•Says they are polluting political, religious space
..voices concern over ‘cabal’ around Buhari
By Soni Daniel, Abuja
Outspoken politician and physician, Dr. Junaid Mohammed, has attacked former President Olusegun Obasanjo, erstwhile Defence Minister, Lt. Gen. Theophilus Danjuma, and a host of others for claiming that President Muhammadu Buhari was promoting an Islamisation and Fulanisation agenda.
Danjuma and a handful of notable retired officers, under the aegis of Nigerian Christian Elders’ Forum (NCEF), had, last week, raised the alarm that the Buhari administration was backing jihadists instead of ruthlessly fighting them.
Claiming they were miffed by the indifference displayed by the current administration towards the evil agenda, the retired officers reported the alleged refusal of the administration to confront islamisation to the United Kingdom’s All Party Parliamentary Group for International Freedom of Religion or Belief.
Before then, Obasanjo has taken the Buhari administration up on the purported Fulanisation/Islamisation agenda at a church programme in Delta State.
Junaid, who was a member of President Goodluck Jonathan’s National Constitutional Conference, slammed the former military officers over what he described as trying to assume the role of speaking for Nigerians when they had not been so authorized by the people.
The politician, from Kano and who has remained very vocal in the political circles, asked Obasanjo, Danjuma and the others to stop polluting the Nigerian political and religious space with venom that has the potential to destroy the country rather than unite the people.
He said, “First and foremost, I have absolute contempt for what Obasanjo and his friends have said about Nigeria. What they have said will threaten the unity of this country and it is painful that they are not really speaking for the generality of Nigerians but merely seeking self-interest.
“These are statements from some elements who attempted to dismember Nigerian and failed and are now arrogating to themselves the task of speaking for Nigerians when they have not so been appointed by the people.
“What is most painful is that they connived and imposed Buhari on the rest of the people and, having failed woefully to control him and his government, they are now trying to voice their failure on the rest of the country as if they are messiahs.
“Let it be made known to these retired army officers that, in the event of war breaking out on account of their incendiary language, they are not likely to belong to the winning side because Nigerians are now more matured and are not ready to be taking instructions of sermons from soldiers who have no self respect.
“I have no business with Buhari or his administration but we cannot listen to a group of people who are selfishly working to be heard by Nigerians principally for their selfish interests. Nigerians are not ready and willing to allow them to dictate what is good and bad to them anymore.
“They should realize by now that Nigerians do not owe them anything and are not willing to be led or counseled by soldiers anymore.
“These former soldiers actively take undue advantage of Buhari’s inaccurate perception of leadership and the cabal he surrounds himself with to attempt to confuse Nigerians as if they are the voice and conscience of the Nigerian people while seeking to actualize selfish goals.
“If they have forgotten, the former generals should be reminded that they went to war as a choice and had been generously rewarded for services rendered and that Nigerians neither owe them anything nor require selfish counseling on national issues.”
Christian Elders Forum Replies Muslim Groups: Their claim divisive
In a related development, NCEF, yesterday, replied attacks by several Muslim groups against the body, arguing that their claim is divisive, rather than contribute to its efforts to find a peaceful solution to current national crisis.
In a rejoinder, in response to a publication in Vanguard Newspapers of June 7, 2019, titled: “Insecurity, alleged Islamization: Petition by Christian elders, prank to score cheap political points – by Muslim Groups’, and signed by the Forum’s Secretary, Pastor Bosun Emmanuel, NCEF described as unfortunate that Muslim groups would make such claims of “prank to score cheap political points” against Christian Elders as no member of NCEF is either a politician or has anything to gain from political patronage.
“The claim is divisive, which rather than contribute to the efforts of the Christian Elders to find a peaceful and lasting solution to current national crisis, and ensure Nigeria can benefit from the gains of democracy, like other advanced democratic countries around the world, is trying to cause disaffection amongst the people”, the rejoinder said.
“It should be repeated here for emphasis that the root or main cause of the crisis in Nigeria, as stated by the NCEF, has nothing to do with Christianity or Islam, neither is it about North against the South, East against West, nor is it Farmers and Herders clash as some call it, and neither is it a clash of personalities or political parties. All these are symptoms.
“The Nigerian crisis is caused by the dual conflicting ideology of Sharia against Democracy as practiced in Nigeria, and is now enshrined in the 1999 Constitution and here it is being downplayed and simply called Islam against Christianity by these Muslim groups; no, it is not.
“This is nothing short of mischief which can actually create tension in the polity that can incite the public.
“The position of NCEF on this dual ideological conflict is not new and it is not different from the EU Report (Sharia, the Cairo Declaration and the European Convention on Human Rights http://assembly.coe.int/nw/xml/XRef/Xref-DocDetails-EN.asp?FileID=25353&lang=EN ) that states categorically that Sharia and the Human Rights which is enshrined in Democracy are not compatible.
“Yet, some people think it can work in Nigeria and we can see the attendant consequences over the last 59 years of becoming an independent sovereign nation”.