The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has reacted to allegations by the National Christian Elders Forum (NCEF) against President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration, describing the allegations as baseless, unfounded and ridiculous.
This is contained in a statement signed in Lagos on Monday by Prof. Ishaq Akintola, Director, MURIC in reaction to some allegations by NCEF, under the chairmanship of Solomon Asemota on Friday.
The NCEF had at a news conference in Abuja accused the Federal Government of carrying out a Jihad against Christians and described the EFCC as the “prosecuting arm of the Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI).”
It claimed further that the recent award of national hounour to late MKO Abiola and Babagana Kingibe was part of plan to make Nigeria an Islamic country.
The group also claimed that the government, which has a pastor as Vice President, is conducting an anti-christian agenda which may ensure that Christians cease to exist in Nigeria in the next 25 years.
MURIC however described members of the group as suffering from intellectual poverty and warped thinking.
It said that the country must be allowed to move forward and not be tied to mediocrity and religious bigotry.
“We should let integrity supplant mediocrity as the criterion and accept credibility as the yardstick instead of ethnicity while antecedence replaces religion and all other primordial sentiments.
“We should liberalise our thinking, Nigerianise our orientation and stop seeing religious colouring in everything, the earlier it faces reality, the better.
“How can anyone just jump to the conclusion that the present administration which merely yielded to persistent agitations over the June 12 saga was engaging in jihad because all the June 12 awardees are Muslims,’’he said.
Akintola said that the facts on ground also rubbish NCEF’s allegation that the Buhari administration is pursuing an anti-Christian agenda.
“Christians have more cabinet positions in this regime. Christians and Muslims have 18 ministers each, but both the Secretary to the Government of the Federation as well as the Head of Service are Christians.
“This gives Christians 20 positions while Muslims remain 18. Yet Muslims have not started complaining.
“NCEF needs to check its mathematical expertise. 18 cannot be higher than 20. NCEF’s vituperation are portraying Nigerian Christians in bad light and that is to say the least.”
MURIC director said that President Muhammadu Buhari, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede and Hameed Ali have become reference points in integrity.
“Religion and other sentiments apart, Nigerians see them as models. These three men have set standards, not for religion or for Muslims alone, but for all Nigerians.
“Their successors will have a moral burden on their consciences if they perform below them particularly in the areas of probity and accountability.”
He said that Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) needs to undertake urgent re-engineering of the perception of its flock.
“In particular, CAN should fumigate its immediate environment in order to rid it of this notorious NCEF Islamisation virus.
“CAN should also beware of dissidence in the body of Christ in Nigeria as we suspect open rebellion in NCEF’s statement. CAN is therefore advised to call NCEF to order, ” the statement reads in part.