Osun Muslim, Christian group ‘appalled’ at CAN’s statements

The groups says CAN should refrain from causing unnecessary feud with reckless statements.

A faith based group in South West Nigeria, the O’odua Muslim-Christian Youth Dialogue Group (OMC-YDG), has said that it is appalled at recent comments made by the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, in the state.

The Osun State chapter of CAN had, two weeks ago, accused Rauf Aregbesola, the state governor, of planning to Islamize the state.

The organization also accused Mr. Aregbesola of fixing state functions on Sunday mornings in an attempt to divide religious groups in the state.

OMC-YDG, in a statement issued in Ibadan, urged CAN to be careful with religious issues in the state in order to avoid unnecessary feud.

“We expect CAN to weigh the strength of its statements. CAN should not speak without critical and objective assessment of the implications of such statements,” said the statement signed by Felix Ajayi and Suleiman Sanusi, leaders of the group.

“We are appalled that CAN is raising eyebrow over the fixing of government functions on Sundays. Across the country, governments including the Federal and State governments usually fix functions on Sundays including Christian and Muslim dominated corporate organizations.”

The statement further said that “there is no law that says a state government cannot fix a government function on Sundays. It has been the practice even in states controlled by Christian Governors.”

CAN had also faulted the declaration of Hijra, an occasion that the Muslims use to mark the journey of Prophet Muhammed from Mecca to Medina, as a public holiday, adding that it is not done even in Sokoto State, the seat of caliphate.

The faith based youth group stated that there is a House of Assembly in Osun and an Executive Council constituted by both Christians and Muslims where policies are debated and adopted in the state.

“The issue of declaring a public holiday for the Muslims in Osun was exhaustively debated by elected representatives of the state at the various organs of the government before it was adopted by the state government,” the group said.

“Issues of religion should be handled with the highest sense of responsibility by the Osun CAN. The group should explore internal mechanism for addressing its fears and perceived threats instead of issuing statements with far reaching consequences on the harmonious co-existence of the people of Osun State.”

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