, all Christians have been praying for the President in Churches and at home, noting that the authorities should stop lying concerning the health status of the President who is Nigeria’s chief public servant. They argued that Nigerians deserve to know the truth as is the practice in civilized societies.
“A recent publication attributed the sickness of Mr. President to poisoning. As sad, pathetic and serious as the allegations may be, we strongly warn that a few … should not contemplate any sinister plot to endanger the unity of Nigeria through any ungodly clandestine manipulation, either of persons, Constitution or the administrative procedure. We’re aware of the desperation (by some) for power and replacement of their favoured candidate even at the detriment of national unity,” the statement added.
On the herdsmen killings the Christian associations said that the security agents appear to be acting in a questionable manner, either looking the other way when Christians or indigenous people are annihilated or protecting Fulani cattle rearers and their cows.
“The question begging for answer is, “why are 99% and above of the perpetrators of the attacks on Christians either as cattle rearers or terrorists from one religion?,”
“If Christian leaders can restrain their aggrieved youths from vengeance then Muslim leaders must also control and restrain the radicals and extremists among their own.”