The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has slammed the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) over comment suggesting people are “kidnapping for Christ”
Ishaq Akintola, director of MURIC, had condemned the kidnap of nine children from Kano State. In his condemnation, the MURIC leader had said: “kidnapping for Christ is disgusting, nauseating, wicked and reprehensible.”
Reacting to this statement, Joseph Hayab, chairman of CAN in the northern region, condemned Akintola’s statement, stating that criminality abounds in every religion.
He said: “Criminals abound everywhere and in every religion, for MURIC to say a crime was perpetrated for Christ, is sheer mischief aimed at provoking Christians,” he said.
“How could a rational, sane and educated person, associate the action of criminals to a religion? There are many instances where Christian girls were abducted, forcefully converted to Islam and married off by criminals in Northern Nigeria. In some of these cases, the police either refused to act or turned blind eyes.
“Will it be right to accuse all Muslims of the action of such criminals? The answer is no.
“A particular group which belongs to a particular religious group has always been alleged to be responsible for the rampant kidnappings and banditry across the country, especially in the north, will it be right to say that they are committing the crime to promote their tribe or religion?
“We also have the case of Leah Sharibu who is still being held by Boko Haram insurgents for refusing to denounce her Christian faith and convert to Islam. No Christian has associated Muslims with such criminal acts.
“If we have any witness against the culprits behind the abduction, we will join hands with the people of Kano to testify against him or them in court,” he said.
“There is nothing like kidnapping for Christ. This evil kidnapper or child trafficker, knowing that he did not carry away the children for religion gave them new tribal names, MURIC should note.
“CAN northern states, therefore, condemned anybody carrying people’s children away and supports security agencies to investigate the matter and prosecute the culprits.
“The abduction of children is a criminal offence. MURIC can call whoever is found doing that whatever name they like, but don’t associate criminality with Christ.”