The National Inter-Faith and Religious Organisations for Peace (NIFROP) has called for caution over allegations of genocide against Christians in Nigeria.
The renowned inter-faith group gave the charge in a letter titled: ‘Allegation of Christian Genocide in Nigeria and the Need for Caution’ to the British Ambassador to Nigeria on Monday.
Co-signed by National Co-ordinator, Bishop Sunday Garuba and co-coordinator, Sheik Suleiman Abubakar, NIFROP said the report is baseless, capable of inciting the Christians against other religions.
While admitting security challenges in the country, NIFROP said it would be wrong to attach religious colouration to it, especially as it is being exploited by some “agents of destabilisation”
“This assumption is not only false; it is indeed part of the greater plot to spark a religious crisis in the country, which if care is not taken might spiral out of control and subject Nigeria and Nigerians to untold hardship that is common with sectarian turmoil anywhere in the world, ” the letter reads in part.
” It is instructive to state that the security challenges in Nigeria, even though mostly politically inclined, have indeed affected all Nigerians regardless of our religious or ethnic affiliations. This much, we have postulated in our various outreaches as no religion promotes violence, and no religion wishes death on fellow humans.
” This fact can be buttressed with the identities of the casualties of acts of terrorism and militancy in the country. Churches and Mosques have been targeted continuously, public spaces shared by Nigerians from all walks of life have also been targeted, and as such, the supposition that a particular religious group is targeted holds no water and must be disregarded.
“Dear High Commissioner, the fact remains that Nigeria has witnessed various forms of security challenges since the return of democracy in 1999. In most instances, some mischievous groups and associations have always exploited the religious configuration in the country to paint a picture of religious agenda either by the government or members of the opposition, thereby fueling a regime of mutual suspicion amongst the various religious faiths in the country.
“These agents of destabilisation have been spreading this narrative across the country with the ultimate aim to mislead the members of the Christian community to see a threat to their lives and consequently act out of ignorance in embarking on retaliatory attacks on members of other religious faiths in the country”.
NIFROP, however, urged the British envoy and his country to render assistance towards identifying and tracking those behind this ignoble and misleading campaign.
The inter-faith group further appealed to the UK to “avail its technological expertise to Nigeria towards nipping this threat in the bud by sharing Intel with our security agencies on ways to quell whatever uprising that may occur as a result of this misinformation.
“We are also seeking the assistance of the British authorities towards a sensitisation campaign across the country through the convergence of a stakeholder meeting with leaders of various religious groups in the country to harp on the need for religious tolerance and mutual coexistence.”