MUSLIM Group Blasts Oyedepo, Other Pastor Over Inciting StatementsFeatured, Latest News Thursday, February 5th, 2015
By Ayo Balogun, Lagos – In order to forestall another bloody sectarian crisis in Nigeria, President Goodluck Jonathan has been called upon to prevail on some clerics – Pastor Bosun Emmanuel and Bishop David Oyedepo who are allegedly inciting and instigating their followers against people of another faith.
The two clergy men recently, were reportedly said to have uttered provocative statements with video clips such as “Muslims and Islam are a common enemy that needed to be defeated; That Muslims are killing Christians indiscriminately and destroying churches; APC is the Nigerian version of the Islamic Brotherhood; God has anointed me to lead a revolution against Islamic jihadists; Spill the blood of every Islamic jihadist; “If Nigeria waits for the church to rise; Nigeria will disappear as a nation; Lord; if it is Your will to break up Nigeria – break it now!” among others.
Director of a Non – Government Organization (NGO), Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), Professor Lakin Akintola made the revelations Tuesday at a press conference in Lagos.
Professor Akintola noted that the buck stopped at Mr. President’s table, stating that Nigerian Muslims demanded an explanation from President Jonathan their statements.
“The provocative statements have been recorded in audio and video clips and circulated wide. They have gone viral in social media. Mr. President, Sir, are you aware of the provocative statements made by these two Christian clerics? If so, what did you do about them? MURIC Director queried.
In this regard, he called on the attention of President Jonathan to the dangerous trend going under his very nose.
Speaking further, Professor Akintola, a senior lecturer at LASU exploded: “Nigerian Muslims are not aware that you did anything about them so far. This means we are not safe. Mr. President we are not safe under you. You have failed to assert your authority and prove that you are the chief security officer in this land. How can you allow Christian leaders to threaten Muslims and yet you cannot caution them? Some of the incriminating statements were uttered about three months ago. There is no statement from Aso Rock up till now. It has been business as usual. We reject this lackadaisical approach to administration”.
The MURIC head therefore in the face of safety of Muslims, called for immediate arrest of Pastor Emmanuel and Bishop Oyedepo.
He insisted that the two clerics must be arrested and cautioned as well as must sign an undertaking wherein they would pledge to refrain from any act capable of disrupting law and order, adding that anything short of this would mean that President Jonathan himself was the one pushing the war-mongering pastors to vilify and attack Muslims, hence, hold the President responsible for any religious commotion particularly in the South-West where it has never occurred before.
Professor Akintola appealed to the international community to take note of the ugly development in Nigeria where Christian clerics were metamorphosing into religious extremists and inciting their followers to pull out the necks of Muslims and spill their blood.
“We call attention to some countries in Asia and Central Africa where Muslims are hounded and killed by mobs. The attendant humanitarian crisis often affects the whole world but worse still, it fuels more acts of terrorism.
“MURIC charges other Christian leaders to speak out on this issue. The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) should break its silence on the issue. It is our considered opinion that Pastor Bosun Emmanuel and Bishop Oyedepo do not necessarily speak for the generality of Christians nationwide because we know that patriotic and true followers of Jesus are greater in number than the blood-thirsty war-mongers. We jog the conscience of the peaceful Christian majority and ask them to speak out now.
“We, the Nigerian Muslims, reiterate our condemnation of terrorism. We denounce attacks on Christians. We have repeatedly condemned Boko Haram and we have insisted that they are a misled group. Terrorists are not Muslims and Muslims are not terrorists”, said the human right activist.
Professor Akintola also held it was didactic to remember that Muslims and their leaders have also been victims of terrorist attacks, establishing that “should be good reason for Christians and Muslims to come together to fight the evil called terrorism”.
The Muslims he added loved their Christian neighbours and were prepared to co-exist peacefully together, in an atmosphere of mutual respect.
“This country is for all of us and nobody is going to leave for others. Even if we start a Christian-Muslim war today, no group can wipe out the other. It will be a prolonged war of attrition capable of causing prolonged suffering, hunger, disease and a humanitarian crisis of unprecedented proportion. It is therefore necessary for us to realize that our only hope of survival is by loving and sharing.
Professor Akintola called on all Christian organizations, including CAN and individual Christian dignitaries who were keen on keeping the country united and peaceful to respond to our statement, saying “It is an invitation to love”.
“We therefore appeal to all Nigerians to sink their differences and continue to tolerate and love one another regardless of religious and ethnic backgrounds. We appeal to Nigerians to ignore the attempt by these two pastors to bring religious sentiment into the 2015 electioneering campaign. All the political parties have Christians and Muslims as members. For instance, the chairman of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) is a Muslim (Alhaji Adamu Muazu) while that of the All Progressives Congress (APC) is a Christian (Chief John Oyegun).
“MURIC charges Nigerians to vote according to their consciences. Let us vote for integrity, credibility and performance. Let us shun religious bigotry and ethnic jingoism. Let us rescue Nigeria from the jaws of the two zealots: the Christian fanatics and the Muslim extremists” Professor restated.
Meanwhile, MURIC has joined well-meaning groups and patriotic individuals in raising the alarm about the absence of foreign observers.
The group Director in a statement Wednesday said attempts being made to scuttle the 2015 elections and allegations going round were fuelled by the Federal Government.
It accused that the deliberate delay of the arrival of international observers exposed FG’s hidden agenda, stating that the administration came across as one that never intended to allow a smooth and democratic transition through a free and fair election.
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