Posted by News Express | 6 July 2016 | 3,039 times
A group of Christians under the aegis of Patriotic Christian Youths of Nigeria has warned that the continued closeness of the President of Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria and the Archbishop of Jos, Ignatius Kaigama, President Muhammadu Buhari, has been sending a wrong signal about Christianity in Nigeria.
The organisation therefore advised that he should detach himself from the President in the interest of Christianity in the country.
The President of PCYN, Evang. Simon Timothy Nasso, conveyed tense demands in a letter to Kaigama, dated July 2 2016, and obtained by journalists on Wednesday in Abuja.
The group tabled three demands which Kaigama should do for the church and Nigerians who have so much hope, trust and confidence in him.
The items are stopping the highly suspicious planned Islamisation of Nigeria by the present administration “because the signs are all over and threatening”; ensuring that Nigeria were treated fairly and equally and respecting and supporting the Christian Association of Nigeria.
“Let’s hear our brothers in the North testify that change has truly brought freedom of religion and worship. It is only when we hear Nigerians testify about the change in their churches and mosques that we will not join you in praising the change,” the PCYN stressed.
Several calls and SMS to Kaigama for response to the demands were not replied, as at the time of this report.
The organisation regretted why Kaigama appeared to be withdrawing from the activities of CAN, “and getting so much attached to Buhari’s led government as the church representative against what use to be your independent ideology.”
According to the PCYN, Kaigama, allegedly stopped attending any meeting of the Christian Association of Nigeria, its functions or visited the CAN leadership long ago.
Nasso said while it was expected of him as a very senior and respected leader of the church to speak out rightly against the ills in the country, he seemed to be allegedly becoming “more of a praise singer of the administration as against what we know you to be.”
“One important thing you seem not to understand Sir is the fact that not all Christians are Catholic and we have only CAN to run to in times of pains, persecution, exploitation and denial of our rights, including fellow Catholic members at the states and Local Governments levels,” he emphasised.
He said: “We appreciate sincerely the roles you have played as an individual and a leader of the church towards ensuring that there is peace and stability in Nigeria. We understand that as, never before, you have proven to Nigerians through your comments, visitations, invitations and interviews that you played a major role in bringing into power the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“We are concerned whether you are truly in touch with the current conditions and challenge the church and in fact the entire Nigerian citizens are passing through. While most Nigerians are groaning over the pains being experience since the present administration took over, you have always sounded very comfortable on media and in most of your functions.
“We are also worried that while we expect you as a very senior and respected leader of the church to speak out rightly against the ills in the country, you seem to be becoming more of a praise singer of the administration as against what we know you to be.
“The government of the day has taken advantage of your very soft spot for her to give the impression of how comfortable the church is with her despite what is happening to the Christians in the country.”
The PCYN said while it has heard the CBCN President preach much on the government, the cleric has not spoken on the beheading of a Christian business woman in Kano; “merciless beating of a Christian carpenter by Islamic fundamentalist for eating during Ramadan in Kaduna”; wanton destruction of lives and properties of Christians in most parts of the country by Fulani herdsmen and the crisis brewing in Osun State over the compulsory usage of hijab in public schools.
Other areas in which Kaigama was expected to speak on include the massive destructions of lives and properties of Christians in Plateau, Benue, Taraba, Kaduna and Nasarawa states by Jihadists invaders; and mischievous move to have majorly Christian communities donate their farm lands for grazing reserve and ranching using government's finances as bait.
Nasso said: “We need not mention the fact that up till now, the churches burnt down in Northern Nigeria have not been built, the Christians cannot worship freely and Christian Religious Knowledge is not taught in most public schools in the North.
“We are not aware if the change has opened doors for Christians in the North to start having Certificates of Occupancy for their churches and land and the churches have been allowed to purchase properties.
“We are aware that at the moment some state governments are busy processing laws to close down churches and some have even closed the churches in the guise of noise making and improper building or wrong location.
“What have you (Kaigama) said about the lopsided appointments by the government to the exclusion of others and disregard to the need for respect to Federal Character as provides for in the Constitution of Nigeria?
“Has President Muhammadu Buhari's led government provided answers to any of the stated issues? Yet you preach him all over. We are more disturbed as Christian youths that while we expect you to provide support and leadership to the church of Nigeria at this critical period, you have decided to withdraw support and seem to be more pleased with the ongoing political game play of the nation where persecution and excuses are the order of the day.”
The PCYN also said it read, with pains, the letter Kaigama wrote to the CAN President as published by the media in which he gave a picture of a divided church and created a clear impression that without the Catholic bloc, CAN would not stand and “yet you threatened to withdraw such support.”
•Photo shows Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama.
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