The Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, has wholeheartedly welcomed the United States Government for placing Nigeria on a Special Watch List for nations where religious intolerance holds sway.
CAN leadership made its position known through Pastor Adebayo Oladeji, Special Assistant (Media & Communications) to the CAN President, Rev Dr Samson Ayokunle.
The Apex Christian body said it is not happy with Nigerian being listed among nations with religious intolerance, it is happy that a neutral and external organisation has observed the situation in Nigeria.
“We are not happy that our country is being listed among the nations where religious intolerance is one of their hallmarks but it gladdens our hearts that, at least, the global community is not unaware of the fact that Nigerian Christians are becoming an endangered species in their fatherland.”
CAN said the reasons given by the United States are too glaring to be disputed.
‘‘The US, like every other country, has an embassy here that monitors and reports back what the country is going through and the approach being adopted by the government to addressing the situation’’.
“The Nigerian federal government failed to implement effective strategies to prevent or stop such violence or to hold perpetrators accountable.
“The leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, has made this known to President Muhammadu Buhari in all our meetings with him to see the whole country as his constituency and to avoid nepotism as much as possible; but instead of correcting the imbalance, one of his aides is fond of abusing and insulting the association using every unprintable word.
“The Chief Justice of Nigeria, a few days ago, called for an amendment to the Constitution with a view to adding more Sharia contents. Since the Chief Justice has not denied the story and the government has failed to call him to order, it is crystal clear that the US government has more facts than the government thinks.
“If the government is sensitive to our yearnings and aspirations, how come no Christian is heading any of the three arms of government in the present dispensation? This is unprecedented in the history of this country since Independence. Is that one of the reasons why no Christian worthy of occupying any of those sensitive positions?”
CAN further expressed dismay over the composition of the National Security Council saying it was a slap on the face of Christians.
‘‘We learnt that 98 per cent of its members come from one part of the country and people of the same faith. Let the government unmask its members including their religions and states of origin’’.
“The government is telling us that Christians are not worthy for those key appointments but to play the second fiddle.