Oritsejafor Disagree On Islamic Leaders’ Effort

The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, and the national president of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, yesterday disagreed over the effort by Muslim clerics to sensitise the people of the region against the reign of terror on Nigerians by the Boko Haram sect in the name of religion.

This is even as President Goodluck Jonathan has cautioned Nigerians, irrespective of their creed or status, to desist from making provocative statements that could create disaffection and breach of the peace in the country.

The president, the Sultan and Oritsejajor spoke at a two-day roundtable with special advisers on Religious Affairs from the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory.

The meeting with the theme: ‘Towards Synergising and Interfacing in the Religious Sectors for National Development’, was organised by the Offices of the Senior Special Assistants to the President on Islamic and Christian Matters.

Sultan, who is regarded as the religious head of Muslims in the country, had stated that Islamic leaders had done “so much” in preaching against the dreadful activities of the insurgent.

But Oritsejafor countered him, saying what the Islamic clerics had been doing leaves much to be desired in their effort in reaching out to the insurgents and presenting the true teachings of Islam to them.

However, Sultan noted that the current situation in the north east was not similar to the activities of militants in the Niger Delta for people to suggest that Islamic leaders should sit with Boko Haram leaders and dialogue.

He said, “In a situation where Muslim leaders condemn insurgents and they will still be told they have not done enough; that is not fair. We don’t tell ourselves the truth. Followers are not telling the leaders the truth, and the leaders will think they are doing the right things.

Oritsejafor urged the Sultan to write to Boko Haram the way he had written to ISIS, saying the insurgents in Nigeria had killed more than ISIS.

President Jonathan who was represented by Vice President Namadi Sambo said instead of making inciting statements, Nigerians should assist government with prayers
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