Chris Steven, Abuja
A leading socio-cultural and political organization in the Middlebelt under the auspices of Middle Belt People’s Progressive Congress (MBPPC) has come hard on the National Christian Elders Forum, NEF, over its recent claim that Jihad has been launched in Nigeria.
MBPPC said the claim by the group under the leadership of Solomon Asemota was a deliberate attempt to spark what it termed another conflagration and ethno-religious crisis in Nigeria.
Recall that the NCEF had last Thursday after a meeting in Abuja claimed they have uncovered plots by some Islamists to impose Sharia ideology on the nation.
In a communique issued after the meeting, which was attended by Gen. Joshua Dogonyaro (retd.), Gen. Zamani Lekwot (retd.), Elder Moses Ihonde, Gen. Theophilus Danjuma (retd.), Elder Shyngle Wigwe, and Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife the group noted with concern the budding constitutional crisis in the country.
Reacting, however at a press conference held in Abuja on Tuesday, Amos Yunusa the President General of the MBPPC said the First NCEF was a highly discredited body, which its membership is overly over populated by some persons with questionable characters,
Yunusa said most members of the group confidently and conveniently laid the foundation of Nigeria’s present problems of ethno-religious crises and secession agitations, which have continued to linger and plague us as a people and a nation.
He said, “The permutation is nothing beyond the desire of some self -serving and satanically inclined religious debauches’ to create chaos, anarchy and violence in the guise of representing the interest of Christians in Nigeria. Experiences have indicated that Northern Nigeria, particularly, the Middle Belt region is a fertile ground for such crises. Our elite have always exploited the innocence and vulnerability of our people, as NCEF presently postures, to create this confusion to ignite an eventual ethno-religious conflagration.
“They cannot today throw a satanic slap on our faces by accusing President Muhammedu Buhari of causing what they described as the “current” spate of ethno-religious crisis; agitations for secession in Nigeria, promoting jihadists agenda, herders/ farmers clashes and the disrespect for Nigeria’s Constitution and federal character principle.
“It is more bemusing to unearth the persona inside some of the personalities in NCEF who are mouthing sanctimoniously about concern for Nigeria, sanity and Christianity. In the NCEF meeting in Abuja, last Thursday, retired generals like TY Danjuma, Joshua Dogonyaro and Zamani Lekwot and the former Governor of old Anambra state, Chief Chukwuemeka Ezeife were among a retinue of others who graced the parley and released a public statement pontificating about saintliness.”
The MBPP leader said the so-called Christian elders and self-styled elder statesmen unfortunately felt adopting the Nigerian usual game of bulk passing of blame to President Buhari would cleanse them of their repulsive past.
He added, “In their infantile reasoning, they erroneously thought, they could hide their dark misdeeds, with the diction of “current” problems in Nigeria and effectively blind every Nigerian to any sense of history and the subtle incitement to begin another mass massacre of themselves along religious, ethnic and political persuasions.
“Except Gen. Danjuma flaunts a conscience that is dead, or else he would have reminisced that secession agitations and jihadists agenda are not problems of today under a Buhari Presidency. We all know unmistakably that the gory events of the 1966 counter coup by young Northern military officers precipitated Col. Ojukwu’s declaration of a Biafran Republic. He lost that war, but the dream has refused to extinguish in the minds Igbos in Nigeria, evident in the sprouting of MASSOB and IPOB years back before the Buhari Presidency. Nigeria has lived with it.”
“And for ex- Governor of old Anambra state, Chief Chukwuemeka Ezeife, recounting his narrative has been so bewildering. A man who has lived the Biafran dream in words and actions all his life, since its debut in 1967, deceptively sermonizes in the new millennium that lopsided federal appointments by President Buhari is responsible for the agitations by his kinsmen for separatism. And he feels no modicum of shame to play this in public domain. That’s the extent dishonesty in Nigeria is garbed with garments of religion.
“Nigerians who mouth such profane things against President Buhari forget easily that the deadly Islamic sect Boko Haram terrorists festered uncontrollably when Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, a Christian was President of Nigeria. But Buhari has crushed it. We ask rhetorically that is it not easier enough for a leader with a Jihadist agenda like they have tagged President Buhari to have allowed, sustained and nourished Boko Haram to overwhelm Nigeria?
The group further observed Nigeria is crippled today because of its systemic plundering by the likes of some members of NCEF, noting that, “if these loots are returned to the coffers and put into good public use, it will substantially alleviate some of these problems and vanish the agitations.