CAN replies Information Minister on ‘Islamisation’ claim

Supo Ayokunle, CAN President
Supo Ayokunle, CAN President

The Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, has expressed disappointment with the remarks by Information Minister, Lai Mohammed, condemning religious leaders for spreading “incendiary messages” through the media.

In a statement on Tuesday, the CAN President, Samson Ayokunle, denied the claim by Mr. Mohammed that religious leaders spreading such messages were engaged in a “campaign of calumny” against the present administration.

Mr. Mohammed spoke at a town hall meeting in Ilorin, Kwara State on Monday.

“The alleged Islamisation of Nigeria under the current administration is totally false and should be perceived in its entirety as a campaign of calumny,” the minister had said.

“There is no bigger threat to the peace and unity of our country today than religion-coated incendiary messages, which are being carelessly sent out by some religious, political and opinion leaders.

“In recent times, the media has been increasingly awash with incendiary statements that seem designed to pitch the adherents of the two prominent religions in the country, Christians and Muslims, against one another. Such fallacies like the Islamisation of Nigeria, the killing of Christians by Muslims, the labelling of Nigeria as the most dangerous place for Christians in the world can only serve one purpose: trigger a religious war,” the minister said.

“Those who are making these allegations know that they are not true, but they have found in religion another tool to demonize the government of the day, divert attention from the government’s anti-corruption stance and create undue tension in the polity,” he added.

But reacting to Mr. Mohammed’s comments, Mr. Ayokunle said in an interview with PREMIUM TIMES that “never in the history of Nigeria had there been a leadership so biased as that of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC administration”.

“We have never had a government like this that is so religiously biased. If Nigeria is not moving towards Islamisation; why do we have to join the Islamic coalition against terrorism? Despite all that was said by Nigerians, this administration went ahead with that decision.

“The lopsided appointments; with almost all the security chiefs coming from one religion, as if members of the other religions cannot produce competent hands.

“When a preacher in the Federal Capital Territory was brutally murdered, what has become the outcome of that matter? The woman that was brutally murdered in Kano what has happened to that matter? Even the Attorney General of that state says the suspects have no case to answer. The killings in Agatu, Southern Kaduna, that all took place in Christian dominated communities; are we not privy to that?

“The handwriting is clearly there for all to see. They can try, but they cannot succeed,” said Mr. Ayokunle, who is also the President of the Nigerian Baptist Convention.

Continuing in the same vein in a statement on Tuesday by his spokesman, Adeboyo Oladeji, Mr. Ayokunle said CAN is made up of patriotic Nigerians who love the country too much to threaten its peace. He said the association only spoke out of sheer concern for what was “obvious”.

“We are disappointed but not surprised with the disparaging lies and abusive statements credited to the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, in Ilorin during the Town hall meeting where he was accusing religious leaders of making alleged provocative statements that can lead to religious war.

“We want to boldly declare that Nigerian Christians love their country and they not only promote peace and unity but also always pray for her and the leadership. In the last one year, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has declared fasting and prayers for Nigeria and her leadership twice. If we are thirsty for a war, we wouldn’t have gone that far.

“Is Lai Mohammed accusing of us of telling lies: That our members are being killed, maimed and burnt by the Boko Haram terrorists in the Northeast? That our members are being killed by the Fulani herdsmen in Plateau, Benue and now Southern Kaduna states? That those responsible for these killings profess Islam as their religion? That those who killed Madam Bridget Agbahime in Kano were Muslims who were arrested but later discharged and acquitted by the court as requested by the State Attorney- General and Commissioner of Justice? That those who killed Madam Eunice Elisha Olawale while doing the morning preaching in Kubwa, Abuja, were Muslim fundamentalists who were arrested but also freed by the Police?

“Is Lai Mohammed telling us that no Christian was killed by the Fulani herdsmen who invaded Southern Kaduna, killed and maimed our members and razed down their communities recently? Is Mohammed saying the Fulani herdsmen who have been killing our members are not armed with sophisticated weapons and is it wrong for us to ask where they get the AK-47 and other weapons they are using?

“When all those killings were going on in Plateau, Benue and Southern Kaduna, was there any time Lai Mohammed or anyone in the Federal Government raised up a voice against the atrocities?, Mr. Ayokunle queried.

