CAN replies Osinbajo, insists there’s plot to ‘Islamise’ Nigeria

Yemi-Osinbajo (1)
Nigeria Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo

The Christian Association of Nigeria has responded to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo’s explanation of the federal government’s adoption of Sukuk bonds.

Speaking during a pastors’ conference in Lagos on Friday, Mr. Osinbajo said CAN was wrong in its conclusion that the federal government’s adoption of the Sukuk bond was a ploy to Islamise Nigeria.

Mr. Osinbajo criticised CAN for what he described as the association’s constant alarm about Islamisation, which he said was comparable to a fruitless search for invisible demons.

“Part of the problem is the failure of Christian leadership to take its rightful place. We focus our minds on something we call the Islamic agenda. We look for it everywhere as if we are looking for demons,” he said.

“The Sukuk is an Islamic concept, which enables people to have access to credit. It is essentially like a bond. The US, UK, China, South Africa have all used the Sukuk. Once there is money in the market, let us not get sentimental. The most important thing is for us to use those monies well,” Mr. Osinbajo was quoted by the Punch as saying.

But CAN urged the vice president to stop discrediting the association.

A statement signed by CAN’s head of media and communications, Adebayo Oladeji, quoted the CAN president, Samson Ayokunle, as saying that Mr. Osinbajo was oblivious of what CAN called illegal actions of successive governments in a bid to actualise the Islamic agenda.

“The Organisation of Islamic Countries met in London in 1983 with a follow up meeting in Nigeria in 1989 and had issued a communiqué to Islamize Africa with Nigeria capturing a great attention. This is a public knowledge while facts could be obtained from Wikipedia with links on OIC’s Conference in London, 1983 and Abuja Declaration of 1989,” CAN said.

“It is also a matter of fact that Nigeria was later made an observer member of the body (OIC) through General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida. Under General Sani Abacha, another Muslim leader, Nigeria was made full member in total violation of the constitution that the nation is secular and our government should not be religiously partisan.

“From then on, conscious efforts were on to draw Nigeria into joining different Islamic organizations in keeping with the resolutions of OIC & Islam in Africa Organization (IAO),” the statement said.

The statement said CAN was not opposed to peaceful efforts aimed at preaching the Islamic gospel, but said it would not accept the adoption of Islamic resolutions aimed at compelling the country towards Islam.

“We are not opposed to Islamic evangelism by any Muslim group if done with a peaceful motive. The Christians also exercise their constitutional rights to do so through revivals and gospel rallies. But we are opposed to the government of Nigeria adopting Islamic resolutions aimed towards a compelling of this country, contrary to the dictates of the constitution,” it said.

“Our worry as a body is that Nigeria started getting active in international Islamic alliances and organizations in total violation of the constitution. But the Vice President seems not conscious of this and the motive behind adoption of the Sukkuk Bond. Then we ask, Is Sukkuk constitutional? Is Sukkuk not part of the resolutions of OIC & IAO Is it not part of Nigeria’s adoption of Islamic sharia and financial system that it is mandatory for all governments in Africa subscribing to Islam?

“We also ask why the present government joined Islamic Military Alliance against terrorism. Are we an Islamic nation to so do? Can’t Nigeria fight terrorism without joining Islamic coalition? Why would the government continue to consciously heat up the polity,” the statement said.

A lawyer, Jiti Ogunye, shed more light on the Sukuk bond and what he believes CAN should be saying regarding the bond.

“Quite frankly one cannot see the woods from the trees as far as CAN’s arguments are concerned. Sufficient explanations have been made by the vice president regarding the Sukuk bond. And although because of our painful experiences with government’s pronouncements in the past we must take what government says with a pinch of the salt,” he said.

“On this one the explanation is very plain and understandable. That explanation is that the bank that Nigeria took the loan from is one which Nigeria is part of. Invariably, we are not talking about a bank that Nigeria is not a part of. Interesting CAN is not even saying that Nigeria should not be a part of the bank, but that we should not take the Sukuk bond. That argument is faulty.

“It’s been explained that Nigeria joined this Islamic bank since 2005 or thereabout; why has CAN not gone to court to get an order of court to say that this is a violation of our secularity status: to obtain an order of prohibition against government since that time? Why is that they are just talking now with the emergence of the Sukuk bond?

“My take is that that bond has nothing to do with the Islamisation of Nigeria. You do not Islamise a country by the injection of foreign funds for development in that country. We have not been told that these funds are meant to build more Mosques or ensure that more people go to Hajj for example; so in terms of intent and purpose of the bonds and the money, there is nothing that offends our secularity status in that,” Mr. Ogunye said.

