The chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Kaduna state chapter, Reverend John Hayab, has described as ” dishonest” claims made by President Buhari that about 90 per cent of Boko Haram victims were Muslims.
The President made the claim in an op-ed published in Christianity Today, titled “Buhari: Pastor Andimi’s faith should inspire Nigerians,”.
In the article which was published on Monday February 3rd, the president eulogised the chairman of Michika, Adamawa State Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Lawan Andimi, who was recently beheaded by Boko Haram for refusing to renounce his Christian faith.
The President stated that the attacks by Boko Haram members have repeatedly shown that it is not religious based. According to the President, the sect members have over time attacked and kidnapped many Muslim faithfuls.
“Christianity in Nigeria is not—as some seem intent on believing—contracting under pressure, but expanding and growing in numbers approaching half of our population today. Nor is it the case that Boko Haram is primarily targeting Christians: not all of the Chibok schoolgirls were Christians; some were Muslims, and were so at the point at which they were taken by the terrorists.
Indeed, it is the reality that some 90 per cent of all Boko Haram’s victims have been Muslims: they include a copycat abduction of over 100 Muslim schoolgirls, along with their single Christian classmate; shootings inside mosques; and the murder of two prominent imams. Perhaps it makes for a better story should these truths, and more, be ignored in the telling” the article in part reads.
Reacting to the President’s claim, Reverend Hayab said this is dishonest and does not reflect the true situation of things.
In a chat with Vanguard, Reverend Hayab said the umbrella Christian body was not surprised by the President’s claim.
“If President Buhari truly made that claim, then we cannot be surprised going by the things his spokesman, Femi Adesina said after the killing of Rev Lawan Andimi. We believe Adesina wrote the column on behalf of his principal to affirm the things he has said, himself, about the attack on Christians by Boko Haram terrorists.
But there is a difference between what they say in the media and the actual happenings on the ground. In Nigeria, it will be dishonesty for anyone to claim that 90 percent of Boko Haram victims have to be Muslims. We believe it is not true. However, this is part of the denials that have caused problems in this country.
Instead of accepting the reality of our problems, our leaders prefer to live in denials. No serious-minded person will believe the President is being honest in his claims.
We make bold to say the Federal Government has not commissioned any multi-stakeholder survey to ascertain the facts and figures. Let the President show him the full facts backing his claims. A leader who is supposed to unite the people need not exhibit certain sentiments such as have been conveyed by President Buhari in his claim.”