CAN Is Dragging Nigeria Back With Religious Sentiments” – MURIC
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has asked the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) to either endorse or disown ‘This is Nigeria’ video by Folarin Falana, aka Falz the Bahd Guy.
The Muslim body had announced that it will no longer approach the court to seek a ban on the video.
In a statement on Tuesday, its Director, Prof Ishaq Akintola, urged CAN to declare its position on the matter.
“We have no other option than to openly ask the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) if it is behind this move. Is CAN leadership aware of this segregational campaign? Did CAN initiate it or did it just endorse it? Should we also believe rumours of CAN’s surreptitious meetings with high ranking foreign diplomats in unholy hours of the day? Is CAN aware of the security implications of such meetings? Is CAN with Nigeria or against Nigeria? Et tu CAN? It had better not be.
“What kind of people are we that we continue to drag ourselves backwards while the rest of the world is going forward? Election campaign should be issue-based. Religion is not given any room in politics in other climes. Why should we be looking at the faith of a candidate and not his pedigree, his integrity and his antecedence?
“It is a pity that CAN still pushes primordial sentiment like religion to the front burner when advanced countries only consider credibility and ability to deliver. Why is it that CAN cannot tolerate Muslim leadership after Muslims have tolerated Christian leadership for so long?” He asked.
The Islamic human rights outfit also wondered why Muslims should not be allowed to rule for the same long period that Christians had been in office.
“It is on record that of the 16 wasted years of PDP rule, a Muslim (former President Umaru Yaradua) only ruled for two years and he died in office. Christians ruled for 14 years (ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo: 8 years and Goodluck Jonathan: 6 years). So why can’t you live and let live?
“Even as divisive and destructive as it is, the idea of Christians voting for Christians only still remains naïve and utopia. Who told CAN that it can install a Christian president with an all-Christian vote? It is a mirage. CAN is day-dreaming. What if Muslims also ask their fellow Muslims not to vote for any Christian candidate? What do you think will happen? But we will not descend so low. We will not ask Muslims not to vote for Christian candidates. Whoever is behind this video and the anti-Muslim campaign in general is promoting anarchy,” it added.
The organization argued that “Nigeria is a heterogeneous, multi-religious and multi-cultural project which belongs to nobody and it is bigger than any section. For any progress to be made, Muslims and Christians as well as all ethnic groups, it said, have to sink their differences.
“We all have to work together. Nigeria is a wrong candidate for ‘possessing your possession’ slogans.”
Akintola admitted that Nigeria was blessed with good Christian candidates and credible Muslim candidates.
He urged Nigerians to create an enabling environment for the emergence of such good candidates. Narrowing the search to any particular religion or ethnic group, he argued, is not only self-defeating but also counter-productive.
“In a nutshell, we reiterate our conviction that we do not believe in religious politics. We Muslims are prepared to peacefully coexist with our Christian neighbours in Nigeria. We urge Muslims to get their PVC and vote for both Christian and Muslim candidates of their choice. The only proviso is that such candidates must be reformers and game changers, not looters, kleptomaniacs and politicians in the daytime but armed robbers at night,” he said.