IS He advocating violence now ? As the Supreme Council for Sharia in Nigeria (SCSN) has said that Nigerian Muslims would rather go to war than give up the quest for Islamic Banking, the president of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, has stated that violence is not the preserve of one person.
Oritsejafor, who addressed the press yesterday at the general aviation terminal (GAT), Lagos on arrival from a trip overseas, said that if a group of people advocate violence, they should not expect others to fold their arms.
“Let me tell you this, nobody can intimidate me or the Church. There are so many things that just happen in Nigeria that people just allow. Now, if a group of people say they are prepared to go to war, won’t you also expect us to respond to that naturally? But by the time we start responding, people will turn around and say ‘you are heating up the polity’. It is difficult for me to comprehend; my only response to what you have said for now is that I want to assume they were misquoted.
“But I will be surprised if the SCSN thinks the best way to find a solution to a problem and to bring peace to Nigeria is to declare war. Violence is not the preserve of one person, anybody can be violent and we don’t advocate that. I will never come out to say we are prepared for war, but you are hearing it now. Let me settle down, you will hear our response and they will also get our response. We love Nigeria,” he declared.
The PFN president explained that no one is against the Muslims wanting a bank that would meet their needs, but that it is wrong for the governor of the Central bank of Nigeria (CBN), Sanusi Lamido Sanusi to spend state funds promoting a sectional banking system.
“We are not basically against Muslims. You can have a bank that will meet your needs. What we are saying is this, does the law of this country permit the CBNgovernor to spend state money promoting a sectional banking system? We are not against non-interest banking; after all, it started from the Bible. It is the Bible that every other person has imitated. You see, it’s like someone or some persons are trying to blindfold Nigerians, but what we are against is the sectional non-interest banking.
The CBN is the CBN of Nigeria and not CBN of northern Nigeria or of Islamic Nigeria. It’s a CBN of the Federal Republic of Nigeria that comprises everybody. Now, how do you take state funds running into billions to promote one kind of non-interest banking? That is a question that must be answered. It is absolutely wrong,” said Oritsejafor.
Reacting to the call for amnesty for the members of the violent Boko Haram religious sect and the threat by a Christian group in the North to retaliate the killings of Christians in that region, the clergyman prayed the situation would not degenerate into a religious war.
“No nation survives a religious war. I pray that Nigeria will not get to that point. BokoHaram is not just a group that came up because of economic reasons, but is purely a religious group with religious ideology. How do you now give amnesty to them? Are you going to tell them to give up their religious beliefs? The only way I think you can do this - I don’t rule out dialogue, but I think dialogue should begin within the North itself, among the Muslim leaders. We are not hearing their voices. When we had problems in the Niger Delta, we heard a lot of Niger Deltans shouting and making noise,” he said.
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One would expect pastor oritsejeafor to be more subtle in his comments as a father and community/religious leader. I did not expect him to say that. After all, if any crisis, religious or ethnic breaks out in any part of Nigeria,other state indigenes or citizens will also share in it.The poor helpless corp members who lost their lives in the post election crisis consists of both christains muslims and they cut across all regions. What we need now is that leaders like Papa should even educate the younger generations of Nigerians to shun violence because every religion preaches peace: Christainity or Islam. We should know by now that any body who uses religion as a cover up to kill maim and loot is either an assassin, a thief or an armed robber in disguise.On Islamic banking,I would blame CBN Governor for Proposing it as Islamic Banking and not giving proper education to the general public on the benefits and defects of Islamic Banking. He would have proposed it as non-interest banking and called for papers on its viabilty. Although, Joseph Sanusi introduced it and this was practised by two banks in Nigeria namely, Habib Nigeria Bank ( Now BankPHB & still practising it) and the defunct Bank of the North.I will plead with papa to temper justice with mercy over these issues. May God bless us. Amen
Eddie,this is not a religious war or an ethnic war. In every state in Nigeria there are a fair share of Muslims and Christains. Name one state that does not have Christians and Muslims living side by side. I believe you are from Edo State which even has all religious denominations.You all live side by side with them. The violence has always been restricted to the Northern Part of the country.
Underdevelopment, servitude are the root causes of these riots.They have enslaved and denied their people the right to develop and this is the only way to express their anger. Their leaders refused to educate them and give them the best so that they can be at par with other sections of the country. Now they have turned on their leaders out of anger and despair.
It is a shame we already have a media war going on here.
Let us have a quick understanding here that there is unity amongst Christian leaders and Muslim leaders when there is a Ghana must go to go round; an avenue for our political office leaders and religious leaders to grow their bank account. I have no respect for our political office holders or religious leaders.
Nigerians are religious people but without an iota of love in them. If there was love why would the leaders loot the country dry. The Muslims and Christian amongst this group are not exempted. It is either one Alhaji or one Pastor being invited by EFCC. Nigerians are not capable of loving themselves. if it is not Muslim and Christian today, it is communal war, fight in the neighborhood, the cults etc
It all amounts to ignorance, little education, frustration, divide and rule tactic of the leaders etc
Let us all learn to love our neighbors as ourselves without taking advantage of them