The purported conversion of the abducted schoolgirls of Government Secondary School, Chibok, in Born State by members of Boko Haram has been described as a declaration of war against Christians in the country.
The National President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, who spoke on Monday in reaction to a new video by the sect, showing the Chibok schoolgirls reciting the Holy Qur’an, noted that those girls could not be swapped for any detained Boko Haram members, who he described as ‘criminal fighters’, as demanded by the sect’s leader, Abubakar Shekau.
Speaking through the CAN National Director of Research, Elder Sunday Oibe, at a press conference in Kaduna, Oritsejafor added that the forceful conversion of the girls, who are mostly Christians, amounted to persecution of Christians in Nigeria.
He said, “I have the consent of our national president, who is abroad to address you. First, these children are Christians and not Muslims and so they cannot be converted to a religion that is not theirs at gunpoint without conviction. Besides, is that how conversion is being carried out? All the children displayed are Christians and that is the motive behind the abduction.
“It is simple. Because they are Christians and they represent the church in the eyes of their abductors. Secondly, it smacks of some form of religious persecution. If not, why are their captors converting them to another religion? And if they say they will use them as a condition to negotiate for their men in detention, our daughters are not criminals and cannot be used in any way to free their criminal fighters.
“Show us where in Nigeria you have seen Christians fighting and throwing bombs in the name of God. We challenge any one to show us where Christians have abducted Muslim children in the name of Christianity. We challenge anyone to prove in Nigeria where Christians have taken arms in the name of protecting Christianity or even carry out acts of genocide on helpless and defenceless Nigerians. As far we are concern, it is a war against Christians and Christianity”.