The lawyer warns that CAN might lose its credibility, if it persists in taking “unpopular” position.

“CAN has not been able to point to a position in any of our laws that forbids what the government has done to the Sukuk bond.

“I think that an organisation as important as CAN owes itself and Nigeria a responsibility to backtrack when its advocacy appears wrong-headed and misleading. You can make an advocacy, advice or make a suggestion. But in the course of an enshrined debate, when you come to a realisation that your position is untenable, you don’t remain obdurate adamant or obstinate about it. Rather you beat a strategic retreat.

“Why that is important is that if you don’t, when next you are making a point people will laugh you to scorn and say that you are talking nonsense. And your voice is necessary in the polity. We all need CAN, so CAN has a responsibility not to undermine itself and the best way to do that is to continue to be obstinate about a point that is not valid.”


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  • Voice of the oppressed

    Words of wisdom for CAN to think and play a role in building the nation rather than seeking to disunite the nation through negative religious utterances.

    • Kallah Bature

      Very true.CAN is still living in the dark ages of divisiveness while the rest of the world is moving forward economically.In an era where Saudi Arabia,Israel and the USA are harnessing their economic interest and coming together to establish a common front CAN is unfortunately toying with the future of our children for political reasons.I still remember OBJ’s response to CAN’s continuous meddling in the affairs of the nation during his reign.I urge all Nigerians to shun divisiveness and contribute in building a virile nation.Enough is enough.

      • share Idea

        Hope you will repeat this your advise when next time MURIC raises any concern in the future. The salient issue which this administration have refused to answer is that in the case of USA, UK being cited as countries using SUKU, their government were not the entity that enter agreement with Islamic bank rather corporate organisations in those countries unlike Nigeria where the FG borrowed the money on behalf of the country.

        There are some banks offering Islamic banking services in the country and CAN is not complaining about that. Some of you ask the question why has CAN not raised this issue since when the country joined the Islamic banking – sometimes, the effect of bacteria or Virus does not manifest immediately when humans contact them. However, humans should not remain silent when the bacteria starts causing some disquiet in their body.

        Islamaphobia have been more pronounced in Nigeria under the current administration than any time in recent memory, and the administration kept displaying tendencies that tends to validate some of the people’s fear.

        For me, I never entertained any fear that any government or individual can succeed in implementing any Religion against all the sections of the country even though I can not rule out people’s intention in doing so.

        • Oskirin

          pls go back and do ur research very well on dos countries u sited.

          • share Idea

            As my handle suggest, pls can you educate us on how it works in those countries based on your understanding or better still share a link that can contradict my earlier point of view. Nigeria we hail thee

    • Chukwuka Okoroafor

      But you cannot deny they are right on this matter. CAN has its problems, but we cannot afford to ignore what is happening right in front of us.

  • mahmud mohammed

    CAN isa branch of PDP,how comes on earth since 1983 and 89 nigeria joined OIC but yet NIGERIA is not called islamic republic of NIGERIA ?and if you are talking of militry hard wears,we patronised a britain,AMERICA,PAKISTAN,JORDAN,ETC, and all other eoupean countries have alliance with pakistan and jordan ,even your heaven isreal patronised islamic countries such as TURKEY,JORDAN PAKISTAN,IRAQ,OMAN,EGYPT,ETC, SO WHY THIS HEATREAT FOR THIS PRESENT GOVERNMENT? AND WHEN JONATHAN WAS THERE AS PRESIDENT HE BUY ALLHIS MILITRY HARDWEARS IN ISREAL AND NO BODY COMPLAIN,WHY CAN IS CRYING FOUL? .

    • Chukwuka Okoroafor

      There were some complaints about deals with Israel. I remember them well. Also, why try to force ‘peace and justice’ on a population? Isn’t that what we should want naturally? Shouldn’t we as a society reach for that and not have it imposed by individuals using corruption and deception to bring a conquering system like Sharia?

  • mahmud mohammed

    BECOUSE the muslims in NIGERIA belieces in GOD that is why NIGERIA is at peace, if not why on earth a religious body like CAN given a contract to buy weapons for themselves and for NIGERIAN GOVERNMENT,during JONATHAN ADMINISTRATIONS ,ORISAJAFOR WAS COUGHT RED HANDED WITH DOLLERS IN SOUTH AFRICA,AND CLAIM TO BE BUYING ARMS FOR NIGERIAN MILITRY FROM ISREAL ,AND NOBODY COMPLAIN,BECOUSE MUSLIMS AND ISLAM IS A TRUE RELIGION OF GOD THAT WHY WE ARE GUIDED BY QURAN AND NOTHING TO FEAR ABOUT HUMAN BEING ON EARTH.

