The Muslim Rights Concern, MURIC, has slammed US President Donald Trump for asking President Muhammadu Buhari why he’s killing Christians.
The question asked by Trump in 2018 was revealed by Buhari while speaking at a two-day ministerial performance assessment held in Abuja on Tuesday 9th September, 2020.
In reaction, MURIC through its director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, on Wednesday 10th September, 2020, placed the blame on the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, whom it accused of selling the country cheaply.
MURIC also advised the US leader not to bully the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“We take serious objection to the language used by President Donald Trump of the US when he spoke with President Muhammadu Buhari. Trump asked Buhari, ‘Why are you killing Christians in Nigeria?’
“That question was based on false and misleading reports which the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has been sending to the outside world. We expect Trump to know better because the killings are not being done by the Nigerian security agencies. How then can the Nigerian president be accused of doing the killings?
“Again, it is not Christians alone that are being killed. Muslims are also victims. This is the same false information that was spread about Boko Haram. People were told that the terrorists were killing Christians only and bombing churches. It was later learnt that Boko Haram is killing emirs, Imams, Islamic scholars and ordinary Muslims too. The violent group was also destroying mosques.
“The crisis is mainly between herders and farmers, not between the government of Muhammadu Buhari and Nigerian Christians. So how can anyone accuse President Buhari of killing Christians? Apart from this, herders-farmers clashes predate Buhari’s administration. It has been occurring for a very long time. It was there in ex-President Jonathan’s period and even in ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo’s days.
“Jonathan and Obasanjo are Christians but the killings also occurred during their regimes. Why is CAN externalizing it and making it look as if a Muslim president is killing Nigerian Christians? CAN is selling Nigeria too cheaply to the US. Worse still, it is using false propaganda to achieve this parochial objective. We have no doubt that the narrative will change if Buhari is succeeded by a Christian president. Why is CAN always determined to give no peace to any Nigerian president?
“Even the question was in bad taste and the questioner (President Trump) least qualified to interrogate the president of another sovereign nation. The world sees Trump misrepresenting the American nation today. His administration is falling apart. Men of integrity are distancing themselves from him. What right, therefore, has Trump to question Buhari?
“89 former defence officials recently trashed Trump (https://www.businessinsider.com/89-former-defense-officials-speak-out-against-trumps-protest-response-2020-6?IR=T). They accused him of dividing Americans and rubbishing America’s integrity.
“Former security advisers from his Republican party also spoke last week. They alleged that Trump had gravely damaged America’s role as a world leader; that he is unfit to lead during a crisis; that he had failed to stand up for American values; that he had dishonoured the presidency and that he had ‘divided our nation’ (https://www.defendingdemocracytogether.org/national-security/, https://www.illuminateourworld.org/post/over-70-gop-national-security-officials-from-the-reagan-and-bush-years-say-trump-is-unfit-to-lead).
“It is clear from the above that Trump’s administration is scattered like wild oats and resignations occur on a daily basis. How can such a leader play the role of an interrogator? He wants to divide Nigeria the way he divided the US. He lacks the pre-requisites to harness facts and to objectively and independently analyse them. Trump has no locus standi to ask any leader such a question because he himself lacks credibility. Americans have gotten for themselves a president they do not deserve this time around.
“Above all, leaders of CAN should stop peddling lies about the killings in some parts of the country. They are heating up the polity and reasonable Nigerians no longer believe them.
“In a nutshell, Trump should stop breathing down the neck of Buhari. Nigeria is not a satellite of America. Neither is Buhari another Manuel Noriega. Nobody can twist the most credible leader on the African continent around his fingers. Even Panama has wised up.”
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)
Nigeria ranks as the 12th worst country in the world on Open Doors USA’s 2020 World Watch List of countries where Christians are most severely persecuted. Nigeria was in December, listed in the U.S. State Department’s special watch list of countries that tolerate or engage in severe violations of religious freedom due to the “lack of effective government response and the lack of judicial cases being brought forward in that country”.