In the Northern States of Nigeria, the Youth Wing of the Christian Association of Nigeria (YOWICAN) has issued a strong condemnation of what they view as unwarranted hate speech targeting Christians.
The recent comments by Sheikh Ahmed Gumi and other Islamic clerics have raised serious concerns within the Christian community.
YOWICAN, in a press briefing, expressed their deep concerns over the hate speech propagated by Gumi and his associates.
They accused them of launching a campaign that threatens to divide the nation along religious lines.
Of particular concern was the call to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to remove Barr Ezenwo Nyesom Wike, the Honourable Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
YOWICAN believes that this call jeopardizes the unity of Nigeria and is a grave sin.
Gumi and his colleagues have been criticized for deeming Wike unworthy of holding the position of FCT Minister due to his Christian faith.
YOWICAN argues that suggesting the FCT ministry is exclusively reserved for Northern Muslims is both childish and narrow-minded.
Evang. Musa D Misal, the YOWICAN Chairman for the 19 Northern States and FCT Abuja, pointed out the potentially inflammatory nature of Gumi’s comments.
He criticized Gumi for dividing both Muslims and Christians based on their political choices in the 2023 Presidential election.
Gumi’s assertion that national security should not be entrusted to Christians or southerners was met with strong opposition.
In a secular and democratic state like Nigeria, such statements are considered inappropriate and dangerous.
YOWICAN emphasizes that Gumi and his associates have displayed bigotry by attacking the diplomatic relationship between Nigeria and Israel while ignoring the Nigeria-Saudi Arabia relationship.
YOWICAN is deeply troubled by the apparent inaction of security agencies and the government in addressing the actions of individuals capable of inciting religious crises in Nigeria.
They call for these individuals to be held accountable and prosecuted to prevent hate speech and inflammatory statements.
YOWICAN reminds everyone that Nigeria is a secular state, where every qualified citizen, regardless of their religious, ethnic, or social background, is entitled to participate in public affairs without jeopardizing the constitution.
The unfounded comments on the FCT Minister’s status have been described as illogical, primitive, and an overplayed joke.
YOWICAN unequivocally opposes any attempt to victimize Barr Wike based on his religion.
YOWICAN appeals to the President to ensure that the rule of law is upheld at all times, and that Nigerians are treated fairly, regardless of their religious, ethnic, or geopolitical differences.
They believe that this will foster unity and enhance good governance in Nigeria.