May 30 (THEWILL) – The Taraba State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has expressed dismay at the recent video of Islamic clerics, threatening a religious war and the establishment of a government Islamic Sharia Law in Taraba.
This threat, according to the CAN, came after the recent APC gubernatorial primaries in the state, in which a Christian, Senator Emmanuel Bwacha, was announced as the party’s flag bearer.
In a statement signed by Taraba State CAN President, Reverend Isaiah Magaji Jirapye and made available to Jalingo journalists, CAN said it had become necessary to address the issue as it came from people supposed to preach peace and not provoke war or crisis.
“It has become necessary for us to respond to these negligent and irresponsible statements to keep the records straight and also draw the attention of security agencies to do the needful.
“CAN does not engage in partisan politics but has watched with dismay the threats against Christians in Taraba State and an attempt to stir up religious unrest by some Islamic clerics across Nigeria. One of these video clips of Sheikh Ibrahim Aliyu Kaduna and several others is noteworthy.
“CAN in Taraba State, and indeed well-meaning Nigerians, are very shocked that the purely political affairs and activities of the parties can be given a religious coloring and incite such hate speech capable of destabilizing the entire nation,” did he declare.
The statement criticized the statistics of the Christian-Muslim population of the state, pointing out that it was an outright attempt to incite hatred and violence in the state, especially that Taraba State has enjoyed long years of peace and religious tolerance.
“We would have liked to go back to the past but because it comes from outside, we consider it as ignorance. Taraba State since its inception has been ruled by a Christian, while Muslims have always enjoyed the Deputy Governor since 1999.
“One would have expected that the religious fanatics spreading these inciting videos would also condemn Niger and Kaduna states for abandoning the policy of making Christians deputy governors. Why double standards, if they really have Nigeria’s peace and unity at heart? Why the disinformation and the arrogant and repugnant reference to Christians with insulting words such as “masu bauta wa gunki” and “Arne”?
“CAN sees all these videos as calculated plots to burn down the state by outside forces who are not happy with the peace Taraba State enjoys.
“Taraba State has a long history of religious tolerance and peaceful coexistence between Christians and Muslims, even in politics. CAN cannot accept anyone, under any disguise, who seeks to threaten and provoke a crisis in the state, just as they have successfully done in other states which they have destroyed and ruined.
The Association has called on the government to arrest the clerics involved, especially Sheikh Ibrahim Aliyu Kaduna, and several others who have openly threatened to create a crisis in Taraba State.
According to CAN, anything less than this will be seen by Christians in Taraba State, and indeed Nigeria as a whole, as government endorsement of this subversive propaganda.
CAN stressed that it is uncharitable and unacceptable to threaten the peace of a state with violence under the misleading impression that some religious followers lack the ability to govern.
While calling on the people to refrain from using religion to win the presumed sympathy of the public, CAN also reiterated that henceforth it will hold the authors of these viral videos responsible for any harm caused to Christian candidates who run in various political parties.