THE Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) and the Christian Association of Nigeria differed on Wednesday on President Muhammadu Buhari’s assertion that 90 per cent of insurgency victims in the country are Muslims.
While the NSCIA supported the President’s claim that more Muslims are killed than Christians, CAN described Buhari’s claim as “unfounded, false, provocative and misleading.”
The President in an opinion article published in a Christian news outlet, Christianity Today, said it is the reality that 90 per cent of all Boko Haram victims have been Muslims
He cited the kidnap of Chibok and Dapchi. schoolgirls, shooting inside mosques and murder of two prominent imams as proof that Muslims were the worst-hit by the insurgents, whom he described as “now-failing” in their activities.
The Islamic council, led by the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar lll, said at news conference in Abuja, that it was an incontrovertible truth that the killings are mostly carried out in the Northeast which is predominantly inhabited by Muslims.
The NSCIA lamented the killings and urged Buhari to, as a matter of urgency, declare a state of emergency on security.
It Islamic group slammed the Sunday ‘Prayer walk’ against killings by Christian leaders saying it “bore marks of childish blame game and hypocrisy.”
It urged the Federal Government and the military to arrest “this descent into anarchy.”
The NSCIA Director of Administration, Alhaji Yusuf Nwoha, who spoke to reporters said since Nigeria is in a desperate situation, desperate measures must be taken to protect lives and property of Nigerians.
He said: “The argument in some quarters that some forces are meant for external security is shallow in a situation in which we find ourselves since no external security can be meaningful when there is no internal security.
“The truth is that where most of the killings are carried out or the place of war on the insecurity by Boko Haram is in the Northeast. The northeast is predominantly Muslims and each time there is an attack you will find out that a lot of Muslims are killed and this is a fact, There is nothing like trying to make an issue. Every one of us knows that, this is the truth that Muslims are been killed in this country more than Christians and it is not a controvertible position, it is a fact.”
“The sentiments of Christians in this country is that they are been killed by Muslims, that is the perception and they insist that more Christians are been killed everyday in this country. It is not so, nobody is making a comparison, We are just putting the records straight.
Nwoha added that the NSCIA “is appalled and horrified” that insecurity in country had “reached an unacceptable crescendo that declaring a state of emergency on it appears not only necessary but also pressing. “
“The time to arrest the insecurity in the land is now and we repeat our call to President Buhari to combat the current spike in insecurity with candid decisiveness,” he said.
“In Kaduna on February 2, 2020 when a Christian, Nathaniel Samuel, attempted to bomb the Living Faith Church in Kaduna the same day that a circus was being organised in Lagos. Of course, had the mission succeeded, it would have been blamed on Muslims”.
But CAN, in a statement by its Director, Legal and Public Affairs, Evangelist Kwamkur Vondip, faulted the President’s claim that 90 per cent of insurgency victims are Muslims.
It said: “We note with pains, President Buhari’s unfounded, false, provocative and misleading assertion that 90 per cent of Boko Haram victims are Muslims.
“ On reading the misleading and provocative statement coming from the number one citizen of the country, one will hardly believe that the President understands the difference between the real victims and perpetrators of the heinous crime against the church and humanity. “It is so disappointing to hear the President trying to justify which religion is suffering most from the grievous attacks of the terrorists. Are we into any competition with the number of the victims? Is there any life that should not be precious to Mr. President.
“What is the source of Mr President’s records? He should bring out his records with figures and the Christians will present theirs!
Stop the disinformation, Presidency warns CAN
The Presidency yesterday knocked the apex umbrella body of Christians for allegedly creating disunity in the country through disinformation.
The Presidency said in a statement on Wednesday by Presidential spokesman Femi Adesina, that CAN was using disinformation as a divisive ploy to rubbish the efforts of President Buhari in finding lasting solutions to the lingering security challenges facing the nation.
Adesina said: “We are again constrained to react to unfounded allegations by the Christian Association of Nigeria about the payment or non-payment of ransom for the release of the Chibok and Dapchi schoolgirls.
“Media reports quoted CAN’s Director of Legal and Public Affairs, Kwamkur Samuel, to have said inter alia: ‘Nigerians need to know, if they have not known the reason why the Presidency could not pay ransom to rescue Chibok girls.
“It is because 80 per cent to 90 per cent of the girls are Christians. The reason why Dapchi girls’ ransom was quickly paid and they were returned is the discovery that most of the girls were Muslims except Leah Sharibu, who is still in captivity.”