‘Have a Rethink’ – Bishop Funmi Adesanya-Davis cautions MURIC

There is no need trading words; so, lend me some of your words, Mr. Cleric, as I am disappointed and utterly perplexed that Professor Ishaq Akintola, a supposed academic, could intelligently make such negative remarks to negate the red alert by the retired military generals and Christian elders under the aegis of the National Christian Elders Forum [NCEF), who opined in Abuja recently that Nigeria was being islamised.

The retired generals include Gen. Theophilus Danjuma [rtd.), Gen. Joshua Dogonyaro (rtd.) and Gen. Zamani Lekwot [rtd.), while Elder Solomon Asemota, Elder Moses Ihonde, Elder Shyngle Wigwe and Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife were among them. They had warned the Islamists of impending danger if they do not desist.

Of course, yes, what an adult sees sitting down, a child cannot see, while climbing up, an adage says. Professor Ishaq Akintola, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) president asserts that the said danger alert is false, baseless, deceptive, malicious and provocative.

The cleric totally rejects this allegation, in his words, “Using Christian and Islamic Religious Studies (CRS and IRS), which are in the current school curriculum, as a launching pad for its tirades on Muslims in the country.” To the contrary, one would have expected the Islamic cleric and academic to gladly support the separation of their IRS from the CRS curriculum and be glad IRS would have more space.

Of what gain is this merger to both religions? The NCGF and CAN had explained that they do not want CRS as combo subjects subsumed in any Religion and Security subjects. Christian children need not be exposed to wards, rumours of wars and winning of wars at tender ages of 5-6yrs in primary schools as that is not in their belief and value systems. In the name of what? Using flash cards to count how many wars there were, lost and won!

However, I would, in your words, rather say: “We Christians are not surprised at this latest development because you Muslim leaders are simply behaving to type.” Yet, you have always been creating unrest where there is none, and your religion is synonymous with wars and peace lesssness.

No wonder, you ironically tagged your religion as “peace.” What other religion on the planet earth is the most peace less? Please, we Nigerians want peace as it is engrafted in our constitution; we do not want wars; no, not even on the platter of any religion, we plead. Let tempers stop keep flaring.

Let it be known to you that, as you claimed in such foul language, cleric, and I quote you, “The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and its attack megaphones like NCEF are adept at subterfuge, and their false alarms usually come after they might have committed an evil act. It is diversionary tactics.

 Never and never, we are not such, and would never be. The whole world knows that Christians are peace-loving people as our Lord Jesus Christ, the Prince of peace. He is neither a warlord, a blood thirsty demon nor in support of any form of bloodshed in the name of religion. He rather shed His own blood for mankind, sacrificing His own life for us on the cross, as He came to place value on mankind. We believe in life, and He gave us self-esteem.

Again, one would ask: which Christian group, as the cleric claim, plots “to Christianize Muslim children by using the old deceptive curriculum”? This is laughable; can’t you people do your own thing?

Remember, we can recall the history of introduction of Christianity and Islam in Nigeria. Christianity was spread through evangelism, persuasion and conviction, and has continued to be so. 0n the other hand, militancy and brutal force, otherwise known as Jihad, were the methods of the spread for Islam. It was by military conquest that Uthman Dan Fodio subdued Gobir and converted it into a Muslim Sokoto Caliphate in 1804.

Still, on the plan to Christianize or Islamize: Why kidnap 90 per cent Christian girls from a Christian school and community in Chibok? Is it because we are so peaceful and quiet? Why are they trying to remove History from the Nigerian curriculum? To complete the Islamization, ‘Arabiazation’ and ‘Fulanization’ processes of Nigeria?

Geography was also excluded from the Curriculum, for what? To what end? If you do not understand some issues as an Islamic cleric and academic, do ask questions. Then we can explain to you over and over again as resolved in the upper chamber by the Senate.

Sure, a lot is wrong when government packages religion as combo subjects and makes Christian Religious Studies compulsory for Christian students and Islamic Religious Studies compulsory for Muslim students (‘Studies’ and not ‘Knowledge’) as you said (that was as used in the past).

Hello, in a country where there are no enough teachers in schools, and teachers are not being employed in every part of the country, why are you always moving in an opposite direction even when reasoning beckons so obviously to common sense? How on earth does this not simply translate to Islamizing Nigeria?

Once, in our schools, it was Bible Knowledge (BK) alone, then BK was accommodated as IRK and CRS, and now to what? 1/5 study content? Did you care to pick up and read in the new textbooks and curriculum all the blasphemous statements against our Lord Jesus Christ; that He was never crucified nor resurrected, etc.,? Did you care to pick up and see copies of the new Arabicized textbooks where all the cultures of Nigeria were subsumed? I have all the copies, and my heart bleeds.

Why will Nigerian children enter their classrooms in the primary, secondary and university in the future and do not understand what is happening because the language of adoption, emersion and initiation is Arabic? Think, think, please think as an academic and a Nigerian because of the future of Nigeria’s teeming youth and generations unborn. Think, think, please think.

You claimed, “NCEF is shouting blue murder because CAN’s plot of catching Muslim children as ‘fishes’ through a deceptive curriculum has been floored” and added “It is a cardinal dogma of CAN that any child, who lacks Christian moral training, must end up as a social outcast and a burden on society. They therefore seek to compel Muslim children to take CRS and deny them the chance to study IRS.”

Please, again, I say think and re-think. Are you not fed up with street children, Almajiris, Boko Haram, all sorts, etc., that have kept northern Nigeria undeveloped and subjugated?

Think, think and re-think. Are you so comfortable with the countless IDP camps in northern Nigeria, all in the name of Islam? How did Nigerians get here, for heaven’s sake and why are you still pushing Nigeria this farther? Into what, in the 21st century?

Now, you asked, but you – ask yourself – What is “this idea of using former military generals to intimidate the country on an issue involving religion? When the elders all in their 80s, who should be quietly resting and sleeping in their homes in their wisdom, gathered to alert those involved to tread softly?” You call that intimidation!

Oh, no! Let me reserve my comments. As you raised this alarm, “When last did Muslims use their own generals to make noise?” Must we flex military muscle over a civil matter? Why the emphasis on a statement issued by retired military generals and Christian leaders? Are the generals there to represent the Nigerian Army? “To make what point? Who did this to CAN? The reference to war by the group is an admission that they are already making secret plans to wage war on Muslims.”

Ok, you go then and gather the Muslim militia to wage war against Christians and innocent Nigerians. Then, as you reprimanded: “MURIC charges the Nigerian military to caution its retired Christian generals. They must desist from brandishing their expired medals in our faces. Something has gone terribly wrong with their pre-retirement briefings.”

Is that how to address elder statesmen and their Excellencies, who united to see how they can avert eminent and looming danger? Did they gather to discuss how to get guns and cutlasses to slaughter your people? Then, go and gather the government and the Muslim militia to wage war against Christians and law abiding Nigerians, and keep on drumming, as we have already been told – “come October 1st!”

Is this how to work for peace, to pray for progress and search for a stable Nigerian nation? By insulting Christian military and elders? Inciting the Muslim populace? Wonders shall never end!

 Culled from Today’s Challenge magazine, August 7, 2017

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