IOC: What Buhari told me when I complained – CAN President

IOC: What Buhari told me when I complained – CAN President

Sunday, June 2, 2019 6:01 pm

FILE: President Buhari in handshake with Rev.Ayokunle during the visit of leadership of CAN to the presidential villa

President Muhammadu Buhari’s trip to Saudi Arabia, for the 14th summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Makkah has revived controversies about Nigeria’s membership of the religious body.

The Christian Association of Nigeria had condemned Buhari’s presence at the summit while affirming that as a secular country, Nigeria should not be part of the group.

Speaking to journalists in Lagos last Friday, the President of CAN,  Rev Dr. Samson Ayokunle said he had complained of about Nigeria’s membership of OIC during a meeting with President Buhari.

He said the President had told him that Nigeria’s membership of the organization can be challenged in court.

Ayokunle, however, said the option of using the court to stop Nigeria’s membership of OIC has not been initiated because Christian lawyers contacted to take up the legal challenge have foot dragging over the issue.

His words:  “Those of you who have followed my activities will know that I have been against the membership of Nigeria of OIC.

“I went to see President Buhari over it and he told me Nigeria’s membership could be challenged.

The Christian lawyers who are to provide the briefs have been foot dragging. They tell me they are still gathering data. I can’t go to the court on my own because I am not a lawyer.

“In the North churches can’t get Certificate of Occupancy. When we speak to our people they tell us it is for the state government to act.

“The problem is that our people in government place political advantages above the spiritual.

“Christians are not able to defend the faith because they will like to please their principal and retain their job. Our people are more political than the politicians and we know that politics can blind fold.

Apart from CAN, two socio-cultural groups, Afenifere and Ohanaeze Ndigbo  had alleged that the President’s attendance at the summit was part of his “Islamisation agenda”

But the Muslim Rights Concern, MURIC, had in response to the criticisms said those criticizing the presence of the Nigerian President at the summit are in urgent need of ‘anti-Islamophobia’ vaccine.

In a statement signed by its Director, Prof Ishaq Akintola,  MURIC,  pointed out that 53 heads of state out of the 57 member states of the OIC are expected at the summit and majority of them are not even Muslims.

Nigeria joined the OIC in 1986.

President Buhari was the third Nigerian leader to attend the conference, after late President Umaru Yar’Adua and President Goodluck Jonathan.

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One Comment

  • Isma'ila says:

    To be Frank, Nigerians should avoid been or behaving as politicians. The head of CAN as religious body should have distant himself from such words. It is unfortunate that Mr. Buhari has not gone there as representing Nigerian Muslims rather whole Nigerians. Furthermore, it has been mentioned that the Islamic Development Bank is contributing to execution of projects in Nigeria without considering where it was sighted. Why should you as leader of an organization or religious body worried while the aim is to help all the population of Nigeria not any part?

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