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Catholic priests petition Tinubu, Sani over el-Rufai’s remarks as MURIC demands apology from CAN



Clerics in Kaduna State, under the umbrella of Nigerian Catholic Diocesan Priests Association (NCDPA), have petitioned Governor Uba Sani, condemning utterances of his predecessor, Nasir el-Rufai, insinuating alleged plot to Islamise the country.

The protest letter by Kaduna, Zaria and Kafanchan chapters of the body deplored the recent viral video in which el-Rufai was seen addressing Islamic clerics, with Governor Sani in attendance.

The correspondence was signed and copied to President Bola Tinubu by chairmen of Kaduna, Kafanchan and Zaria dioceses, Rev. Fr. Joseph Gandu, Very Rev. Fr. Douglas Rock and Very Rev. Fr. Samuel Ameh.

They said: “With consternation and utter disillusionment, we watched the now viral video clip in which the former governor, Nasir el-Rufai, while addressing a group of Islamic clerics with you sitting by his side, made comments that objectively amount to a divisive, bigoted, hateful and completely unstatesmanlike declaration of Islamic political supremacy in Kaduna State and Nigeria.”

Gandu said: “Having soberly considered the contents and implications of such communication by a former governor, who is known to be your close ally, we feel compelled to write you, to know where you stand with regards to the commotion Mallam el-Rufai intends to propagate and perpetuate in our state.”

The petition was also addressed to the pontiff in the Vatican.

MEANWHILE, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has faulted call by Kaduna State Chapter Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. Joseph Hayab, to Nigerians to ignore el-Rufai in his supposed journey for relevance.

It argued that the Christian body missed the point by accusing the ex-governor of Islamisation.

In a statement yesterday, the Executive Director, Prof. Ishaq Akintola, said: “On the contrary, however, we assert clearly, emphatically and unequivocally that what happened during the elections in Kaduna was the actualisation of core democratic principles. CAN missed the point by accusing the former governor of Islamisation.”

Citing America where there is a predominant Christian population and pockets of Muslim communities, MURIC maintained that no sane American Muslim can accuse President Joe Biden of Christianisation, simply because both himself and his vice are Christians.

Same thing, according to the group, applies to countries like Britain, France and Germany, noting that Muslims in these nations cannot accuse them of Christianisation.

Charging Hayab to learn from these countries, Akintola submitted: “We reiterate that the Muslim-Muslim ticket, which came into effect during the elections in Kaduna in 2019 and 2023, was the actualisation of core democratic principles.”

MURIC, therefore, asked Rev. Hayab to apologise to el-Rufai for the ‘accusation’.

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