Posted by News Express | 17 July 2015 | 4,587 times
Crisis has hit the Nigerian Inter-Religious Council (NIREC), with the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) accusing the Muslim chief representatives of running the agency like a private property.
CAN in a statement issued yesterday in Abuja also accused Secretary-General of Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs and ex-Vice Chancellor, University of Ilorin, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, of spewing barefaced lies against CAN.
The statement signed by CAN Director of National Issues, Sunday Oibe said that Oloyede, among other issues, he deceived Nigerians that:
1. Christians in Nigeria were unduly dragged into dirty waters of politics for their selfish reasons.
2. If not for the maturity of NSCIA, Muslims would have had a serious confrontation with their Christian counterparts over the last general election.
3. The 2014 National Conference was skewed to favour Christians over Muslims in the ratio of 70:30.
Continuing, the statement said: “We have decided to speak because perception can be made stronger than reality. We can no longer continue to keep quiet because we are in a society that is gullible and where people swallow lies hook, line and sinker. The continuous attempt by Oloyede to mislead the public should not be allowed to succeed this time around.
“He has been giving an impression that every Christian leader in Nigeria, except his two friends, were dragged into the 2015 partisan politics. But good enough, he contradicted himself by saying that Muslim leaders under NSCIA decided to gang up against ex-President Goodluck Jonathan.
“He had claimed he is not a religious leader and this is just the problem the Nigerian Inter-Religious Council (NIREC) has been facing. NIREC cannot function because it is a conglomeration of religious leaders from one group and mix-grill of politicians and traditionalists on the other hand. That is the reason for all the confusion in NIREC.
“The likes of Oloyede have carefully, for his personal interest, with the blessing of his mentor, the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar 111, refused the true composition of religious leaders, thereby making NIREC ineffective.
“How do we explain the exclusion of respected Sheikh Dahiru Bauchi and astute Islamic preachers like Sheikh El-Zaki Zaki, an amiable President of Supreme Council for Islamic Preachers in Nigeria, Sheikh Mohammed Ahmed Ibn Nurain, from an umbrella body of religious leaders like NIREC, whereas CAN comprises all Christians in the country?
“We want to appeal to Oloyede, having admitted that he is not a religious leader to honorably resign from as the National Coordinator of NIREC for the organisation to move forward. We Christians did not raise any objection to the position he has been occupying for close to 10 years.
“But now that it is the turn of Christians to produce the Executive Secretary of NIREC, Oloyede, with the active connivance of the Sultan of Sokoto, who is a co-chair of NIREC, has frustrated every move for NIREC to meet in the last two years. Yet, these same group of persons, turned around, polarized NIREC along ethnic and religious consideration, dishing out wrong impressions and lies why NIREC has not been meeting.
“We are also averse to the falsehood peddled by this merchant of lies that nothing serious should come out of the National Conference because to him, the decisions were taken based on errors of composition.
“According to him, the composition of delegates was anti-North and anti-Islam. But to the best of our knowledge Christians and Muslims had six delegates each. So how does the issue of religion and ethnicity arise? When did Oloyede, from Ogun State, become a Northerner to be their spokesperson?
“We are not ignorant of the plan of Oloyede and the Sultan of Sokoto not to allow the meeting of NIREC to hold, until the expiration of the tenure of Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor as CAN President. This is the reason for the last minute cancellation of the NIREC meeting scheduled for March this year in Abuja by the Sultan without consulting his co-chair, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor.
“Till today, the Sultan has offered no apology, no explanation and has shown no remorse. Yet, Oloyede and the Sultan have been dishing out lies at if it is Pastor Oritsejafor that doesn't want NIREC to meet. This kind of politics of deceit by politicians on religious garb is what has brought Nigeria to its knees.
“Our Muslims brothers from the North should be wary of characters like Oloyede who are interested in stoking fires of religious and ethnic acrimony. Perhaps, only time will tell his true mission.”
•Photo shows Pastor Oritsejafor.
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