The Presidency has urged
the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) to desist from disinformation which
can further divide Nigerians. Mr Femi Adesina, the President’s Special Adviser
on Media and Publicity, made the call in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday.
Adesina was reacting to what he described as ”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.” The CAN’s Director of Legal and Public Affairs, Kwamkur Samuel, was quoted in the traditional and social media outfits 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.”
However, the presidential aide, who recalled that similar allegation was made by the media in Aug. 2018 when they quoted a UN Report alleging that the Federal Government paid a “huge ransom” for the release of the abducted Dapchi schoolgirls on March 21, 2018. He said: ”The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, immediately disputed the report, insisting that no ransom was paid, little or huge.’’ “There must be a conclusive evidence to support such a claim. Without that, the claim remains what it is – a mere conjecture.” Adesina, therefore, maintained that ”the letter and spirit of the Holy Bible do not support discord, which CAN’s allegations were liable to cause
”The Christian body needs not be antagonistic to every attempt by the administration to move Nigeria forward, before it can champion or defend the Christian faith.” He said Buhari had made it very clear in 2015 that if ransom needed to be paid to free the Chibok schoolgirls, he would pay. ”That is a statement to his commitment to get the girls back. ”Notwithstanding our different faiths, we are all stakeholders in the promotion of peace in our fatherland. And the Holy Bible enjoins us to seek peace, and pursue it,” Adesina said.