Religious Persecution: We won’t stop complaining, CAN tells Buhari

By Luminous Jannamike, ABUJA

The Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, has asked Nigerians to hold Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq responsible for the violence and bloodletting in Kwara State over his administration’s Hijab policy.

The umbrella Christian body said this while reacting to the alleged vandalisation of churches and mission schools by hoodlums who were reportedly enforcing the policy in the State.

In a statement on Wednesday, CAN’s General Secretary, Barr. Joseph Daramola called on the Federal Government and the Inspector General of Police to intervene in the ongoing violence.

Blaming the governor for the Hijab crisis, Daramola explained that it was his pronouncement on the Hijab controversy, reportedly made in violation of a court directive for the status quo to be maintained until the matter was resolved by the judiciary, that led to the trouble.

He said, “The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) today calls on the Federal Government and the Inspector General of Police to intervene in the ongoing violence over the hijab policy that has led to violence and bloodletting in Kwara State.

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“We learnt that the State government has ordered the reopening of the closed schools without resolving the crisis and consequently, churches and mission schools are being vandalised with impunity by the hoodlums banking on the state government’s support in the pretext of enforcing the policy. Some innocent Christians are being violently abused and attacked under the watch of the Governor who is playing ostrich.

‘The Governor of Kwara State, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, should be held responsible if the matter degenerates because it was his pronouncement on the issue of hijab-wearing in violation of the court directive on the matter to maintain status quo until the matter is finally resolved by the court that led to this trouble.

“Wisdom is required by those in leadership to handle sensitive issues such as that of religion so as not to precipitate war. If any damage is done to any church or anyone is injured on this matter, the Governor of Kwara State will be held responsible.

“It is disheartening and unfortunate that a government that was installed democratically will become insensitive to the plight and the yearning of the people as if the governor was voted into the office primarily to protect his own religion. This is unfair, ungodly and reprehensible.

“There are public schools and schools that belong to some Islamic organisations where those who wanted to be wearing hijab can be attending without causing the ongoing needless crises rocking the state.

“CAN once again call on Governor AbdulRazaq to give peace a chance in the State by ordering his hoodlums to stop attacking mission schools and churches in Kwara State before the situation degenerates into an unprecedented religious crisis.

“We also call on the Federal Government and the Inspector General of Police to ask the Kwara State government to respect the rule of law in order to avoid a chaotic situation.”

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