NCEF, Afenifere worsening Muslim-Christian relationship in Nigeria through hate speeches – MUSWEN Elders’ Forum

Noibi.jpg

Prof. Dawud Noibi, Executive Secretary/CEO, Muslim Ummah of South West Nigeria (MUSWEN)

*Accuses NCEF of using religion to pursue ethnic, political Agenda

*Exposes Afenifere as advancing Christian Agenda through ethnicity

*Says “against widespread propaganda Benue killers were not Muslims”

By Bashir Adefaka

 

“There is no doubt about the fact that these Christian elders are taking Nigeria into an uncharted era of a new crusade with their infatuation for Jihad, deliberate use of propaganda and fear-mongering as tools for propagating their ideas, deliberate falsification of historical facts and making of wild and weird claims.”

 

An alarm has gone out that the National Christian Elders’ Forum (NCEF), described as a new mouthpiece of Christendom in Nigeria, in collaboration with the Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, has engaged itself in a crusade for negative purposes capable of worsening the Muslim-Christian relationship in the inter-ethnic and inter-religious peaceful co-existence in the country.

The alarm was raised Wednesday by the Elders’ Forum of the Muslim Ummah of South West Nigeria (MUSWEN), which pointedly exposed what it described as negative effort of the Christian Elders’ Forum to take Nigeria into an uncharted era of a new crusade with its obsession for jihad, deliberate use of propaganda and fear-mongering as tools for propagating their tribal ideas.

The Muslim Elders said further that part of NCEF negative crusade is to deliberately falsify historical facts and make wild and weird claims against Islam and Muslims in Nigeria.

In a statement titled, “Christian Elders’ Vituperations – Our Response”, issued on Wednesday and signed on its behalf by Executive Secretary/CEO of Muslim Ummah of South West Nigeria, Professor Dawud Noibi, copy of which was sent to The DEFENDER, the MUSWEN Elders’ Forum expressed concern that NCEF is already worsening the Muslim-Christian relationship in the country rather than serve as a purposeful platform for harmonious relations and nation building.

On June 22, 2018 at the National Christian Centre, Abuja, the NCEF held a press conference on what it called the “causes and solutions to conflicts in Nigeria”, addressed by its Chairman, Solomon Asemota (SAN), in which it reopened healed wounds and cleared issues like still insisting that Boko Haram as declared by self-style Abubakar Shekau was declaration of war against Christians and, in trying to convince its audience, sighted voices of Ayo Oritsejafor to back its claims without recourse to the fact that Oritsejafor himself as President of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) under the stated circumstance could not be qualified to be authority in the matter where he and his religious group had been openly exposed as compromising national security with many discoveries including the South Africa arms deal/N8.3 million money laundering scam the current administration the man they call “Islamist head of state” is yet to look into.

Apparently oblivious of the fact that Muslims remain the worst hit and largest number of victims of Boko Haram, prominent or ordinary, the National Christian Elders’ Forum (NCEF) – at a time now that the “misguided” sect which thrived under the reigns of Christians in the administration of Nigeria but now defeated by administration of a Muslim in government – is still selling the old incomprehensible theory it called killing of Christians by Boko Haram as “systematic ethnic and religious cleansing” and sighting Oritsejafor, TY Danjuma and Prof. Wole Soyinka as its references, adding by disrespectfully being impolite that “These are voices of eminent Nigerians, which an Islamist Head of State has ignored” and by this the Asemota-led NCEF referred to President Muhammadu Buhari.

It then went on to therefore justify the call to arms conflict among Nigerian people by itself as a body and its members particularly those that called themselves Retired Christian Generals like Theophilous Yakubu Danjuma and, those misconceptions of itself just at the same time the polity was being heated by the Samson Ayokunle-led Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) over unfounded imposition of Arabic and Islamic Studies on Christian students in actualizing Islamisation of the country and the rest of the allegations they sold to the Nigerian public through the Christian-influenced media.

Our findings continued, even much after all dusts raised by these Christian leaders were already settled, the NCEF now being more active as allegedly new mouthpiece of Nigerian Christian Community still lately makes effort to incite the Nigerian people and the international community against the Armed Forces of the country insisting that the military “cannot be trusted to protect Nigerians and therefore can be construed as support for the Islamist Boko Haram and Fulani Herdsmen.”

It is on the heels of vituperations of this nature that the Elders’ Forum of the Muslim Ummah of South West Nigeria (MUSWEN) is warning the National Christian Elders’ Forum against its obviously misplaced obsession for jihad, deliberate use of propaganda and fear-mongering as tools for propagating their tribal ideas and deliberate falsification of historical facts and making wild and weird claims against Islam and Muslims in Nigeria.

