Thursday, July 25, 2019 6:32 pm
Arewa Pastors Non-Denominational Initiative for Peace, a Pan Northern Vanguard of Christian Clerics on Thursday cautioned the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) to steer clear of politics because it is not a political party.
Bishop John Richard, National Chairman Arewa Pastors Non-Denominational Initiative for Peace made the call while briefing newsmen in Abuja.
Richard said in the past weeks CAN dabbled into high sensitive national security issues that could set the country on fire.
“Most worrisome is the fact that the issue are not in their field of operation as clergymen,” he said.
He said that CAN had also attacked the person of the President Muhammadu Buhari and fought his administration by publishing comments on the suspended Ruga settlement, Fulanis and even petitioned the United Nations raising false alarm.
He said the group made several moves to reach out to CAN leadership but all effort ended in futility hence the need to sensitise Nigerians that religious bodies are being hijacked by politicians.
“God knows why he designed Nigeria like this, to be mixed up with two major religions; even God will not force anyone to be converted, so why become fanatical?
“It was not like years back, all these situation you are seeing now started in 1999 when they military era was over and politicians came in so they felt that they could use religious leaders to gain political votes.
“In 1993 when chief MKO Abiola contested for president, he and his running mate, Mr Babangana Kingibe were Muslims so it was a Muslim Muslim ticket.
“CAN has been existing as far back as 1976 and they did not talk then, there is an objective that formed CAN they were focused until when these politicians came in and now hijacked the leadership ,’’ he said.
Richard said that politicians are using religious bodies for their personal gains, as most of their comments have political undertone.
He said that the group is asking CAN leadership to apologise to the Nigerian Christians for going against the objectives that formed the association.
“We are asking them to resign their positions for allowing themselves to be used by politicians,” he said.
He appealed to Nigerians to reject calls for religious anarchy and called on security agents to call CAN leadership to order especially regarding utterances of the leadership on sensitive national security issues.
Richard said that the mandate of Arewa Pastors Non-Denominational Initiative for Peace is to campaign against hate speech among others.
“The mandate of Arewa Pastors Non-Denominational Initiative for Peace is to campaign against hate speech, to engage in crusade for religious tolerance, to encourage good governance and stand for peaceful co-existence and unity of the country,” he said.