Muslim Rights Concern, MURIC, has accused the Christian Association of Nigeria (Northern Region) of seeking to prevent it from speaking out against the alleged forceful conversion to Christianity of nine Muslim children kidnapped in Kano.
MURIC stirred the ire of the apex Christian body in the 19 Northern states and Abuja when it claimed that kidnappers have taken over the house of God and that children were ‘Kidnapped for Christ’.
In its reaction, Northern CAN described the claim as ‘reckless, irresponsible, derogatory and provocative utterances.’
But the Islamic civic group, in a statement on Monday by its Executive Director, Ishaq Akintola, alleged CAN was acting defensively merely to protect the interests of Christians into dirty businesses.
The statement reads, “There is incontrovertible evidence that Muslim children have been kidnapped, converted to Christianity and sold into slavery. It is not the Kano 9 alone.
“Instead of joining hands with us to condemn the bad ones among us, Northern CAN is seeking to silence us.
“We advise Northern CAN to put its house in order and stop blaming MURIC and launch a campaign of love and harmony in the churches.
“There is an urgent need to deradicalise Christian elements particularly in the Middle Belt region where Muslims are being killed and dumped inside mysterious ponds and narrow wells. The same advocacy should be taken to South Eastern Nigeria from where syndicates sponsor sleeper cells from where Muslim children abducted from Northern Nigeria are converted to Christians and sold into slavery.
“Enough of denials and sentimentalities. Northern CAN should stop defending the indefensible. Its current body language is not remorseful.
“We warn that Northern CAN should not drag Nigerian Christians into a controversy that involves only those who are in the dirty business of kidnapping Muslim children for conversion to Christianity.
“We invite Northern CAN to put its house in order and join hands with the authorities in fishing out remaining sleeper cells for the kidnapping and conversion of Muslim children to Christianity. We can all coexist peacefully but we must first eschew parochialism and address issues objectively.”
Meanwhile, Vice Chairman of the umbrella Christian body in the North, Rev John Hayab, said the Church had clearly made its point that the children were not Kidnapped for Christ. Hence, would not want to join issues with the MURIC over the matter.
“I am not going to join issues with Prof. Akintola. We have established that the man who abducted the children in Kano was not a Christian cleric. He even gave them tribal names, not a Christian names. That’s the impress we are trying to correct. We have said it clearly that the children were not kidnapped for Christ as alleged by MURIC.”