  • Powerlessconscious

    “The Organisation of Islamic Countries met in London in 1983 with a follow up meeting in Nigeria in 1989 and had issued a communiqué to Islamize Africa with Nigeria capturing a great attention. This is a public knowledge while facts could be obtained from Wikipedia with links on OIC’s Conference in London, 1983 and Abuja Declaration of 1989,” CAN said.

    Is the a reason.

  • FreeNigeria

    CAN of bad worms are always courting controversy. Islamize this and that. Worry about your corrupt and deceitful selves.

    • Chukwuka Okoroafor

      Maybe quite a few of them are corrupt but they are absolutely right when it comes to this issue.

  • Mentus

    Jiti Ogunye should argue his point within the context of CAN’s observations i.e. that Sukkuk is one more step towards embedding Nigeria as an Islamic nation.
    Osinbanjo’s self seeking pronouncements is understandable (after all he is VP and has to echo his ‘dad’) even if is totally off the mark, as a Christian himself and indeed former pastor what has he personally done to advance Christianity in Nigeria from his elevated position apart
    from berating them every time he handles a microphone. I hope he prays and seek God’s wisdom before he stand up to make these speeches.
    As for arguing in favour of populist pronouncements, Jiti has just confirmed that CAN is doing the right thing, Christians are not supposed to pander to popular opinion, Jesus Christ was not popular and CAN does not need to be popular, they have to stick to the truth as revealed in God’s word.
    Jiti’s advice echos what the learned men of Christ’s time said during His time on earth.
    Guess who will be proven right eventually, spiritually-aware Christians already know.

    • Light

      well said

  • Nnamdi Ugwuadu

    Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) should try and live up to her responsibilities. Acts 10 vs 38 shows us how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. What are we these days Christians doing with the monies and anointing that we received from the Holy Spirit with? We are busy pointing accusing fingers on how Moslems are trying to Islamize Nigeria, what are we doing to Christianize Nigeria? Do you think that evangelism ends when you mount loud speakers on the streets and speak big grammar? The Bible recorded that Jesus went about doing good, healing and attending to those that are oppressed by the devil. What are we Christians doing today concerning the plight of the oppressed? In various communities where we are making millions from offering and tithe, they don’t have good drinking water, no electricity, the schools we managed to build are too expensive for the poor children of the congregations that attend our Churches to afford. The Sukuk bond is a financial institution set up by moslems just to asses loan to help themselves. Which one have we done to help ourselves? We are tired of hearing CAN crying and shouting wolf wolf wolf. If they continue like this we may not be able to know the day the real wolf will come. There are so many ways we can use to Christianize the country if we want to. Reduce the cost of maintaining your private jets and build good hospitals so that our big folks can stop travelling abroad for their medical issues. We can equally support Restructuring and its campaign. If every state begins to control her resource no body will think of Islamizing Nigeria. We Christians need to wear our thinking cap, come out with program that can advance our Evangelism. CAN should rise above their present status and stop passing these blame games.

    • Oskirin

      ask dem oooo.dey will come back and call u names… dat u are burahism…

  • Abdussalami Yaro

    Well, as the former president Obasanjo once said about the establishment of Sharia legal system in some States in the North, as a “political Islam”, so I could be correct to say, CAN is the head of Nigeria’s “political Christianity”. CAN was vosiforous in attacking the establishment of Islamic banking in Nigeria, in spite of the fact that, the bank is based on the principle of non-interest, so also the SUKKUK financial Bond. Now, what will CAN say to Christians about the Holy Bible injunctions on usury? Is CAN oblivious about these verses of the Bible; Ezekiel, 18:13, Exodus, 22:25, Psalm, 15:5 and Proverbs, 28:8?

  • 45Degree

    I hope Nigerians are NOT deceived again by these bunch of mean, spirited bunch of lazy CAN. If anyone could have access to people asking for SUKKUK, I can guarantee these same religious bigots would be first in line.

    In their confused state of mind CAN members say Muslims can build mosque “quietly” in Nigeria but have issues with Nigerians getting interest-free money from Muslim bank? Really.

  • Mizch

    “Mr. Osinbajo criticised CAN for what he described as the association’s constant alarm about Islamisation, which he said was comparable to a fruitless search for invisible demons.” As a pastor, that is most of them are doing. People are conned.

