Vanguard (Lagos)

30 January 2013

Nigeria: CAN Blasts El-Rufai Over Alleged Comment On Jesus Christ

Photo: This Day
Former Minister of the FCT, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai

Abuja — The Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Wednesday, described recent statement linked to former Federal Capital Territory Minister, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, on Jesus Christ, as not only reckless but also indicative of deep-seated moral bankcruptcy.

El-Rufai had tweeted on January 28, that "if Jesus criticises Jonathan's government, Maku, Abati or Okupe will say that he slept with Mary Magdalene".

Addressing newsmen on the issue, CAN warned El-Rufai that "if he persists in such matters and making such divisive commentaries, he must prepare himself for a very forceful and vigorous reaction from the Church and the Christian community in Nigeria".

Speaking through its General Secretary, Rev. Musa Asake, CAN warned that the "maturity and dignified restraint of the Christian populace, in the face of inflammatory and provocative statements, should not be taken as licence for unbridled assault.

"We urge his religious leaders and political associates to advise him to be far more sobre and circumspect and put a padlock on his mouth before he lights the candle that sets our country on fire.

"On our part, we urge the Christian community and our Christian youths to continue to be restrained and always seek peace, love and harmony, in spite of the provocations that they are facing from the likes of Nasir El-Rufai and those he represents.

"We must not allow him to turn Nigeria into a cauldron of fire by his reckless, bigoted and twisted commentaries about our Lord or our faith and we must view him for exactly what he is, a failed, desperate, hate-filled and drowning politician, who is now stoking embers of religious division to create a political base for himself amongst his people.

"Nigeria has no place for a religious bigots who delight in insulting the Christian faith.

"We urged the Federal Government to call Nasir El-Rufai to order and not to overlook the possibility that his joke was not only contrived but was actually calculated to create an even greater wedge between Christians and Muslims with the attendant consequences.

"Had it not been for the maturity, fortitude, patience, decency, forgiving nature and deep sense of restraint that the majority of Christians have in our country, El-Rufai would not have been safe anywhere in Nigeria today after cracking such an expensive joke."

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