The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), the umbrella body of all Nigerian Christians, on Wednesday accused popular Kaduna-based Islamic cleric, Sheik Ahmad Gumi, of inciting the Nigerian military along religious lines, expressing disappointment over his comments that Christian soldiers were the ones killing bandits and Boko Haram/Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists in the country.
Calling Sheik Gumi to immediately withdraw the “unpatriotic and divisive utterances” credited to him in the interest of peace and unity of the country, CAN, in a statement regretted that the silence of President Muhammadu Buhari and all the nation’s security agencies was tactic endorsement of Gumi’s statements.
The statement signed by CAN General Secretary, Joseph Daramola, said that “if anyone said it was the Christian soldiers who are attacking armed bandits, that person does not wish this country well and he doesn’t want the war against terrorism and banditry to end in victory.
“Gumi’s so-called audio evidence cannot be taken seriously because audio evidence can be deliberately arranged to make a point. Secondly, how can we ascertain the credibility of the person alleging that it was the Christian soldiers that were attacking communities and bandits?
“This unreasonable outburst is not only demoralizing and a plot to divide the Nigerian military into two along religious lines, it equally derogatively portrays the non-Christian soldiers as being not committed to fighting criminality.”
“President Muhammadu Buhari’s prolonged silence is tantamount to an endorsement of Gumi’s dangerous statement. If what Gumi reportedly said was attributed to a Christian leader, the security operatives would have invited him or declared him wanted and the Presidency would have publicly condemned that Christian leader.
“We recalled how Apostle Johnson Suleiman, Dr Obadiah Mailafia, Prophet Isa El-Buba and of recent, the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Dr Matthew Hassan Kukah’s statements were handled by security operatives and equally reacted to by the government. Do we truly have sacred cows in the country now?”