Archbishop Onaiyekan reveals those behind story of Nigeria’s Islamisation

The Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, John Cardinal Onaiyekan has said that those behind the allegation peddled in some quarters about the Islamization of Nigeria were people desperately struggling for positions of authority and power in the country.

He also said that, as far as Nigeria was concerned, there would be no victor between Christians and Muslims if religious war breaks in Nigeria.

He disclosed this in Abuja on Wednesday at the annual conference of the Nigeria Anglican Roman Catholic Commission (NARCC) with the theme; “The Church as Communion, Local and Universal.”

Commenting on the allegations that Nigeria would be Ismalize, he said: “As a Christian, we live in a country where at least so far, we have every right to practice our faith, not just practice it as an individuals privately but publicly and not only practice it but propagate it and that is the right that we have under the constitution.

“We are doing evangelization work and nobody can stop me or others from doing that and I must say no one has stopped me yet from doing that.

“The question of Islamization or no Islamization; in my own opinion depends on what you are talking about and the angle you are looking at. If every time a Muslim is appointed to a position, we say Ismalization, well, that is one way and in that case, therefore, anytime a Christian is appointed, we should also be prepared to hear people say Christianization.”

Continuing, Bishop Onaiyekan said: “In my own opinion, I think this is a matter that is not basically religious, it is a matter of the struggle for positions and power which is not bad because everybody has right in this regard.

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“Those who are Christians have right to fight for their right in the Nigerian setup and the right to fight for anybody you think is not properly treated.

“Those who have made these allegations of Ismalization have listed out the reasons why they have made such allegations but I hope you are aware that on the other side too, they have listed out their own.

“This kind of game doesn’t help us because as Christians are listing out allegations, there are Muslims who would come and list out allegations of Christianization, at the end of the day, it is not about Christian or Islam, it is about who gets what job.

“I would advise Christians to be good citizens and they should insist on their rights and there should be enough of always bending over for fear of losing your own selfish advantage.

“I don’t think it would be good for any of us to declare a religious war of Christians against Muslims. I don’t think it is a war that the Christians or the Islams would win, the only person who would win is troublemakers who fish in troubled waters but for the rest of us, all we want to live our lives in peace. They should allow us to live in peace.”

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