Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign and Domestic debt, Mallam Shehu Sani, said yesterday that it was uncharitable for anyone to accuse President Muhammadu Buhari of religious bigotry or nursing a religious agenda.
Sani was responding to a statement by the National Christian Elders Forum (NCEF) in which it blamed the Buhari administration for the current ethnic crises, agitation for secession and violation of the constitution and federal character.
At the forum where the NCEF slammed the government were former Minister of Defence, Lt. Gen. TY Danjuma, Mr. Solomon Asemota (SAN), former ECOMOG Commander, General Joshua Dogonyaro, former military governor of Rivers State, General Zamani Lekwot, and former civilian governor of Anambra State, Chief Chukwuemeka Ezeife.
They said they were “saddened that once again, the nation is being driven to a needless and mindless conflict that if not well managed, could conflagrate into war, destruction, and threaten the cohesiveness of the Nigerian State.”
They also claimed that Nigeria was “in the throes of Jihad.”
However, Senator Sani writing on his Twitter handle yesterday said: “It’s unfair to President Buhari for any individual or group to accuse him or his administration of having any theocratic agenda. Other issues raised about his administration may or may not be true, but certainly he is not a religious bigot. If there exist credible evidence of a religious agenda I’ll be one of the first to raise a voice.
“Elder statesmen should champion the cause of peace and national unity and not aggravate the crisis. In this inflammable or combustible state of our country, we don’t need more bellows of ethnic smokes or religious flames.
“We must balance our natural passion to defend our ethnic and religious rights and our moral duty to preserve peace and our constitutional responsibility to preserve the unity of our country.
“A dark cloud of uncertainty hangs over the sky of our country and it’s our duty as patriots and men and women of conscience to stand and to speak to dispel it.
“Ethnic and religious sentiments are corrosives inimical to our existence as a country and as a people. We can collectively extinguish the infernos of agitations by standing up for our country.” – The Nation.