Islamisation Agenda In Nigeria: Our Concern – CAN

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President of Christian Welfare Initiative (CWI), who doubles as the chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), South-west Zone, Archbishop Magnus Atilade, had recently urged Christians to join in the 31-day fasting and prayers programme for the persecuted Church in Nigeria which started on January 14, noting that denominations/ministries which had begun fasting and prayers programme in this season should add the prayers for the persecuted Church to their prayer schedules in addition to praying against any Islamic agenda.

Atilade maintained that Christians should use the period to draw attention of the entire country, as well as other nations of the world, to the growing security threats to Christians in the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“We affirm that Nigeria is a secular society in which all the citizens have free right to live, work, and express their faith according to their individual convictions. If the secularity of Nigeria has in any way been reviewed or modified, we are not aware,” he stated, adding that the Nigerian Constitution guarantees freedom of speech, freedom of movement, and the right to worship God according to individual conviction,” Atilade stated.

“We are however disturbed, and very alarmed, at the rate and consistency with which Christians are being slaughtered in northern Nigeria, in a manner similar to the genocide in Rwanda. The brutality, cruelty and inhuman manner in which Nigerian Christians are being systematically and consistently slaughtered by individuals claiming to be adherents of the Islamic faith has reached an alarming proportion that we are compelled to speak out. THIS IS INHUMAN!

“In the northern parts of the country, these individuals and groups of individuals have been operating for years with impunity and without regard for law and order, or respect for the right of other Nigerians to live and express their faith in God according to their choice.”

According to Atilade, the Fulani herdsmen are fast becoming notorious as a harbinger of destruction wherever they lead their cattle to, in the Middle Belt, South-west and in the South-east. He also outlined several instances since March 2010 when the militant Islamic sect, Boko Haram, had caused mayhem all over the North killing Christians and destroying properties.

“It is quite amazing that these Fulani herdsmen are yet to be convicted of mass murder. It is equally disheartening that even moderate Muslims that do not seem to support these agents of death and destruction are also targeted and killed by members of the Boko Haram terrorist group. It is very unfortunate that innocent students are also massacred by these terrorists,” the CAN leader stated.

“While attacks have been reported against moderate Muslims that do not support these insurgents, it is clear to the whole world that the main target of these terrorist attacks by both Boko Haram and the Fulani herdsmen are Christians in Nigeria.

“While some mischievous elements in the media have attempted portraying these killings as ethnic or socio-economic related clashes, the pattern of the attacks confirm that it is a religious war, patterned after the Islamic Jihad. According to the World Watch List, The majority of the incidents of conflicts that have been reported in the international media as ‘clashes’ between Muslims and Christians in actual fact have been one-sided violence against Christians.”

Continuing, he said as a result of these crises, thousands of Christian men, women and children have been murdered, thousands of children have become orphans, thousands of women are widowed, while innumerable Christian men and women have been maimed and mutilated.

“It is unbelievable that in this age and period, human beings could descend to such level of inhuman barbarity and cruelty while claiming divine mandate. Nigerian citizens have been hacked to death with machete, their throats have been slit with knives like rams, their heads have been severed from their necks with the saw carpenters use on wood, the barrel of AK 47 has been placed on their nose before being fired, the stomach of pregnant women were ripped open with knives, they have been burnt alive, and all manners of unprintable atrocities have been committed by some Nigerian citizens against other Nigerian citizens all in the name of expanding a religion,” he stated.

“In Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Plateau, Benue, Bauchi, Kogi, Niger, Nassarawa, Taraba, Kano, Kaduna, Gombe states as well as the Federal Capital Territory, individuals and groups of individuals, claiming Islamic injunction, have been routinely killing, bombing, maiming and mutilating Christians. Properties of Christians are being destroyed and their places of worship as well as business locations are routinely burnt and destroyed.

“The situation reached a crescendo that the Federal Government was compelled to impose a state of emergency in the states of Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa on May 14, 2013.

