Some freethinkers and traditionalists, under the auspices of Dean of Free-Thinkers and African Tradition Practitioners, have warned the United Kingdom’s Parliament over attempts to instigate Christians against minority religions in Nigeria.
The group, in a statement signed by Osunbor Osunbor and Adebayo Adeyemi, its President and Secretary-General respectively, on Monday, said allegations of genocide against Christians is false, capable of sparking an ethnoreligious crisis in the country.
A recent report by All-Party Parliamentary Group on ‘Freedom of Religion and Belief, Nigeria: Unfolding Genocide?’, had alleged religious colouration in Boko Haram, banditry and other violent attacks across the country.
However, the Dean of Free-Thinkers and African Tradition Practitioners said such unfounded claims is capable of inciting Christians against smaller groups.
“The implication of allowing such mischief to thrive is that not only would Nigeria be engulfed in a sectarian crisis of unimaginable proportion, it would also leave that critical segment of Nigerian adherents of other forms of religious beliefs and practices at the mercy of the Christian folks who might feel aggrieved and consequently carry out reprisal attacks on innocent people,” the statement said.
“We consequently wish to state that there is no iota of truth in the submission by some members of the UK Parliament and their cohorts in outlawed groups such as the IPOB whose base is in the UK. It is indeed the handiwork of unscrupulous elements within and outside the shores of Nigeria that are hell-bent on seeing to the disintegration of Nigeria.
” We wish to note that there is nowhere in the country where Christians are targeted and killed by any group or association as we all know that the activities of terrorist and militant groups have indeed affected all Nigerians regardless of their religious or ethnic affiliations.
” As members of minority religious groups, we are indeed concerned hence the need to call for caution at the risk of Nigerians mistaking the mischievous allegations for real. It consequently behoves on all Nigerians from different religious faiths to rise to the occasion and condemn this misinformation that is rapidly gaining grounds across the country.
” This is indeed a critical period in Nigeria with the activities of politically minded characters hiding under cover of religion and ethnicity to perpetrate evil against the country for no justifiable reason other than fulfilling the mandate of their foreign sponsors and paymasters that wish for Nigeria to erupt in flames”.
The Dean of Free-Thinkers and African Tradition Practitioners, however, called on Nigerians from the various religious faiths to rebuke this misinformation intended to puncture the unity of the country.
It also urged Nigerians to be vigilant and not fall prey to the antics of these destabilization agents that have been ferocious in instigating Nigerians against one another.
The statement added, “The Dean of Free-Thinkers and African Tradition practitioners also calls on the government to do all necessary towards countering this misinformation, making the rounds as a matter of urgency and national concern.
“We also charge the various security agencies to be on the alert by ensuring that those that are behind this dangerous activity are identified and made to face the full wrath of the law as Nigeria cannot afford to encounter any form of sectarian crisis in the critical point of our existence as a people and as a country.
“We are also calling on all religious leaders in the country to begin the process of disabusing the minds of their adherents to understand that no religious group is targeted for genocidal attacks in Nigeria, and also to encourage their followers to be law-abiding and not take laws into their hands”.