The National General Secretary of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Dr. Musa Asake, tells ALLWELL OKPI that former Head of State, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, should be arrested and questioned for his alleged link with the Boko Haram sect.
The Christian Association of Nigeria recently called for the arrest of Gen. Muhammadu Buhari because of his recent criticism of the emergency rule in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states, and the clamp down on the Boko Haram sect. Does CAN think Buhari’s statement is enough to link him to the violent sect?
Buhari said killing Boko Haram members and destroying their houses was unjust. My question is did he say anything about the victims of the activities of Boko Haram? The answer is no. That is why we believe that that statement is a clear indication that he has connections with them and he is trying to defend them.
As a former head of state, someone who has experience, who is not ignorant, it is strange that he is trying to compare Boko Haram with Niger Delta militants. Niger Delta militants were fighting a cause that we all know. Niger Delta militants were not fighting a religious war. They were not throwing bombs at innocent citizens.
They were not targeting any group of people, like Christians in the course of fighting their cause. So, how can a leader like him make a statement like that? It hurts the victims of Boko Haram and it is a clear indication that he (Buhari) is defending Boko Haram members. No wonder the sect said they were not going to negotiate or talk to anybody until Buhari serves as a mediator. We are now beginning to see the connection. That is why we are saying that the Federal Government should arrest him to give us more explanation on why he is defending them.
They are being unveiled now; that is why he is saying it is injustice to them. All I’m saying is that the reason CAN is saying Buhari should be arrested is because his recent comment is inciting and a clear indication that he is advocating and trying to defend Boko Haram. He is saying that their houses are being destroyed and they are being killed.
That is insensitive to the victims of the bombings and gun attacks of Boko Haram. Such a statement should not come from Buhari, an elder statesman. What about the people that Boko Haram members have killed; the churches they have burnt down and the Christians that have been killed at their places of worship? Buhari should be arrested to explain more, because there is more to this than meets the eye.
But that was his personal opinion, which he has right to.
But then this is a man who wants to be president again, is he going to be president over people like Boko Haram members that he is defending? We, Christians, have our own votes too. Several churches have been burnt in the North, Buhari has never condemned injustice to Christians or done something about it.
But now he wants to defend murderers. It is an insult to us, Christians. Mind you, Boko Haram did not hide their agenda. They said they want to get rid of Christianity in the North. They also said they want to get rid of the Nigerian Constitution and replace it with Sharia law. What is Buhari saying? Is he going to be president for a section of the country? That does not fit a leader like Gen. Buhari.
Is CAN saying that the statement portrays Buhari as an Islamic extremist?
The statement portrays him as a supporter of Boko Haram. He is defending them. He is now challenging the Federal Government that it is not fair to Boko Haram, because soldiers are now destroying their houses and killing them. He is the one who is being unfair because he has not acknowledged the fact that these Boko Haram members have victims, who they have rendered homeless; children, whom they have rendered fatherless and families that have watched their breadwinners killed by Boko Haram.
People have been killed in their places of worship and he has not said anything about that. Who are these people he is defending and what is his connection with them? We want to know. And if he is going to be our president as he wants to, then he has to explain to us his connection with Boko Haram. Let me say this: any party that is taking Buhari as its leader has to explain to us its position on Boko Haram, because this must not continue.
Talking about inciting statements, ex-Niger Delta militant leader, Asari-Dokubo, recently said there would be crisis if Jonathan is not allowed to go for a second term. Why didn’t CAN call from his arrest?
That statement is for politicians. CAN is picking on this one because CAN is directly affected. It is Christians that are being killed and churches that are being burnt down. Dokubo’s statement was a political statement; CAN has nothing to do with that.
Buhari’s party, the Congress for Progressive Change, has accused CAN of becoming a political group since Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, became its president. What is your reaction to this?
Tell them to mention just one word that Oritsejafor has used and one thing that he has done to show that he is political. Is it because Oritsejafor is standing for the truth and speaking for the persecuted church in the North? And members of that party are the ones that are doing the havoc. Oritsejafor, as leader of Christians in this country, cannot fold his arms and allow people to be killed in churches and places of worship being destroyed. He will not keep quiet. No, it will not happen.
Oritsejafor is not political. Tell them to tell the whole world one statement or one act of Oritsejafor that shows that he is political and we will be willing to apologise. Oritsejafor is speaking the truth, challenging the government and those murderous people called Boko Haram and some people don’t want him to say anything. They want him to keep quiet and let them kill us the way they like, any time they like and deny us the right to freedom of worship. The constitution says we have the right to freedom of religion and some are saying no. They said they want to eradicate Christians and introduce Sharia law and you want our Christian leader to keep quiet. It doesn’t work that way.
What is CAN’s view on the bounty on Boko Haram leader by the United States Government?
The hypocrisy is now coming out. God is answering our prayers. This is the same US government that Oritsejafor spoke in their Congress and said Boko Haram should be declared a terrorist group. They did not listen. He came back home and he started having opposition from different quarters. Some were even calling for his arrest. But you know what? The God of Christians has vindicated him. Now their eyes are opened. Even though it is coming late, but it is better late than never.
Even the Federal Government of Nigeria did not listen to that call. But now I’m hearing that members of Boko Haram will be jailed for 20 years. You see, a lot of damage has been done. But I pray that this will work so that innocent people will not be killed anymore. So, we say America, Federal Government welcome onboard with CAN, because that has been CAN’s position.
Source: Punch Nigeria