“Despite the emergency rule, the Islamic terrorists did not relent in their attacks.”.

Atilade maintained that the 2013 World Watch List report showed that 66% of Christians killed, globally, were Nigerian Christians.

Wondering why there is a conspiracy of silence over the emerging religious war in Nigeria, the archbishop attempted to give reasons why the situation persists, noting that what is more distressing is the valid information that the incessant bloodshed is a culmination of a carefully planned agenda to turn Nigeria into an Islamic state and Africa as an Islamic continent.

Members of the Boko Haram, he argued, have clearly announced that their objective is to Islamize Nigeria. “We are aware that a meeting was held many years ago to strategize on Islamizing Africa in general and Nigeria in particular. We are also aware that eradication of Christian groups resistant to Islamic conversion was advocated in a conference held in Abuja in 1989. That Islamic agenda is unfolding before our eyes today,” the archbishop said.

“We wish to use this medium to alert Christians in Nigeria, particularly in the South-west, that there is an Islamic agenda that has been launched against Nigeria, and the trend of events seems to point in the direction of the South-west as the next battle ground. There seems to be a gradual plot to make Islam the dominant religion in the region.

“We cannot understand why the political party that is currently ruling in the South-west fielded mostly Muslims as its governorship candidates. 80 per cent of the governors of this political party in the South-west are Muslims. It is a gross imbalance that must be redressed without delay.

“To add to our apprehension, Osun State Gov. Rauf Aregbesola has commenced taking decisions and introducing policies that are clearly anti-Christian.

“Osun State under Gov. Aregbesola is not hiding its intolerance and disdain for the Christian faith. Recently, as a direct result of his policies, a Christian secondary school in Osun was invaded by Muslims and the principal was nearly beaten into a state of coma. It is by a stroke of divine intervention that he did not die.
To date, we are yet to witness the prosecution of the Muslims who perpetrated that dastardly act.

“Christians in Nigeria should be warned not to underestimate the unfolding Islamic agenda in the country. Historically, nations like Turkey, Egypt, Algeria, and so on, were Christian nations before they were overran by Islam. Not only were they overrun by Islam, their culture and governance were taken over by Arabs. If a nation like Turkey could be Islamized, Christians in Nigeria should not assume that the Islamization agenda is an idle threat.”

He therefore advised Christians in the South-west, who have concluded that the region is immune to such attacks, to study carefully what is unfolding in Osun, noting that “developments in Osun State clearly confirm that there is cause for concern.”

“We wish to state clearly that those of us who are Christians in Nigeria shall not renounce Christianity, and neither shall we convert to Islam. We are Christians by choice, and we choose to remain Christians. We are persuaded that no human being needs to be forced or coerced to accept a gift. A gift that comes with a sword as an alternative is a questionable gift. It is a suspicious gift. Every gift speaks for itself and forceful persuasion becomes unnecessary,” the CAN leader stated.

On politics of religion, Atilade observed that it is worrisome that religion is gradually becoming the defining factor in politics in the country.

“We are also disturbed by the consistent intensity with which Muslim politicians seek to destabilize the government of President Goodluck Jonathan. We clearly remember that before his election, certain Muslim politicians threatened to make Nigeria ungovernable for him should he exercise his constitutional right of seeking election as the president of Nigeria. Events that have unfolded after his election, starting with the post-election violence in 2011, proved that it was not an idle threat,” he stressed.

“We appeal to our fellow Muslim citizens that are determined to cause problem in the nation, that Nigeria belongs to both Christians and Muslims. Every Nigerian has the constitutional right to seek elective office and no one should be harassed or intimidated for doing so. In addition, we are observing the emergence of political gatherings with conflicting signals about its religious intent.

“As Christians, we welcome an all-inclusive political party that will protect the interests of all Nigerian citizens, irrespective of tribe, religion, or social status.

“The unfortunate religious persecution in the northern parts of Nigeria is an eye-opener and calls for caution in establishing political associations. The current imbalance in the religious structure in the North of Nigeria that is gradually being replicated in the South West demands serious attention by all leaders of the church in Nigeria.”

