Many Christian leaders have demanded an apology from Abdulkareem Jamiu Asuku, the Chief of Staff to Kogi State Governor, over disparaging remarks against Christianity.
Asuku reportedly made the comment on Radio Kogi, 93.5 FM on Monday. He also slammed Christianity as divisive.
But in a reaction, Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Okehi chapter, Evangelist Job Apana, described the Chief of Staff’s comparison of Christianity with the ongoing squabbles between the Muslim ummah in Ebiraland as fallacious.
“His outburst in the radio was like he had been looking for an opportunity to insult and berate us, so he now exploited this unwholesome situation.
“He also erred in his claims on different sects in Islam as if the practice is peculiar to Anebira Muslims. Islamic sects have always existed. In the history of West Africa during my Teachers’ College days we were taught in the Mali, Songhai and Kanem-Bornu empires that there were two broad Islamic sects namely: Tijjania and Quadraniya. Even the Usman Dan Fodio jihad of 1804 was fought on this premise.
“Today in Nigeria we have the Ahmadiyya, NASFAT, El-Zakyzaky group among others. Did all of these emanate from Ebiraland? No!
“Whenever there is a problem, what leaders should do is to mediate to ensure peaceful resolution and co-existence of the people and not taking sides and dabbling into issues that are not even connected. We deserve your unreserved public apology,” he said.
In his reaction, another cleric from Kogi Central axis, Venerable Moses Suberu called on Asuku to apologize to the Christian community publicly and write to the church leaders asking for forgiveness.
Suberu noted that the Christian community in Ebiraland has supported the government of Governor Yahaya Bello despite being sidelined. “Your honour, I think a right thinking man will agree that your radio outblast against the Christian body is so mean, hateful and absurd. And without mincing words, you need to apologize to the Christian body publicly.
“The unrest between the Muslim Ulmah is not what you can relate with the Christian body. Your comments show the degree of hatred you have for Christians in the land and it’s so evident in the appointment made by the government from Kogi Central.