It was with a rude shock and utter dismay we read the depressing news on November 10th. 2017 of the "Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) blasting the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and leaders including General Overseer of Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye and Presiding Bishop, Living Faith Church Worldwide, Bishop David Oyedepo, and about one thousand (1000) other Christian elders and leaders for calling on the Nigerian government to exit all international Islamic organisations."
What religion on earth teaches on how to insult top national religious leaders! The Muslim cleric who is a supposed religious leader and an academic, Professor Ishaq Akintola, has definitely crossed the line. Is there no section of the Koran that says Christian and Muslim elders must be regarded or respected? The most foolish persons in life, are assumed to be intelligent, when they keep silent and one would have expected silence from the cleric, if he knew not what to say, how to say it, and when to say it.
The MURIC Director, in the same breath was caught stating that he "is not a little amused by CAN’s latest demands, but that “CAN is hallucinating." adding that, "It is laughable, untenable, kindergarten and quixotic.” And that “This is reminiscent of the eponymous hero of Don Quixote de la mancha. CAN is manifesting symptoms of orubebemantis” in his words. All these in a row! Who speaks to who in this manner and to what end! See lexical choices, terms and items ... Why? 'amused', 'hallucinating', 'laughable', 'untenable', 'kindergarten', 'quixotic', 'eponymous' , 'symptoms', 'orubebemantis' etc. He would seriously need to be immediately cautioned and reprimanded for his hate speeches, fowl use of language and swear words all the time against Christians, Retired Christian Generals, and now against elderly men of God and dignified leaders of the Christian faith. Could one speak like this of lead Imams? Or could this be the language of Islamic religion at its best? Certainly not. “Who hath bewitched you?”, Mr. Cleric? What has come over you! Who did this to the MURIC! God have mercy! Silence they say is the best answer to a fool, but one needs to reply to this for prosterity.
Again, the MURIC claimed, "CAN wants Northern states to issue certificates of occupancy (C of Os) to Churches in the North whereas South/East and South/South governments demolish mosques in their States, refuse to grant Muslims C of Os and infringe constantly on Allah-given fundamental human rights of Muslim minorities in their midst." What a blatant lie by a blatant liar! Are we all strangers to what is going on in Nigeria? How could he cite again: “For instance, a tertiary institution in the South/East has demolished the only mosque on the campus and refused to allow the Muslim Students Society of Nigeria (MSSN) to operate.” When and where was this? Are these not what the Islamic States in Nigeria are always known for nationally and internationally? Is this lying to strengthen Islam, when tens of thousands of Christians and Churches are being burnt down with several internally displaced persons (IDP) camps in ‘Islamic Nigerian States. "Why are you and your so called group bent on tearing this nation apart?
How, when and why did Nigeria deteriorate to this level? While insulting all Christian elders and leaders in the nation, is there any need for the Muslim Cleric to also simultaneously threaten all the members of the National Assembly, all in the name of serving as an Islamic leader? Is that why caution must be thrown into the winds? We also read that the: “MURIC warns the National Assembly (NASS) to ignore CAN’s call for its intervention. An anti-Muslim National Assembly will shoot itself in the foot sooner than later." He proclaimed! Who is really who in this nation? So Nigeria must run a pro-Islam national assembly, if not the Assembly must be castigated? Why impose your Islamic agenda on others, Mr. Fundamental Islam? The Almighty God does not impose Himself on people but allows us to freely make our choices. ‘EXIT ISLAMIC BODIES’ in a secular country, the Christian elders peacefully demanded in line with the Nigerian constitution. What is wrong with this great contribution to national development? And why being so lawless in your choices? Just recently, President Muhammadu Buhari exited Nigeria from 90 World international organisations out of over 310, to remain 220, he says "it will trim down Nigeria’s associated financial obligations to safeguard the nation from possible financial accumulation"; yet hell has not set loose nor heaven fallen. In the same vein, the elders demanded exit from Islamic international organisations, as exits from international bodies is currently under review in the nation. The same MURIC and his group of recent tore down Christian Generals in their publication titled, “Who is afraid of Retired Christian Generals”. You must be warned our dear MURIC Prof. sir!
