From Left: Ona of Abaji and Chairman, Council of Traditional Rulers in FTC, Alhaji Adamu Yunusa; Legal Adviser, Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Alhaji Murtala Aminu, and Director of Administration, NSCIA, Ustaz Amin Igwegbe, at a news conference on fasting and national issues in Abuja on Thursday (19/7/12). NAN Photo
The Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, NSCIA, has accused the scribe of Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Musa Asake, of heating up the polity with “venom, hatred, calumny and unimaginable malice that smacks of intolerance and political brigandage.”
The foremost Islamic body in Nigeria led by the Sultan of Sokoto, Abubakar Sa’ad, made the accusation, yesterday, while reacting to a statement, last week, in which Asake condemned the remarks of the Sultan over the attacks by suspected Fulani herdsmen in parts of the country.
In the statement, Asake had accused Mr. Sa’ad and prominent Muslims in Nigeria of sponsoring the herdsmen and encouraging their attacks.
Reacting to Asake’s accusation through a statement signed by Salisu Shehu, a professor, the NSCIA described the CAN leader as a “beneficiary of the old order of institutionalised corruption” in the immediate past leadership of CAN, saying he “is still there making hate speeches, heating the polity and diminishing himself and his association.”
According to the NSCIA, it “would ordinarily refrain from joining issues with CAN, but the silence of the council seems to give the impression that only CAN has the license and reason to complain and impugn motives.
“Like other right-thinking Nigerians who hoped that the ignoble past of this erstwhile respectable Association would be confined to history especially with the change of leadership, it is disappointing that Rev. Asake, a beneficiary of the old order of institutionalised corruption, is still there making hate speeches, heating the polity and diminishing himself and his Association.
“Little wonder that the new President of CAN publicly cut him to size when he said Rev. Asake’s formal endorsement of Governor Ayo Fayose’s alleged Presidential ambition was personal as ‘there was no time CAN or the president of CAN authorized such a letter.’
“It is now clear that Rev. Asake’s political leaning is not personal, as claimed, but a smoke-screen to deceive the public.
“Rev. Musa Asake’s CAN derisively and uncouthly referred to President Muhammadu Buhari as ‘a bad product’. He made further outlandish statements characteristic of egocentric, relevance-seeking and loquacious politicians associated with discredited political parties and called out “the President of Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs” (sic) in his attempt to react to two Nigerians he disagreed with.”
Was President Jonathan declared a bad product at any time by CAN despite the earth-shaking atrocities of his government?
‘’It is no longer an open secret that CAN has since its last Administration descended to the abyss of infamy. The role the leadership of CAN played during the dark days of the past corruption-riddled Administration is well recorded.
“CAN did not call for heaven to fall when private planes were being used to support money-laundering and failed gun-running enterprise which involved its leadership.
“The tactical support that CAN gave to churches and Christian organizations that resisted the implementation of the Code of Corporate Governance issued by the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (a body established by law), which led to the removal of the Executive Secretary of FRC simply because the Code would require the Churches/Mosques to declare their sources of income and also render financial accounts to the public, is still fresh in our minds.
“The victim, a Christian, had to be sacrificed to satisfy the insatiable material appetite of the clergy.
CAN and Campaigns of Calumny
“The unfortunate escalation of the herdsmen-farmers conflict has been exploited by the cantankerous CAN scribe to cast aspersion and spew venom, hatred, calumny and invectives at Muslims in Nigeria.
“Reading some of the effusions coming from people like Rev. Asake, who should be a custodian of good conscience and beliefs in this country, one wonders the type of models they would be for their followers.
“After hobnobbing with the powers that be during the last Administration, taking their right and every other thing left in the vast corruption enterprise that they criminally ran with their partners in crime, the strategy now is to cry wolf where there is none, make a storm in a teacup and shout of maginalisation and Islamization, even though they are the ones still in charge, in order to totally emasculate Muslims in their own country.
“Ours is a shamelessly Christian country and we know it even when we say it is a multi-religious one. The Christian irredentists since seizing our people by the jugular have not relented a bit.
