The Muslim umbrella body in the North, the Jama’atul Nasril Islam on Wednesday faulted the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Pastor Ayo Oritsejiafor, for opposing the Federal Government negotiation with the Boko Haram sect. The group accused him of having a hidden agenda.
The CAN President last week kicked against any form of dialogue between the government and the sect believed to be responsible for the series of violence in the North.
Oritsejiafor said after delivering a sermon at the 46th convention of the United Church of Christ in Nigeria Kaduna that for the continued corporate existence of the country, the government should no longer condone any group threatening the security of lives and property of Nigerians.
“I don’t think any sensible government, whether the President is a Muslim or a Christian, will want to sit down and discuss such thing because it is the greatest instrument of disunity that this country will ever experience,” he was quoted as saying.
However, the Secretary-General of the organisation, Dr. Khalid Abubakar, said in a statement signed on his behalf by the Public Relations Officer Umar Ahmed Zaria that the CAN President should make clear his intention for opposing the Federal Government dialogue with the Islamic sect.
The statement said: “JNI does not know what the President of CAN intends to achieve by saying he is against the Federal Government talk with the Boko Haram sect. Whatever his reason might be, it should be made public because it takes a masquerade to know another.
“After the Miya Barkatai foiled attempt to bomb a church in Bauchi State, aren’t we witnessing the return of peace and security? Is he not interested in this? In the light of above, I strongly disagree with his assertion, particularly at a time that tension is gradually dying down.
“May I at this junction call on Oritsejafor to tell the world the so-called 26 groups said to be the Boko Haram. Also, it is imperative that the CAN President reveals to the nation his motive for not wanting the Federal Government to dialogue with the Boko Haram sect. It seems he prefers violence and anarchy the nation is going through.
“Why is he an advocate of violence for violence? The onus lies on him to tell the world what he wants regarding the Boko Haram palaver. He is always truncating the Federal Government initiatives.
“At this trying moment, patience, steadfastness, forbearance and the fear of God should be our guiding principle in curbing this menace. But the reverse is the case with the CAN President.”