The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) yesterday dared the Federal Government to produce facts proving its appointments are not lopsided.
“We are disappointed and shocked that despite appeals to the president to break the domination of the security apparatus by people of the same religion and language in a multi-religious and multi-ethnic nation, Buhari has turned a deaf ear,” CAN said, regretting that his recent appointments neither featured a Christian nor a southerner.
Buhari had picked Yusuf Magaji Bichi, a Muslim from Kano State, to replace Matthew Seiyefa as head of the Department of State Services (DSS); Hajiya Zainab Ahmed as supervising finance minister, following the resignation of Kemi Adeosun; and Abbas Umar Masanawa, named the managing director of the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company.
The umbrella body described the “lopsided appointments” as a “hallmark” of the Federal Government in key ministries like interior, defence, education and information and “challenged the federal ministry of information and the presidency to contradict this fact with evidence by publishing the names of all heads of parastatals and agencies including their states of origin and religion.
“These are all parts of the gradual and subtle Islamisation agenda.
We are sad that those who are benefitting from the existing order, Christians inclusive, have been dismissing this alert with a wave of the hand.
But CAN, as watchman for the nation, will refuse to be intimidated,” CAN said.
But the presidency has always insisted Buhari’s appointments are fair. Spokesman Femi Adesina in one of such affirmations declared: “To claim, suggest or attempt to insinuate that the president’s appointments are tilted in favour of a section of the country is simply untrue and certainly uncharitable.”
In a statement yesterday by its president, Rev. Dr Samson Ayokunle, CAN said: “We wish to place on record, once again, the dangerous and religious discrimination and partiality that have characterised the President Buhari-led administration.
We believe the marginalisation of Christians is deliberate, to heighten the tension in the land for whatever reasons.
CAN is fully persuaded beyond any reasonable doubt that it is the lopsided appointments in the security agencies that are largely responsible for Christians becoming endangered species in their fatherland under the leadership of Buhari.”
Condemning the “unprecedented protection and favouritism” allegedly enjoyed by “murderous Fulani herdsmen,” CAN said: “Rather than arrest and prosecute them, security forces usually manned by Muslims from the north offer them protection, as they unleash terror with impunity on Nigerians.
“The bottom line is that President Buhari failed woefully to protect Nigerians.
He willfully permitted the herdsmen to operate, killing people, destroying communities, wholesale, destroying farmlands and turning the entire Middle Belt into a killing field, all the while enjoying government’s protection from counter attack, arrest or prosecution.”
It said: “Through his partial, sectional and discriminatory appointments, particularly in security and education, President Buhari violated Section 14, of the constitution, which states, ‘the composition of the government of the federation or any of its agencies and the conduct of its affairs shall be carried out in such a manner as to reflect the federal character of Nigeria and the need to promote national unity, and also to command national loyalty, thereby ensuring that there shall be no predominance of persons from a few states or from a few ethnic or other sectional groups in that government or in any of its agencies’.”
The association noted: “For anyone to be asking all well-meaning Nigerians, including some media houses, to stop complaining of the lopsided appointments in the security apparatus of the country is reprehensible, insensitive, and wicked.”