The Christian Association of Nigeria has reacted to a press conference addressed by the Council of Imams and Ulama of Kaduna State on Tuesday, calling for the arrest of the CAN President, Pastor Samson Ayokunle, among others over the killings in Southern Kaduna.
Rev. Musa Asake, the CAN General Secretary, in a press statement on Wednesday, described the utterances of the Islamic clerics as unguarded.
Asake faulted the call for the arrest of himself; Ayokunle; the senator representing Southern Kaduna, Senator Danjuma Laah; the President of Southern Kaduna Peoples Union, Dr. Solomon Musa; Rev. Zechariah Gado; and Hon. Sunday Marshal.
The statement by Asake reads in full:
Yesterday CAN National Secretariat was inundated with calls from several well-meaning persons over a Press Conference addressed by the Council of Imams and Ulama of Kaduna State.
In the press conference, the Islamic clerics called for the arrest of CAN president, Dr. Samson Ayokunle, the Senator Representing Southern Kaduna, Distinguished Senator Danjuma Laah, the President of Southern Kaduna Peoples Union, SOKAPU, Dr. Solomom Musa, Rev. Zechariah Gado, Hon. Sunday Marshal, Dr. Danfulani, and my humble self, Rev. Dr. Musa Asake. The Islamic clerics’ anger with us was that we had made comments that stoked the ongoing killings in Southern Kaduna.
CAN wishes to state that the demand of these Muslims preachers has again reaffirmed their hypocrisy. To CAN, this is a surprising shameless, unveiled criminal support for evil.While, the killings of children, women, aged and the most defenseless of Southern Kaduna natives and the destruction of entire communities was at its peak, no one knew that a group called Council of Imams and Ulama existed in Kaduna state.
When Church leaders under the banner of CAN kept praying for Southern Kaduna and other affected areas in the country, visiting traumatized communities and softly calling on government to do the needy, this Council of Imams was silent and invisible. If indeed, this Council of Muslim clerics claim to preach peace, tolerance and respect for human lives, we would expect them to have come out to call the rampaging Muslims herdsmen to order; condole the victims and join in the process of looking for a lasting solution, but mum was their response.
You will recalled that on the 16th of August, 2016, a chieftain of Kaduna state Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, the well-known Dr. Haruna Usman, in a well-publicized reaction to the mindless killings by the terrorists, said that the sacking of Ninte, and other villages, in Jema’a Local Government, was in response to the killing of a Fulani ardo in Ninte. He spoke authoritatively as one in the knowledge of the massacre.
In another Press Conference in Kaduna on the 7th of November, 2016 Jema’a Foundation, Miyetti Allah and Mobgal Fulbe Development Association confirmed that Fulani and Hausa Muslims have been behind the ethnic cleansing and destruction of villages and houses of worship in Southern Kaduna. yThey claimed they had to do this to entrench their rights to practice Islam, alleging they were being marginalized in Southern Kaduna. Those who addressed the press were Abdullahi Hassan Mohammed, Ahmad M. Yandeh and Abdulhamid Musa. Again, on the 31st of December, 2016, Dr. Ibrahim Abdullahi, the Assistant National Secretary of Miyetti Allah also echoed the same position that the Fulani were carrying out reprisal killings.
But, the most troublesome revelation was that of Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State, has re-affirmed that he knows the killers of Southern Kaduna Christians and has traced some of them to some African Counties and paid them sums of money to stop the pogrom.
In view of this glaring confession by all these Fulani men, is it not reprehensible, distasteful and vile that the Council of Imams and Ulama Kaduna state did not call for the arrest of these people who are in conspiracy with the murderers?
With their position now, it is obvious that these Imams are part of the evil network desperately trying to decimate the Christian population of Southern Kaduna and the taking over of their lands by Islamists herdsmen terrorists. These are the Muslim clerics that encourage and inspire the jihad carried out by their foot soldiers.
These Imams are very sad that we have refused to keep silent as we are speaking up to government and telling the world the devilish plot against the Christian community in Southern Kaduna and other affected areas.
While those they inspired through their wicked sermons to kill and conquer new territories for Islam are carrying out their instructions, they are now intimidating the victims with Governor El-Rufai infamous position of “call for self-defense is hate speech.”
The prayers of Christians are being answered for our Lord Jesus Christ is exposing the enemies of His Kingdom one by one.For the records, the words and the way of life of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world in whom all knees shall bow, was never violent. CAN therefore, thrives under His inspiration and guidance.
We can never call on a Christian to kill another human being. But we cannot tell a Christian to unjustly submit himself to murderers, his family wiped, his community taken over with crude violence so that a new community of herdsmen terrorists be established as it is happening now in Southern Kaduna – especially as government is not showing enough commitment to arresting the situation. CAN therefore, has no apology over what comment it has made on the religious cleansing in Southern Kaduna and other places in the country.
It is a clear fact that CAN has the more to lose with the continuance of these madness. Since May last year to date in Southern Kaduna alone, over 1000 Christians have been killed; over 53 communities with their churches have been destroyed and not less than 16 villages have been conquered and are now being occupied by Fulani herdsmen terrorists.
The imams and Ulama are the ones who are benefiting from this orchestrated violence with the new territories conquered for them. They are the ones that don’t want peace.
While we will continue to pray for Southern Kaduna and other affected areas and play any role possible for peace, the world must be informed that the killings in Southern Kaduna is still going on with impunity, because the murderers have been given immunity and they feel they are untouchable.
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