  • Isa Adam

    CAN SHOULD CHRISTIANIZE NIGERIA TOO, AFTER ALL NIGERIANS ONLY CLAIM TO KNOW GOD BUT MOST OF OUR MEN OF GOD IN NIGERIA WORSHIP MONEY AND DECEIVE THEIR FOLLOWERS

  • Smart

    No more free money to share, and /or buy luxurious jeeps and even jets. How can south East that’s 95% Christian region be islamize by this government it just it’s remaining two years?
    Knowing how to speak adulterated English isn’t literacy.
    Literacy is about wisdom, foresight and not embarrassing yourself and the people you claimed to lead.

  • Smart

    Jesus A.S the son of Virgin Mary as a leader, a preacher has never live his life depending on the hard earned money of his followers, it reached a stage in Nigeria a head of CAN was caught red handed smuggling arms illegally into his own country to kill innocent people. Where is the love?

  • AbdulHamid Adiamoh

    There’s little anyone can do about people who choose to be arrogant about their ignorance.

  • Moses Stone

    CAN of worms … smh

    • Uzoma John

      Just the phrase I intend posting. I’ll save it for another time. You beat me to it.

      • Moses Stone

        hahahahahahaha

      • Biafran 1967

        Uzoma a.k.a. Abdullah.

    • dan arewa

      Abi oooo

  • Gary

    Mention anything CAN and immediately Lai’s propaganda minions flood the comments to abuse the grouping. The hired guns of the Buhari regime are routinely deployed to attack the umbrella organization of Christians in Nigeria yet the government denies that it not promoting Islam to the detriment of other faiths; up to taking loans from religious-based organizations. Ogunye is entitled to his own opinion but his is just one out of 180 million equally entitled to theirs. Perception is reality in politics and there’s no hiding the intent of presenting Nigeria as an Islamic country in the foreign policy of Muhammadu Buhari. We are not all blind or fo*ls to that transparent agenda.

    Osinbajo can play to the gallery of pleasing his Wahabbi boss but God cannot be mocked or deceived. Our God can see through everyone’s hearts.

  • Biafran 1967

    Osinbajo is a typical pastor. Only cares about ££$$.

  • FirecloudOFGOD

    Mr Osibanjo, are you do one saying “alarm about Islamisation, which he said was comparable to a fruitless search for invisible demons.”? Are demons usually visible, except the ‘ebora’ of Owu? You are a pastor, a lawyer and quite educated. It is really Shocking that politics has reduced adults like you into pathetic and compromised individuals!

    Have you heard of Boko Haram? Do you think the issues of “Foreign Fulani Herdsmen” is a Myth? When last did the areas in the North allow your mission to build a church in their cities? Why do churches get burnt down constantly in the North? I know that you know that this world is a passing phase of this side of eternity. Non-compromised Nigerians know and live it, so get off your high horse, take off the blinkers – Islamization plan for Nigeria is real and on-going!

  • TAWANDA INCOMMUNICADO

    Osinbajo has sold his conscience for a plate of porrige …..he propagates falsehoods and enables the klepto-tyranny regime which he is an essential part of

    • niko

      You lie big time!

  • Chukwuka Okoroafor

    As flawed as CAN has been lately (and I guess they now have denied endorsing Fayose), they are still right on the mark about the Sharia agenda. If it was just Islamic banking, I don’t think there would be as much noise as we are hearing now. However, with Sharia law still valid in 12 of 36 states, a governor turned senator in 2000 echoing the ambition of Usman dan Fodio, Ahmadu Bello, and allegedly President Muhammadu Buhari to spread Sharia nationwide, and the unilateral imposition of membership in the OIC (along with John Kerry’s official state level visit to the Sultan in 2016) all points to a decades long soft jihad on Nigeria. Even the U.S. Air Force War College sees Sharia coming most likely by 2031 (hence why there is such stiff resistance to restructuring). There are people like Jiti Ogunye, Femi Falana, and to a degree the Vice President who are playing games now. The survival of Nigeria and all that live in it is on the line with this agenda.

  • Rev

    This is sad. Pastor Osibanjo don’t trade God for Gold!

  • niko

    Before I can be convinced, CAN must explain to me if Vice-president, SSG, HOS, Speaker HOR, Chief Justice of Nigeria and Chief of Defence Staff appointed by Buhari have been converted and Islamized by him. And when did Baba Adeboye and others become Muslims? CAN should stop this trifling and concentrate on how to assist Nigeria financially out of the bounty that God has provided for them like Sukuk!

  • NwaIgbo

    VP Pastor, with due respect, I need to remind you that some time ago a Danish writer published an article and frenzy Moslem fundamentalists caused mayhem in Northern Nigeria. The world beauty contest that was supposed to take place in Northern Nigeria was cancelled, there was jubilation on the streets of Kano when arch terrorist Osama Bi-laden took down the world trade center. There was a time we were not member nation of OIC, there was a time Hijab was not prevalent