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Islamic body faults call for religious balancing of National Assembly leadership

  • CAN, chapter, elders disagree over solidarity visit to Buhari

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has accused the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) of setting a wrong precedent with its demand on Monday for a Christian Senate President or House of Representatives Speaker in the coming Ninth National Assembly.

CAN President, Rev (Dr.) Samson Ayokunle, had made the call while making a case for equitable distribution of offices among the major religious adherents in Abuja.

But MURIC Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, in a statement yesterday, stated: “CAN is simply manifesting symptoms of acrobatic religiousity. Nigeria will not move forward until merit becomes the determining perimeter. Sensitive positions in the National Assembly should be given to those who deserve it based on experience, competence, antecedents and loyalty to party.

“These are not posts of commissioners or chairmen of government agencies. The posts of senate president and speaker of the House (of Representatives) are too important to be determined on the pulpit. We should not be looking at religion here. Our focus and interest should be Nigeria.”

He went on: “Why is CAN agitating now? Where was CAN when Christians took all the principal offices in the N’Assembly not too long ago? Where was it when David Mark was senate president, Patricia Ette speaker of the House and Aloysius Katsina Alu the Chief Justice of Nigeria parri pasu? Was it so long ago such that we could become overwhelmed by collective amnesia?

“No, sir. We have not forgotten even if CAN decide to twist the facts of history. Neither was it too long ago. It all happened during the tenure of ex-President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. So what are we saying? That precedent alone is enough to debunk CAN’s latest demand.”

Meanwhile, the Kaduna branch chairman of the Christian body, Reverend Joseph Hayab, has dissociated himself from the congratulatory visit by the national leadership to President Muhammadu Buhari on his victory at the poll.

Besides, Hayab also condemned a group of pastors who embarked on a similar trip to Governor Nasir El-Rufai.

The solidarity visits, according to him, were too hasty, especially when the outcomes of the elections were being contested in court.

Reacting, the national headquarters described as baseless the outburst of the National Christian Elders Forum (NCEF) over the homage.

In a statement in Abuja by the Director, Legal and Public Affairs, Samuel Kwamkur, CAN insisted that the forum, as an ‘outlaw’, lacked the right to fault its decision.


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