The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) yesterday in Abuja accused the outlawed Boko Haram sect of attempts to destabilise and Islamise Nigeria.
Speaking at the National Conference of Christian Elders’ Forum of Northern States (NOSCEF), CAN President, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, said the plans by the perpetrators of terrorism and insurgency was to replicate what is currently happening in Iraq, with the creation of an Islamic caliphate by extremists in Nigeria.
“I heard the other day, somebody said we don’t know what Boko Haram wants, I don’t know what people mean by that? How can you be telling me you don’t know what they want? Right from the beginning, starting with their name, their real name said that they are propagating the message of the prophet and jihad, the last word in their name is jihad. They are out to establish an Islamic state. They have declared it more than a hundred times. That is what they are after.
“Look at what has just happened in Iraq, yesterday, a group has declared the caliphate an Islamic state. Well, that is what most of these groups around the world want to do, what they want to do is to establish an Islamic state,” the CAN president said.
Oritsejafor told the gathering that until Nigeria faced the truth, the situation in the country would remain unabated.
He accused northern leaders of complacency in the midst of persecution of Christians in the northern part of the country. He however said he loves all Muslims in the country and beyond.
“I am not the kind man who hate Muslims. But I have time to wonder how many of my Muslims friends and leaders in the North have taken time to go to these Christians and sympathise with them.
“Today, at a point, they said all Christians should leave the North, indigenous Christians in the North are being wiped out, it is almost like an ethnic cleansing,” he said.
Oritsejafor also lambasted southerners for being ‘naive’ in the midst of persecution of Christians in the North.
He maintained that most southerners are hardly conversant with the reality in the North.
“We are naive, we don’t really know the issues, not to think and believe that everyone in the North is a Muslim, I’m not always politically correct, but Boko Haram is the last phase of the problem that has been here. This was how many people in the world know that Chibok girls are Christians,” he said.
Oritsejafor urged northern Christians to put a common front in the fight against terrorism targeted at the Christian faith. He also called on Islamic leaders in the North to, as a matter of exigency, re-orient their people especially the insurgents to desist from act of terrorism.