He described the Fulani herdsmen who attacked the various communities as “murderers”, and queried the failure of government to curtail the matter, before the killings occurred.

“If those murderous Fulani herdsmen are faceless, how come the Sultan of Sokoto is claiming that they are not Nigerians and in another instance, the Kaduna State governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai said they had been paid for the “wrong done to them’’? Why is it that whenever these murderers are perpetrating their atrocities, the security agencies look elsewhere until their victims decided to fight back? Is it because the security agencies are Muslim dominated? CAN says No to disparaging remarks in the name of politics. Enough of these lies by Lai Mohammed,” concluded the statement.


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  • Terry

    God bless you mr CAN president

  • Mama Kay

    CAN are part of the rot in Nigeria. They have lost out in the anti corruption war going on and would attack the government for this.

    Only in Nigeria do you have people who believe that religion can be imposed on people. In fact of what benefit has religion been to Nigerians? Has it provided food, work or morality?

    These politicians in cassock should go and sit down and let Nigeria move forward.

    • Tunde

      So we should forget the Christians that have been killed because These men in cassock are political?

      • Mama Kay

        You believe only Christians were killed? Please apart from maybe the SE, because I have never been there, and I don’t say what I’m not sure of, tell me which part of the country is not religiously mixed?

        Why must crime be always given a tribal or religious connotation? Crime is crime, simple.

      • Powerlessconscious

        So only xtians were killed? Why can’t CAN change their name into activist rather than using umbrella of Christ to behave like an ANTI-CHRIST.

      • gtjimoh

        What you should rather asked truthfully is whether those the man claimed are being killed are not from other religions too. Boko haram kills whoever, Muslim and Christians. The Fulani headmen have Christians among them, the killers are criminals and should be addressed as such. Again why is nobody mentioning why these fulanis are killing people? In communities like the agatu in Benue state, the people were rustling the fulanis’ cattle. They may have gone too far in doing it, but I believe everyman has a right to protect his lawful properties. The solution is the justice system in Nigeria, it should be strengthened such that when crime is committed anywhere in the country, the criminals are quickly brought to justice. This way we will not need some politicians in cassock to tell us to start killing one another.

    • Say the truth

      You are known for irresponsible statements and you need to shut your stinking mouth.

      • Mama Kay

        Change your moniker to liar because that is what you are. The truth is bitter but it’s the truth. Anyone who doesn’t believe in your bigotry makes irresponsible statements as far as you are concerned. My last word to you.

  • Tunde

    Mr Information minister! I suggest you keep quiet if you will not address the issue of Christians killed and have not received any justice! You are the one that will cause a religious war because of the in action of you and the security forces! And I have Muslims in my family! For the first time in my life I am considering owning a licensed weapon as a Christian in order to protect my family! What kind of people are you!

  • Powerlessconscious

    If the statement is truely credited to Samson ayokunle then the Christians have no hope of spiritual leaders again. It is better every xtian face their personal relationship with God. As the most xtians leaders have now adopted ADOPTED ANTI-CHRIST style of leadership. I don’t care if the CAN president rot in hell. He is the PRODUCT of his DECISIONS. but one thing is that I will NOT FOLLOW you to hell. The same CAN who does not have any CHARITY organisation to help the helpless but rather encourages churches to build high tuition fess university. The religion in the UK have lot of responsibilities on the poor society but in Nigeria, religion is like a remote to control the GULLIBLES. Whether into ocean or into hell.

    • Say the truth

      You are a hypocrite playing to the gallery. It is time you throw your political correctness into the dustbin where it belongs. You are not only insincere you are also a coward who would rather stand by and watch as marauders and merchant of death make more orphans, widowers and widows all around our nation in the name of religion. If people don’t feel safe in their own country you want them to keep silent?

      • Powerlessconscious

        What do you mean?.The same song fanikayode, fayose and his pdp has been singing during campaign before election is what CAN is also singing. On what moral ground is CAN fighting for xtians? Are they now activist? Is that the preaching of Christ? What has been the POSITIVE IMPACT of CAN on xtians for many years? Sorry these question might be too much for you. CAN is just an organisation of political pastor who have enjoy with the pdp looting govt for years while the xtians like you were looking for miracles to survive. CAN should simply shutup and stop causing divisions in the country. This must be satirical on their path.

