Northern Christians lamented that similar statements by some Islamic fundamentalists have also saturated the media space.
The Northern Christian Youth Network has issued a warning to those inciting people against other Nigerians due to differences in religion.
The Northern Christian youths were reacting to ‘hateful and segregational statements’ directed at former Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory.
Briefing newsmen in Kaduna on Monday, the National President, NCYN, Comrade Abdulsalam John Tanko, said, “It is no longer news that following his inauguration as the FCT Minister, renowned Islamic cleric, Sheikh Gumi, in a viral video, described Wike as a hater of Northern Nigeria and an infidel, however, what is news is the layedback approach at which some individuals have accepted this hate speech and divisive rhetoric, which seeks to sow seeds of discord among Nigerians and reignite religious crises which have taken a back seat for a long time.”
He lamented that similar statements by some Islamic fundamentalists have also saturated the media space, saying it is worrying that in 21st century Nigeria, those who are trusted with uniting the different religions are instead taking Nigerians through the harrowing journey of barbarism and promulgating bigotry.
He emphasized, “We, therefore, vehemently kick against such individuals who want to tarnish the image of Wike and that of President Bola Tinubu, not on the basis of competence, but because of religion and selfish agenda. Nigerians must uphold the principle that the country belongs to all its citizens, regardless of religious, ethnic, or political affiliations, as the unity and cooperation among all regions are important to our country’s progress and development.”
According to him, the position of FCT Minister is not the birthright of anybody, religion, sect or creed, it is a Nigerian territory and even its original owners, the Gbagyis, have not complained about Wike’s appointment, saying that those planning to derail the policies of the present administration on ministerial portfolios are barking up the wrong tree and their ill-conceived gimmicks have failed on arrival.
He urged President Bola Tinubu not to give in to such cheap blackmail and continue with the evenly balanced sharing of political appointments that has not been witnessed in Nigeria for a long time and also called on Wike not to allow such hateful and divisive statements affect his ideas of repositioning the FCT.
“Wike has been known to be astute, dogged and undeterred, so we urge him not to abandon the tenets that made him succeed as governor of Rivers State,” he note.
He stated that the country does not belong to Muslims alone and called on the relevant authorities to arrest them if necessary.
The National President explained that Nigeria belongs to Christians, Muslims and traditionalists, saying, “so bigotry and zealotism must not be tolerated and should be condemned in strong terms. We encourage the media not to relent in her efforts of broadcasting factual contents and it should also keep upholding its statues as the Fourth Estate of the Realm.”