The leadership of the Christian Association of Nigerian (CAN), yesterday, came hard on the United States (US) Secretary of States, Mr. John Kerry over his visit to Nigeria, alleging that it was discriminatory, personal and divisive.
It alleged that the visit was aimed at “furthering Federal Government’s plan to continue to persecute the teeming population of Nigerian Christians.”
The body further noted that Kerry, during his visit to Nigeria, only visited the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar III and met with the 19 northern governors with only three Christians among them.
Similarly, at the Presidential Villa, where he was hosted by President Muhammadu Buhari, Kerry met with selected northern governors.
National President of CAN, Supo Ayokunle while speaking on the visit, lambasted Kerry’s lack of respect to the heterogeneous nature of Nigeria, having openly favoured northern Nigeria and Muslims to the detriment of the Christian community.
Ayokunle said the discriminatory disposition of the US Secretary of State during the visit confirmed accusations that the President Barack Obama’s administration openly supported the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2015 general elections which produced the current leadership of the country.
While calling on Kerry to ‘stop interfering in Nigerian affairs’, the CAN president said the visit was a complete flop and exposed Kerry’s negligence of Nigeria’s unity in diversity ideology that has remained the bedrock of the country.
“Why did he meet with 19 northern governors, without meeting with southern governors? Is Nigeria made up of the north alone?”
Ayokunle said the visit sends a wrong message and appeared to affirm the allegation that Christians, under the Buhari administration are under a siege.
“Kerry’s action speaks volume, his body language were very divisive.
“If US Secretary of States came for official visit, it’s understandable, but we demand explanation why he was selective. Has the Sultan’s Palace become another State House? Was Kerry invited by the Sultan?
“We have 36 States in Nigeria; he only selected northern governors to meet. It was a visit to the North and not to Nigeria. It was surely a very divisive visit. With the visit to the North, Kerry heightened fears and tension among Christians in Nigeria; if they cannot bring us together, they should not interfere in our affairs.”
On the perennial killing of Christians in northern Nigeria, the CAN president said: “Have the DSS arrested the Muslim youths who burnt down a Catholic Church in Niger State because they were worshiping on Friday? What happened to the ECWA pastor who was killed in his farm in Obi Local Government Area of Nasarawa State? What has happened concerning the Redeemed preacher who was murdered in Kubwa, Abuja?”
“Look at the recent case in Zamfara State where Christians were burnt alive. What has happened? They will tell you, they are still investigating. Have they been arrested and charged to court? If the government cannot sit up and protect Christians, tolerance is going to break down; they should do the right thing, they should not provoke Christians. Have we ever seen this government bring anybody to book?”
The CAN president tasked President Buhari ‘to come out clean’, adding that, “a government that doesn’t listen is not for the people.”
Ayokunle alleged that while the DSS and the Police have been slow in arresting extremists killing Christians in the country, they have been fast persecuting Christians.