The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) has expressed surprise at utterances attributed to the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, against Islam and Muslim leaders in Nigeria.
The NSCIA therefore called on Christian leaders, well-meaning Nigerians and the Federal Government to call Pastor Oritsejafor to order.
In a press statement signed by its acting Director of Publicity, Muhammad Kabir Kassim, the NSCIA stated that it was becoming a normal routine for the CAN president to direct his outbursts at some Muslim personalities in the country, with the Etsu Nupe and the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Malam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, being his prime targets.
According to the statement, Pastor Oritsejafor publicly assaulted “the person of a high ranking member of the NSCIA, His Royal Highness the Etsu Nupe, who the CAN President derided in his vainglorious attempt to label the highly revered monarch as an abductor in reference to a 24-year-old woman who voluntarily embraced Islam and came into protective custody of the royal highness and the person of the governor of the CBN, Alhaji Sanusi Lamido Sanusi,” on the issue of Islamic banking.
The statement further stated that the NSCIA believes that Oritsejafor’s comments did not reflect the general opinion of CAN, saying, “we regard the unwarranted utterances of Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor as his personal opinion and not those of the respected CAN, because both religious apex bodies — NSCIA and CAN — had closely interacted with mutual respect for quite some time before now.”
Affirming its stance of not engaging in frivolous public statements, the NSCIA however, was quick to add that it needed to set the record straight and check the CAN President’s relentless provocations.
The statement therefore appealed to all people of goodwill to prevail on Pastor Oritsejafor to stop the “demonisation of Muslim personalities and the obvious manipulation of public machinery for sectional, personal and divisive ends.”