“Undoubtedly,” he continued, “the unbalanced control of the political machinery by a religion in the northern parts of Nigeria is at the bedrock of the current religious intolerance that is plaguing the region. To have such structure replicated at any other zone in the country should be of grave concern to every Nigerian.

“Therefore, at the Christian Welfare Initiative (CWI) and the Christian Association of Nigeria, (CAN), South-west, we recommend as follows: Christians all over Nigeria and in the South West in particular, should embark on prayer and fasting from January 14 – February 14, 2014 for the Church in Nigeria and for the nation. Prayers should be mobilized that every conspiracy that has been conceived against Christians in Nigeria shall fail.

“We call on Nigeria’s president, the Inspector General of Police and the governors of the states where mass murder is being committed to come up with effective and proactive policing strategies to ensure that no Nigerian citizen or village becomes a soft target for the harbingers of terror.

“The use of technology (drones and CCTV) for surveillance and rapid response purposes by security agents should be employed. We wish to inform our Muslim relatives in the South-west that any Islamic violence in Yoruba land portends grave danger, not only to Christians, but also to Muslims. Sometime in 2013, when the terrorists from the North attempted to blow up the Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos, they did not make plans to evacuate Muslims from the impending disaster. If they had succeeded, they would have killed both Christians and Muslims. As we see in the North, Boko Haram is killing both Christians and Muslims.

“Therefore, Muslims in the South-west should join the clarion call that the secularity of the region must be maintained. No Yoruba man or woman will profit from any Islamization agenda in the South-west. For our sake and for the sake of our descendants, we must maintain the delicate balance of our society so that Yorubaland does not become the next Syria, Iraq, or Somalia.

“It is a common saying with our people that ‘we shall not adopt insanity with religion’. What is going on in the North of Nigeria must be prevented from taking place in the South-west.

“Christians in the South West must raise their voices and demand that the next governor of Lagos State in 2015 must be a genuine Christian. After 16 years of Muslim governors, it is only fair that the next governor should be a Christian.

“This is in keeping with the secular nature of the nation and maintains the delicate balance in our society.

“We are equally concerned about the gradual Islamization of the civil service structure in states where the governor is a Muslim. There is a visible lopsided appointment of directors, permanent secretaries, and heads of parastatals in favor of Muslims.

“This is the scenario in the 12 Sharia states in northern Nigeria and it is disturbing that it is being replicated in the South-west. It must be reversed immediately, in the best interest of our people,” Atilade said. [Vanguard]

15 Comments

  • Pls Mr Chairman, but the Christians in Nigeria, are we truely christians? The Bible explains vividly this period must come. What we need is to be strong in the Lord not opening of Churches in Every corner in the Street for Money and Worldly things.Mr Chairman pls what do we mean by a Church? And also believe in the Lord and stop bringing Politics and religion together Politics is nn Nigeria is not for Christians but for thieves and Robbers. Any man of God that is putting inn politics and religion together can never b a true Man of God. Have u ever talk to the president on the issue of high rate of corruption in the country which he is also a party to it? Watch your Mouth so that the wrath of the Lord will not b upon u.

  • its obvious that this man is more politically concerned than being religious. honestly speaking, many religious leaders in dis country are hypocrites, thinking they can manoeuvre nigerian’s mentality the way they are manoeuvring their induced congregations.
    southwest nigeria is more enlightened to degenerate to wat is happening in northeastern nigeria, and mind u, muslims are much more hurt nd killed by the boko haram insurgent than the christians.
    I wonder why some christians leaders are less tolerable in every circumstance and always try to mingle religion with politics.
    between 2003 nd 2010 (PDP regimes in the southwest), all the southwestern states governors(except Lagos) from PDP were all christians, were muslims crying for having christian governors as their governors? or should we say PDP is a christian party?
    besides, for more than 16 years, a muslim has not become a governor in Ogun state, did hear we hear complain from the muslims?
    we all know PDP hidden agenda–collaboration with the CAN to incite people against the APC ruling states.
    we should advocate for good governance irrespective of the religion of our leaders!

