By Chesa Chesa
The Presidency on Wednesday tackled the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) for the second day in a row over the state of security on the country, urging the group to desist from disinformation about President Buhari’s efforts to release the remaining Chibok girls and Leah Sharibu, from Boko Haram captivity.
In a statement issued in Abuja by presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, the Presidency urged CAN to instead follow Bi- ble injunctions in its conduct and allow peace reign in the country while defending the Christian faith.
Adesina was responding to claims by CAN that Buhari refused to pay ransom for the release of the school girls abducted since 2014 and 2018 because they were Christians.
The presidential aide recalled however, that Buhari had been willing since he assumed office in 2015 to secure the girls’ freedom with ransom if possible, and was never discriminatory in this effort.
Adesina’s statement reads: “We are again constrained to react to unfounded allegations by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) about the payment or non-payment of ransom for the release of the Chibok and Dapchi schoolgirls.
“Media reports quoted CAN’s Director of Legal and Public Affairs, Kwamkur Samuel to have said inter alia: “Nigerians need to know, if they have not known the reason why the Presidency could not pay ransom to rescue Chibok girls. It is because 80% to 90% of the girls are Christians.
The reason why Dapchi girls’ ransom was quickly paid and they were returned is the discovery that most of the girls were Muslims except Leah Sharibu who is still in captivity.”
“When the media in August 2018 quoted a United Nations Report alleging that the Federal Government paid a “huge ransom” for the release of the abducted Dapchi schoolgirls on March 21, 2018, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, immediately disputed the report, insisting that no ransom was paid, ‘little or huge’.
According to the Minister, ‘there must be a conclusive evidence to support such a claim. Without that, the claim remains what it is – a mere conjecture’.
“And we ask, ‘Who should Nigerians or CAN rather believe, if there is good faith?
“We urge CAN to desist from disinformation which can further divide Nigerians. The letter and spirit of the Holy Bible do not support discord, which CAN’s allegations are liable to cause.
“The Christian body need not be antagonistic to every attempt by the administration to move Nigeria forward, before it can champion or defend the Christian faith. “President Muhammadu Buhari made it very clear in 2015 that if ransom needed to be paid to free the Chibok schoolgirls, he would pay.
That is a testament to his commitment to get the girls back. “Notwithstanding our different faiths, we are all stakeholders in the promotion of peace in our fatherland. And the Holy Bible enjoins us to, “Seek peace, and pursue it.”