The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has warned President Muhammadu Buhari against taking sides in the current Israel-Palestine conflict ravaging the Middle East region.
CAN made its stance known in a statement issued by Daramola Bade, its National Secretary, on Monday.
The Turkish Presidency had in a statement on Twitter on Friday said President Recep Erdogan of Turkey told President Buhari on the telephone that he expected Nigeria to show solidarity with Palestinians following the latest attacks by Israel on Jerusalem and Gaza.
The Turkish President had told Buhari that his country was trying to get the international community to teach Israel, which he described as “unlawful, unjust and unscrupulous,” a lesson, adding that he believed that Nigeria will support Palestinians in “this rightful cause”.
But reacting, CAN reminded President Buhari that Nigeria is a secular state and should, therefore, not be seen to meddle in crisis that has religious undertones.
The religious association insisted that President Buhari and the international community should intervene in the crisis without taking sides if they truly wanted an enduring peace.
The statement read: “The Christian Association of Nigeria has warned President Muhammadu Buhari against joining Arab world in fighting Israel in the ongoing violence in the Middle East as advocated by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey because Nigeria is a secular state.
“Erdogan reportedly called ‘for the international community to teach the necessary lesson to unlawful, unjust and unscrupulous Israel due to its attacks against Palestine, President Erdogan voiced his belief that Nigeria would show solidarity with the Palestinians in this rightful cause.’
“We are worried that Nigeria which was wrongly labelled an Islamic State because of her unlawful membership of the Organisation of Islamic Conference has been taking side with the Palestinians since the emergence of President Muhammadu Buhari, hence why the Turkish President asked Nigeria to identify with the Palestinians.
“On behalf of every Nigerian Christian, we call on the Federal government to reverse itself on the support that has been given to the Palestinians to date. For the record, millions of Nigerian Christians are in support of Israel against the position of the government. We once again remind the Federal government and the National Assembly that Nigeria is not an Islamic State.
“We call on the International community to intervene in the ongoing bloody actions in the Middle East without taking side if they truly wanted an enduring peace.
“We agree with the United States that Israel has the right to defend herself against external aggression. We see no reason why Nigeria should take side with either of the warring factions.”