The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has asked Christian leaders in West Africa to counsel “their brothers in Christ” over the threat issued on the continued detention of Leah Sharibu, the only Christian among the schoolgirls abducted in Dapchi, Yobe state.
Sharibu had refused to renounce her faith in exchange for her freedom.
Although the federal government has promised to secure her release, parents and the loved ones of the 15-year-old girl have been waiting in vain.
Last week, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) said there might be a religious war if Sharibu dies in Boko Haram captivity.
“Leah Sharibu must not die. Her death, God forbids, can spell doom for Nigeria. It can give an open invitation to religious war because Leah is being detained purely because of her religion,” Adebayo Oladeji, spokesman of Samson Ayokunle, CAN president, had said.
But in a statement on Friday, MURIC expressed surprise over how CAN could be ”stoking the fire of war”.
The statement signed by Isha’q Akintola, director of MURIC, said the Christian leaders should have declared war on the insurgents and not innocent Nigerians.
Akintola alleged that CAN leaders were not only giving cheap popularity to Boko Haram but also playing into the hands of the group.
”This LEAH Sharibu incident is Boko Haram’s last card along the same mission and we expect CAN leaders to know better. ‘But CAN cannot. CAN has its own political agaenda,” MURIC said.
”We strongly suspect that CAN is deliberately creating a conundrum. Leah Sharibu was abducted. Who abducted her? Boko Haram.
”Muslim leadres have rejected Boko Haram. Muslims are also victims of Boko Haram. CAN now wants war. Against who? Against Muslims. ‘Is it logical? Does it make sense at all?
”CAN is playing into the hands of Boko Haram. It would have made sense if CAN had said, ”Boko Haram has refused to release Leah Sharibu. Therefore we are going after Boko Haram insurgents. Sambisa Forest here we come.”
MURIC added that CAN should have followed the example of Muhammead Abubakar, the sultan of Sokoto and President-General of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, who had called on all Nigerians to join hands with him in fighting ‘the transparent evil.
Akintola also alleged that CAN was complacent with the way people were being killed when Christians leaders were in power.
”So CAN can make noise now because a Muslim is in power? BUT CAN could look the other way when Christians were in power, particularly when the billions were flowing in the immediate past regime and Jerusalem trips were shorter than walks from home to church?” MURIC asked.
”We can undesrtand this particularly now that the pecuniary tap in Aso Rock is dry.”
He pleaded with Christians to “make CAN leadership see reason”.