      • Powerlessconscious

        What do you mean?.The same song fanikayode, fayose and his pdp has been singing during campaign before election is what CAN is also singing. On what moral ground is CAN fighting for xtians? Are they now activist? Is that the preaching of Christ? What has been the POSITIVE IMPACT of CAN on xtians for many years? Sorry these question might be too much for you. CAN is just an organisation of political pastor who have enjoy with the pdp looting govt for years while the xtians like you were looking for miracles to survive. CAN should simply shutup and stop causing divisions in the country. This must be satirical on their path and those gullibles who believe in CAN.

        • AryLoyds

          You are an animal, what does Uk have to do with the killings in Nigeria. Forget about the messenger , did the killings happen or not .

          • Powerlessconscious

            Who is this MAD DOG? were only xtians killed? Answer the question.

          • Authority

            You are the MAD DOG MR MAN….seems you lost your brain with rubbish you are typing here.

          • Powerlessconscious

            This is satirical on your path.

          • Senator D

            You are so vile and depraved in your speech…

          • Powerlessconscious

            Yes. You are right. I will not do that again.

          • Senator D

            Am humbled. Keep it up!

  • Say the truth

    CAN has done well by responding to insinuations by this charlatan. Very good and strong answers to a Liar.

  • AryLoyds

    Initially the Fulani leaders said the killings never happened, now they say the killers are foreigners, yet you pay the foreigners. The people called for self defence against foreigners you say no to that. So they should allow themselves to be extaminated?

  • Watch man

    I have said it severally, lies are the unfortunate part and parcel of tools of governance in the world. Lai lies a lot and that was how he was able to deliver victory to APC. How then can he stop lying? The problem is primarily with the people he and his janjaweed govt are lying to. The masses are terribly complicit because they swallow hook, line and sinker every bit of falsehood dished out to them without verification. Until the people of Nigeria begin to hold Lai that lies and his govt accountable they will be on the receiving end for long.
    Anybody that does not know that there is a calculated wicked agenda to islamize Nigeria must be pitied. Mr Sultan and the blood tasty vampires that work with him (his northern governors inclusive) have said worse things that should be enough to shut down Nigeria. Who has closed the bondage radio in Kaduna known as “Liberty Radio”? With all the hate speeches, acrimonious and seditious language that come from this station NBC has not shut it down. Bishop Oyedepo said Nigeria should divide if God’s wish. I totally agree with him. For now, Suleman’s directive to his congregation should be adopted by Nigerian Christians. No fulani janjaweed should be allowed to murder any christian without equivalent response. Nigeria is not the property of the North. Nonsense!

    • Baka

      Useless man. Wailing shall be your portion till dead.

      • Watch man

        Back to sender! You are not only useless but already a dead antiquated f00lish saiyr whose value is no longer in history book! F0ol!

      • jon

        What proof do you have that minister lied

  • goddy

    Fake men of God, you people did not find anything wrong when Jonathan went to Islamic bank to borrow money, something a Muslim president either civilian or military never did, hypocrites.

    • Baka

      Don’t mind the petty idiots. Let CAN tell us whether the bombing of mosques in Borno and other northern states by those who claimed to me Muslims is also part of the Islamization programme.

      It’s sad that those who ought to know like CAN are pretending. Southern Kaduna crisis did not start under Buhari, and the killings of many farmers by so called herdmen is also happening in Zamfara and other states dominated Muslims.

  • linkhadj.

    CAN President says ” Enough of this lies by Lai Mohammed “. Is CAN saying indirectly that lying is the middle name of Lai Mohammed?

  • hello

    it Obvious CAN sound more like a political party than a religious group.

  • Charles

    the comments I’m reading here indicates, there is religious war already.

  • John

    “They can try, but they will never succeed” amen. Upon every power of darkness and evil kingdom troubling Christians in Nigeria, Holy Ghost Fire!!! consume them.

  • John

    He was only appeasing those that placed him there, betraying his identity as a Christian. God help us more.