“In other words, Christianity had been imposed on Nigerians since the British bombardment of Lagos in 1851 and systematically institutionalized through Western education since then.
“Both education and the media are used to nurture an unfair and unjust system against Muslims and till date, the symbol of our National Hospital is the cross, that of the Ambulance is the cross and both Saturdays and Sundays are made work-free to satisfy the sects of Christianity.
“Muslims are being slaughtered in Southern communities with impunity as the media look the other way and they are being banished from Northern communities, including Tafawa Balewa, where the Muslim call to prayer has been banned and all mosques demolished, while everything is made to appear “normal”.
“It is only Christians that are being denied places of religious worship, being marginalized and “Islamized” in Nigeria – sheer deceit!
“Since it is clear to right-thinking Nigerians across religious divides that some of those who claim to be CAN leaders are desperate politicians in religious garbs, no one actually takes them seriously and that is why the Council does not usually dignify their puerile interventions and diatribes with reactions.
“It is an unfortunate truism that the religious platform of CAN is being converted to that of opportunism, propaganda, lies, mischief, hatred, sycophancy, intolerance and everything that is wrong with Nigeria.
“While CAN leadership ran the past Administration out of relevance through connivance with its key players in humongous corruption and undiluted bigotry, the current agenda is to literally pull President Muhammadu Buhari down by stoking ethnic and religious sentiments against him and thereby tickle our nation’s catastrophe and erect pyramids of ethno-religious strife in the country.
“The propagandist tactics of CAN are often done without tact or knowledge. Always impulsive and less reflective, CAN has often flayed President Buhari for furthering the phantom “Islamization” agenda with the appointment of any one whose name sounds Arabic or Islamic as Muslims.
“This informed why a Christian Prof. Salami was listed among the Muslim appointees of the Government by the ill-informed and mischievous characters who parade themselves as religious leaders.
“Those who see Nigerians only from nominal, ethnic or religious perspectives suffer from chronic myopia. As a matter of fact, to say all Fulanis are Muslims is as foolish as saying all Igbos are Christians and that all Hausas are Muslims. That exactly is one of the claims of Rev Musa Asake; a man bearing Musa but who would question why a Muslim staff member of the NSCIA should bear Christian Okonkwo.
Herdsmen-Farmers’ Violent Clashes
“The state of insecurity presently being experienced in some parts of the nation is owed to fundamental factors than the simplistic delimitation of the crisis to the desire of the Fulani herdsmen to re-launch the “Caliphate’ afresh.
“While the NSCIA deprecates and denounces all acts of violence no matter the motive or cause, the Council considers it an infantile indulgence in crass ignorance, a manifestation of noxious prejudice or a predilection for roguish subterfuge to insinuate that the herdsmen who are suspected of brigandage or criminal behaviour are doing that in the name of Islam.
“The NSCIA says this because it recognizes that churches are already ‘planted’ in various parts of the North even in the homeland of the Caliphate where the Fulanis have become sheep in the house of God.
“Furthermore, NSCIA knows that the current challenges posed by the herdsmen/farmers conflicts to our security speak to a greater cankerworm assailing the nation.
“These include erosion of mutual trust and love among the citizenry, easy access to weapons of violence, failure of the herdsmen to appreciate and get attuned to the new challenges and circumstances posed by modernity, loss of national values and the quest for quick money which has made kidnapping a new industry since the reign of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
“Thus to argue that President Buhari has been treating the security challenges posed by the Fulani herdsmen attacks with kid gloves because he is Fulani is not only arcane and puerile but also tantamount to saying that the reason President Jonathan did not succeed to permanently stop the militants’ attacks in the Niger Delta was because he is an Ijaw. Where was CAN then?
“Would those accusing President Buhari of patronizing the herdsmen be favourably disposed to granting amnesty to the herdsmen in line with the one granted the Niger Delta militants simply because, in line with their argument, President Buhari is Fulani the same way President Jonathan is Ijaw?
“This type of reasoning and argument constitutes a trivialization of an extremely importantissue of national interest and an outright display of fecklessness; they are sound arguments only to those who can take a bath in a saucer.