  • Mr chairman u have shame us, what type of leader are u who is using religion in order to create War to our people. Why using religion in politics, what of other state that were rule by Christian did u talk of such state? Or u just want to create another violent while u are away with your family abroad enjoying all the money we gathered for u and the one from Mr president. Too bad for u may God make u realized the truth amen

  • Dear mr chairman ithink as a christian I am ashamed and disappointed in your ultrances which are based on false premises all over the religious division you talked about is being parpetrated by you and your and your fellow travellers. You are more enemy of this country than the boko haram. The president of this country is a christian has all states apparatus to deal with the situation if he is lacking in his responsibility must we blame it on religion? When you start a conspiracy theory on muslims being Gov of lagos for this while,are the govs by imposition or by popular votes? Can the muslim community demand to be gov in Bayelsa state or River state claiming marginalasation? On Osun state it shows you are either delibrately being mischevious or you lack basic understanding of governance in the state!while the state was governed by Oyinlola there was no outcry cos the gov decleared an islamic holiday means islamitising the state what will happen if a traditional worshiper is elected and he decides to worship his own way ibet you and your cohorts will cry wolf! The bitter truth is that both islam and christian faith are allien to Africa so you and your polical CAN president politisising religion and religionising politics are greater enemy of this Nation.

  • Who sent u to say so? Ppl lyk u wil destroy d nation. U re very Useless human bien. We wishes u’l contest osun gov election 2015

  • Am not surprised u guys are sounding this way,wht Wuld u expect from fools who are being told d truth?he jst said d reality of d season n u guys are being sentimental,d quest to islamise nigeria has been d long desired of most muslims in Nigeria,taking frm abacha,s regime he tried it he failed,we all know wen d national mosque was been built n wen our national christian centre was being built,we all know y d national assembly was been built like a mosque,we all know y muslims politicians can help not been d ones ruling Nigeria,bt God has been wonderful despite d religious conspiracy against christians,d christians faith is waxing stronger n stronger,am nt d type that opposes d prosperity of a man of God,bkos bible made us to believe that we seek Gods Kingdom first n every other thing shall b added unto u,so y complain n feel envious wen men of God acquire private jets,cars, n build universities

  • My Humble Bishop, I agree with you absolutely. A Christain Governor is log over-due in Lagos no doubt. Aregbesola is a big fool. I pray He dies soon.GEJ is the current President and we will vote for him than any Muslim whether Yoruba or Hausa.

  • Vanity upon Vanity. You are more concern of worldly things… You are a criminal… Causing confusion in the country all in the name of money. Stupid chairman. You shall have a taste of death and then you will come to know. Better repent

  • Ur words sound political not religion. Thank God dat some of our christain fellows had replied ur mad talk of causing war in a faithful way. U re part of those dat try to use religion to get d devilish tin u wat. I don’t see u as a bishop but a satanic fellow dat uses religion to acheive his devilish act. Boko haram are not islamic and God will surely revealed deir sponsors in due time. Atilade u re lost and not in God part. No true christain will ever say dis rubish and war words as u ve said in dis paper.

  • It is now Yoruba states want to be islamised, when PDP having 5 xtians gov at helm of affair, no story. Is this man talking sense? NO. He is a politician want to draw us back but feel dat he can use religion, you have failed

  • The CAN man is a foolish man for him to stat thinking like dat in south west is dere a family either shot or extended dat does not have both religion in dem .politics is for de rugged as we were made to believe and if it is our Muslims bros dominate it fine the Bible says the kingdom of heaven is for violent men why can we take our country by force too at least de sleeping President is a Christian.pls note the boko haram tin is political and not religious .and under political we have ethnic and thurgy

