The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), has fired back at the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), over its comment about the hijab crisis in Kwara State and appointment of Appeal Court Justices.
The Sultan of Sokoto-led council which slammed CAN for opposing the nomination of 13 Northerners/ Muslims out of the 20 jurists listed as Court of Appeal Justices, had said the Christian group was beating the drum of war over the introduction of hijab in mission schools in Ilorin.
But reacting, CAN said wearing of hijab by female students does not mean they will become more brilliant.
The Christian umbrella body in Nigeria accused the NSCIA of fighting over issues that would not develop education in the country.
“Our attention has been drawn to a Press Statement issued by the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) where the Council used vulgar, immature language and unprintable words to describe the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in its bid to justify the obvious lopsided appointments of the Federal Government in favour of its members.
“The Council was smart by half when it picked an example of just one arm of Government without addressing the totality of fundamental questions on all the arms of government.
“The NSCIA evaded those troubling issues that are well known not only to Nigerians but members of the international community; those knotty issues that have pushed our country on the edge of precipice.
“Up till today, it is those things that cannot bring development in education that the NSCIA members are still fighting for such as the wearing of hijab in schools started by Christians and are still largely being maintained by them.
“Will a girl wearing hijab be more brilliant in school than the rest of her counterparts? They have forgotten that till today, we are not mounting pressure on the government to introduce the Christian culture to the Islamic schools”, CAN said.
The Christian body accused the NSCIA of promoting division and injustice in the country under the current administration.
It further accused the NSCIA of being evasive on the big issue of the court of appeal, stating that its concern has always been directed at the Federal Government as a concerned non-governmental group, but the Muslim body as an underdog of government rather took it upon itself to speak for the government.
“By doing so, NSCIA has unwittingly exposed itself as a promoter of bad governance, divisiveness and injustice in Nigeria under the Buhari administration”, it also said.
“Why did the Council remain evasive on the big issue of the Court of Appeal? Interestingly, there was never a time when CAN ever attacked or made veiled reference to NSCIA over the obvious lopsided appointments in the country.
“CAN’s concern has always been directed at the Federal Government as a concerned non-governmental group but NSCIA as an underdog of Government rather took it upon itself to speak for the Government. We wish the Council had allowed the Government to speak for itself.
“We all know how they removed Justice Walter Onnoghen from office without following due process. But for the critical section of the polity including the likes of Col. Umar Dangiwa, the incumbent President of the Court of Appeal would have been denied her succession privilege and right. We didn’t see NSCIA on the list.
“Is it falsehood or character assassination that the Security Council of the country has remained an appendage of NSCIA under the watch of President Muhammadu Buhari?
“The Constitutional position is that all of us, Christians and Moslems are stakeholders in this country, and votes were not collated on the basis of religion.
“So for the government to bend or lean towards Muslims in its appointment of Security Chiefs is unconstitutional and doesn’t take into consideration the varied interests of other ethnic and religious groups,” the Christian body stated.
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