The Oyo State Chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has urged all Christian faithful to remain calm, tolerant and law-abiding despite all threats.
The advice was given by Dr. Olamide Olanrewaju, Personal Assistant and Media Advisor to the Chairman of CAN, Oyo State, Apostle Joshua Akinyemiju.
The advice was made in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Ibadan.
Olanrewaju noted that the attention of the Christian community in the state was attracted by a publication titled “Re: 70 percent of my re-election votes were cast by Muslim community (Western Daily News, November 16, 2023).”
He added that the statement was allegedly attributed to Governor Seyi Makinde during the commissioning of the Ultra-Modern Adogba Mosque in Ibadan.
Olanrewaju said: “We are saddened to note that fact-checking and independent research have been replaced by political calculations and boasting; it’s more embarrassing to see them in places where we least expect it.
“When religion is weaponized and implemented into politics based on sentiment, without careful consideration of the consequences, it results in crises that in turn can cause instability on the ground.
“If we go back in our memories, Prof. Ishaq Akintola of Muslim Right Concern issued a statement advising the Muslim community in Oyo State not to re-elect the governor because he did not allow the hijab (published in the Daily Post Nigeria newspaper on June 21, 2022).
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“Despite all the threats, the Christian Community, which understood that good governance transcends religion, did not give up and voted overwhelmingly for its choice, one of its own.
“Surprisingly, they suddenly realized that their chosen candidate classified their votes as minority and worthless. It’s so depressing, demoralizing and undeserved.”
Olanrewaju emphasizes that the Christian Community in Oyo State is known for building peace, maintaining peace and always supporting one of their own.
He said it was disturbing that the statement allegedly attributed to the governor was inflammatory, did not glorify God and had the potential to cause discontent in the state.
“The Chairman of CAN, Oyo State, has directed that in the interest of prevailing peaceful coexistence in the state, notwithstanding the concerns of faithful Christians regarding the publication, the Body of Christ should receive statements with philosophical calm and no rancor.
“In this regard, everyone is advised to obey the law and be tolerant. Our Father in Heaven will reward our labor of love in Jesus’ name,” he said.