The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, has condemned claims by Christian leaders that they are being persecuted and killed by Boko Haram.
Abubakar insists that nobody was being persecuted because Boko Haram was targeting both Christians and Muslims in the Northern part of the country.
The monarch spoke at the first quarterly meeting of the Nigerian Inter-Religious Council (NIREC) meeting in Abuja.
His comment is coming at a time when some leaders of Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, alongside the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye protested the killing of Christians in the Northeast and the country.
However, the Sultan called for unity, stressing that Boko Haram should not be allowed to divide the country.
According to the monarch: “It pains me when we gather at NIREC or other meetings and agreed on measures that would promote religious peace, unity and tolerance. But shortly after, you will begin to hear stories of persecution here and there.
“If we go out shouting, marching, dancing and singing that people of a particular religion are being persecuted and killed, you also forget people of other religions are also affected in the killings by the same enemies of the state.
“We must not allow terrorists to come in between us and divide us. If we mistakenly do, then we are finished. There is nothing wrong with any religious organisation marching on the street to call for God’s interventions in a particular issue. But we should not make a show of such things because we want to be visible and, therefore, bring more problems to the nation.
“We have been reading and hearing reports about the persecution of Christians in Nigeria and I keep asking myself, how? Christians are being killed, Muslims are also being killed, and they are all lives created by God.
“For me, there is no persecution of anybody in this country. If you claim there is the persecution of Christians in Nigeria, there would also be claims of persecution of Muslims. But that would not solve the problem.
“People claim they are denied places to build mosques, churches in some parts of the country. But the right thing to do in such cases is to approach relevant authorities and not to make claims of persecution.”
Contrary to Sultan’s stance, the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed had recently declared that Boko Haram was targeting Christians in the North.
The Minister had claimed that the insurgents were trying to divide Nigeria along religious lines.
The ministers comment was on the backdrop of the killing of CAN Chairman in Michika, Adamawa State by Boko Haram insurgents recently.
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