  • It is unfortunate that people who call themselves leaders can go on making devisive statement just for them to gain relevance. First it was Olisa Metuh, the PDP National Publicity Secretary who bereft of ideas of moving the Country forward by his party and knowing that the inevitable change will come in 2015, alleged that the APC has “Islamization Agenda”just to whip up religious sentiments against the APC. As if to tell us that this was not only an idea of the PDP as a party but that the Presidency itself share this same idea, not lesser a personality than the Presidential spokesman, Dr Reuben Abati went on to tweet this on the social media. Now a CAN leader with political scores to settle have also come forward to talk about “Islamization Agenda” whatever this means? The baffling thing about all these is the very loud silence of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, the Muslim equivalent of CAN. Severally, individuals, political parties and even the Presidency have made remarks or comments or allegations that tend to paint Islam and the adherents of the religion in bad light but you will not hear any response or expression of reservations or taking of exceptions by the NSCIA. But the CAN is very swift to respond to any issues that affects the christians. But for the weakness of the NSCIA, most of these statements would have been thought out twice before making them public. What exactly is “Islamization Agenda” as purported by the PDP, top echelon of the PDP and the Presidency?

  • What exactly is the meaning of “islamization Agenda” as purported by the top echelon of the PDP, the Presidency and CAN? The phrase “Islamization Agenda” is meant to provoke the Muslims and also to keep the Muslims and Christians divided as the two will keep looking at each other with suspicion but the the Muslims refused to be provoked. We choose instead to engage these prophets of doom at intellectual levels so that we can expose their lies and show the fallacies inherent in that phrase “Islamization Agenda” Evidences abound to show that what we have under the PDP over time had been the “Christianization Agenda” of Nigeria and not “Islamization” as they are trying to deceive us into believing. I challenge anyone to take the census of churches as against mosques in any major city in Nigeria and tell me which is more? Take a census of christian schools and the islamic schools in all the major cities in Nigeria and tell me which is more? Take a census of owners of electronic and print media and their religious faith and tell me which of the faith is more? Take a census of the religious programmes on TV and Radio and tell me which is more betwwen Islam and Christianity? All the examples above are the vehicles by which a religion is spread and these all point to systematic “christianization of Nigeria”. When you add the time the two religions have in evangelisation, you find that the Muslim leaves his place of work for about 30 to 40 minutes to say his prayers on Friday and immediatly return to work to continue work uptill closing, the christian have the whole of Sunday to worship and to evangelise therefore conferring the advantage of “Christianization of Nigeria” on christians as they have enough time to call muslims to christianity. There are other numerous evidence to show that Nigeria is being Christianized but attention is being drawn to the opposite so that the undiscerning would go on thinking that Islam is at advantageous position. But Islam is the endangered specie here and it is time that the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs rise from its slumber and demand for better treatnent and fight for the rights of Muslims all over Nigeria. NSCIA can start by taking very strong exception to all these fallacies of “islamization of Nigeria”

  • Islamization of Nigeria is a ploy by CAN to continue to put the political class under thrir armpit with the sole aim of smiling to the bank. All of them now wznt to own jet since the breakthrough of Oritsejsfor.
    For the records, the single most deadly and devastating attempt to christianize Nigeria was the failed attempt by Gideon Orkar and his cohorts to forcefully take over the govt of Babangida through military coup. No such attempt has been made by any muslim group and yet they are making all these claims.
    For me, i think the le corrupt leadership of CAN needs urgent medical intervention because their problem is caused by chronic ISLAMOPHOBIA! a mental illness that, as at today, has no known cure.

  • Archbishop am sorry that things have to go this far. This is the product of mismanagement. When a people are mismanaged for more than 30 yrs,such people would lose their known value system and embrace the unknown. As a leader, go back to the drawing board to see where we failed. As Christians let us always come out to condemn evil even when such is perpetuated by our followers. The national president of CAN is always with GEJ despite the high level of corruption of this govt. Let us sit up and defend our peopley from Tyrants in power. Let this govt manage crime rather than controlling it. It is cheaper to manage crime than to control full blown crimes.QED

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