Prominent Pentecostal preacher and Presiding Bishop of Sword of the Spirit Ministries, Francis Wale Oke, has asked the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, northern Emirs and othr Islamic leaders to stop describing the Boko Haram insurgency as a political problem, saying they know it is a religious war waged against the President Goodluck Jonathan administration.
He added that the activities of the Boko Haram sect have given Islam a bad name.
Oke, who stated this when he visited the headquarters of Vanguard Newspaper, said the Sultan and other Islamic leaders in the North should take the blame for the turn of events in the region.
His words: “Sultan should stop playing the Ostrich by saying that it is not a religious war. Northern elders are known to have control over their younger ones. When they call them, they listen to them. Why is it now that their youth suddenly turned deaf ears to their calls?”
The cleric continued: “We are not fools! People are playing politics with the blood of Christians. This is Islamic Jihad. Let the Sultan of Sokoto call all Emirs and other Islamic leaders to bring out these Boko Haram boys. Let them stop deceiving Nigerians.
“Governor Shettima said he knows where those Boko Haram insurgents are. Where was he when security agents were combing everywhere for these insurgents? We put all the issues on Boko Haram at the doorstep of the Sultan of Sokoto. Let him know that this is what the church is saying.
“The position of Christian Association on it has been very clear, that it is a religious war. Emirs should genuinely withdraw their tacit support for Boko Haram”.
Affirming that Islam is a religion of peace, Bishop Oke, however, voiced concern that the activities of Boko Haram have painted the religion in a different light.
According to him, “what we have been made to know over the years is that Islam is a religion of peace, but, how can somebody who is saying Islam is a peaceful religion abduct innocent girls and claim they have been converted to Islam under the nozzle of a gun?
“Certainly, the activities of the Boko Haram insurgents have been to discredit the government of President Goodluck Jonathan, but the sponsors of the group should know that the game is over because Nigerians are no fools.
“When the late President Umar Yar’Adua was in office, the Christians did not destablize his government, how come now that a Christian had not been allowed a breathing space since his assumption of duty in 2011”, Oke queried?
He expressed disappointment with some northern leaders whom he alleged were bent on portraying the current administration as incapable of governing the nation.
“When the late Umaru Yar’Adua was there as the president, we, Christians supported him and never made the country ungovernable for him. Why are they doing this to our own? They should know that nobody can islamise Nigeria. We won’t accept it”, he stressed.