The Nigerian Government had embraced Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Group of Eight Developing Islamic Countries (D-8) over the years. The leaders and elders condemned this in strong terms, as well as, the recent “government's decision to lead Nigeria into being member of Islamic Coalition Against Terrorism (ICAT) through executive fiat, Nigeria's participation in the International Islamic Sports Federation (IISF), Nigeria's membership of International Islamic Financial Institution (IIFI) of which our present Governor of the Central Bank is the chairman.” They asked, if all these do not violate the Nigerian constitution? Of course yes, this is unacceptable! Even, his eminence, Rev Ayokunle frowned at those who are accusing CAN of raising false alarm over the Islamization agenda and quoted copiously from a communique of ‘Islam in Africa Organisation’ (IAO) of 1989 called ‘Abuja Declaration'." What’s more!
Surprisingly, “MURIC states he accepts CAN’s demands with the proviso that: Nigeria should withdraw from all Western oriented international organizations like the UN and WHO”; “National Assembly should study Nigerian work-free days with a view to dropping the religious ones like Sunday and Saturday (Saturday is also used by the Seventh Day Adventists) and; "Nigeria should also drop all Christian landmarks like the cross as sign in hospitals, academic gowns in tertiary institutions, wigs and gowns used by lawyers and judges, etc.” Why being so childish and unreasonable? These are internationally designated matters and not national issues. Why tread the path of sociopath!
Moreover, the Muslim cleric asks: “Who says Nigeria is not Christianised? What system have we been forced to use since the advent of the colonial master to date? What is the religion of our colonial master whose system we have adopted hook, line and sinker? Why are Muslims being forced to write examinations during Jumat service on Fridays? Why are Muslims at the mercy of their employers every Friday? Is it not because Friday is not a work-free day like Sunday? Muslims have been tolerating all these for so long. Let us start working on Sundays and Fridays?" Are these reasonable questions from an academic?, a Cleric? Oh, no! What a shame! What a real shame! So shameful, oh, shamelessness!
Obviously, overtly and covertly, the MURIC has actually called for the division of Nigeria along religious lines with all these statements, why not, and so be it. It is time to restructure Nigeria according to religious divides. 'Northeria' and 'Southeria' would be a great proposal. North for the Muslims and South for the Christians. Restructuring model according to our six geopolitical zones with modifications, would need be put in place, as soon as possibly could. Why dodging RESTRUCTURING so you do not remain Christianised? All would definitely have to live in peace and in perfect peace some day. There is no need insulting ALL CHRISTIAN ELDERS AND LEADERSHIP IN THE NIGERIAN NATION. Not even for any just cause. What did they say, propose or do! Stick to the Nigerian constitution or leave it, this is their clarion call! Simple and short!
It is amazing, does the academic Don read news and news headlines at all? For example: “Journalists Back CAN on Nigeria’s Withdrawal from OIC on November 18, 2017.” The Nigerian Association of Christian Journalists, NACJ, has charged President Muhammadu Buhari to yield to the call of the Christian Association Of Nigeria, (CAN), for the removal of Nigeria from the membership of the Organization of Islamic Conference,( OIC). In a press release signed by its Secretary General, Charles Okhai, NACJ said there was no meaningful benefit of membership except for those with selfish agenda to Islamize the country. “We make bold to demand that the country should exit from all other Islamic Bodies henceforth. If we are not a member of any International Christian body why OIC and others. We are a secular state, we must remain as such. We are not against Islam, but we are furiously against any action that seems to disregard the fact that we are not all Muslims,” the statement said.
More so, the Association commended the leadership of CAN, led by its President Reverend Ayokunle, for taking the initiative to visit the President and demand for what is constitutionally the rights of Christians and also call on the National Assembly to use the legislative weapon to make right all that seem to divide us as a nation. The question is? Are all these Nigerian journalists also hallucinating and laughable professionals? Wake up Mr. MURIC, we will advise! Similarly, can't the MURIC see that the elders are calling, "for a Nigeria that does not lean towards any religion in any aspect of its life" as he rightly concluded? We should rather say, "Enough of this hypocrisy” and no one would have a taste of any ‘pudding’ as you said, as the Lord lives! Nigeria will certainly need to tackle the issue of withdrawal from International Islamic organizations, settle cases of lopsided appointments of Northern Muslims in the nation, as well as, end the massive killings of Christians by Boko haram terrorists, Muslim assailants, Fulani Headsmen, and abduction of Christian girls etc. We call for a settlement of our differences, as we restructure the Nigerian nation, and it is now.
God bless Nigeria!
God bless CAN!!
God bless NSCEA!!!
Bishop Funmi Adesanya-Davies
For Nigerian Supreme Council for Ecclesiastical Affairs (NSCEA)