The MUSWEN Elders’ Forum particularly cited an instance where the Christian elders relied on some kind of obscure sources to put words in the mouth of late Sir Ahmadu Bello being a Muslim personality with intent to portray him, like it is currently doing against President Buhari, in the light of religious bigotry.

“It is strange that given the import of the statement which was allegedly made by Sardauna on October 1, 1960, the very day Nigeria gained her Independence from Britain, it was never attributed to any well-known and credible media source.

“More strangely, checks revealed that the statement never became an issue for public discourse until 2012 and there has been no evidence of the reactions of other nationalists like Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe and Chief Obafemi Awolowo” to the said statement.

“In the same vein”, the MUSWEN Elders’ Forum said, “much has been made of the unfortunate killings in Benue State. Much as we condemn the killings and those carried out in several other States, we are sad that this national disaster has falsely been portrayed as a religious war!

“However, some of the recent arrests made by security agencies have thrown up facts about the underlining causes of the crisis in Benue. It is now clear that contrary to widespread propaganda, the suspects were not Muslims.”

The MUSWEN Elders’ Forum statement read in full:

“The attention of the Elders’ Forum of the Muslim Ummah of South West Nigeria (MUSWEN) has been drawn to recent hate speeches and venomous attacks on Islam and Muslims by the National Christian Elders Forum (NCEF) which seems to have become the mouthpiece of the Christendom in Nigeria.

“We are worried that NCEF is already worsening the Muslim-Christian relationship in the country rather than serve as a purposeful platform for harmonious relations and nation building.

“There is no doubt about the fact that these Christian elders are taking Nigeria into an uncharted era of a new crusade with their infatuation for Jihad, deliberate use of propaganda and fear-mongering as tools for propagating their ideas, deliberate falsification of historical facts and making of wild and weird claims.

“For instance, in one of their recent statements, the Christian elders relied on an imaginary and obscure source (‘Parrot Newspaper’) to put words in the mouth of the Late Sir Ahmadu Bello. Their intention is obviously to portray the revered Sardauna of Sokoto in the bad light of religious bigotry. It is strange that given the import of the statement which was allegedly made by Sardauna on October 1, 1960, the very day Nigeria gained her Independence from Britain, it was never attributed to any well-known and credible media source. More strangely, checks revealed that the statement never became an issue for public discourse until 2012 and there has been no evidence of the reactions of other nationalists like Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe and Chief Obafemi Awolowo.

“In the same vein, much has been made of the unfortunate killings in Benue State. Much as we condemn the killings and those carried out in several other States, we are sad that this national disaster has falsely been portrayed as a religious war! However, some of the recent arrests made by security agencies have thrown up facts about the underlining causes of the crisis in Benue. It is now clear that contrary to widespread propaganda, the suspects were not Muslims.

“For the umpteenth time, a deliberate attempt is being made by some Christian leaders to openly create dichotomy among Nigerian people along ethnic and religious lines. We are worried about the possible effects of this dangerous politicisation of religion and ethnicity by the Christian elders in a plural society like Nigeria. As Muslims, we believe that our plurality as a nation is the product of Divine Wisdom and that nothing can change this.

“Similarly, while the Christian elders hide under the guise of religion to pursue their narrow ethnic and political agenda, Afenifere, a supposedly pan-Yoruba socio-political group, hides under the guise of ethnicity to pursue its Christian religious agenda!

“We have had cause in the past to advise Afenifere to stop parading itself as a pan-Yoruba group as long as it continues to be run as a closed organisation completely dominated and led by Christians. It is unfair that the group which never hides its detestation for Islam and Muslims would continue to give the false impression that it speaks for all Yoruba – Muslims, Christians and others – when it is a well-known fact that Muslims constitute the majority of the Yoruba people in Nigeria.

“Understandably, Nigeria has had several challenges as is common with countries with the size and ethno-religious diversity as Nigeria. In such settings, however, leaders at various segments of the society are to preach and demonstrate peace; they are not to spread falsehood or promote hatred as, disappointingly, the Christian elders have done. Indeed, there is no more appropriate time for leaders to be mindful of their utterances than this trying period in our nation’s history.

“While MUSWEN remains committed to peaceful co-existence among the diverse people of Nigeria and to the sanctity of the 1999 Constitution as amended, we hereby appeal to the peace-loving people of Nigeria, especially Muslims and Christians, not to succumb to fear-mongering, intimidation, falsehood and hate speeches. Rather, we should remain at peace with one another despite our religious and ethnic differences, and as law abiding citizens.”

There is love in sharing!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 
Top