The Centre for Justice on Religious and Ethnicity In Nigeria has warned Nigerians against voting for the All Progressives Congress over the alleged anti-Christian policies of its vice-presidential candidate, Kashim Shettima when he was Borno State Governor.
According to Reverend Kallamu Musa Ali Dikwa, Director General of the group in a statement on Sunday, the APC VP candidate allegedly has strong links to Boko Haram terrorists and is a religious bigot.
Dikwa said during Shettima’s eight years as governor of Borno state, he worked tirelessly to stop the teaching of Christian Religious Studies in primary and secondary schools.
The statement said with “the VP ticket, Shettima has bigger plans against Christianity” beyond his alleged move to stop the teaching of Christian Religious Studies in Borno school.
The statement further read, “Shettima’s Anti-Christian Policies in Borno State from 2011 – 2019 — Apart from the issue of over 200 Chibok schoolgirls abducted, released under his watch and the hiding of Boko Haram commandant, Kabiru Sokoto, Governor Kashim Shettima appointed Boko Haram commanders as Mafa Local Government Chairman and Bama Local Government Vice Chairman. It is on record that Nigerian military arrested two of them with full arms and ammunition and brought them to Abuja, after 2 years they were and relocated to unknown locations.”
The group alleged that Shettima worked against the people of his state in the following ways:
“Minimum wage, Governor Shettima failed to implement the N18,000 minimum wage in the local government areas that were predominantly Christians when he served as governor of Borno State.
“He implemented the N18,000 minimum wage in all the northern Borno LGAs and central Borno LGAs where there’s no indigenous Christian, but only indigenous Muslims; Shuwa-Arab and Kanuri tribes. He refused to implement the minimum wage in the 9 LGAs in southern Borno where the indigenous Christians are in the majority (85%)
“Sankaya (Islamic) Education Board created in Borno State appointed board chairman in the person of Sheikh Khalifa Ahmed Abdull-Fatai. Teachers of Islamic Religion Knowledge, IRK have been recruited into Borno State Government and teachings of IRK in our primary and secondary schools, both northern and southern Borno have been teaching. But no recruitment of Christian Religious Knowledge, CRK teachers in all parts of Borno State and Southern Borno predominantly are Christians, about 85 per cent and the Church sent CRK teachers to primary and secondary schools in Southern Borno but the government refused to pay their salaries. Recently, Borno State Government recruited some Judges, unfortunately all the Christian lawyers that applied were denied.
“Sen. Shettima’s manipulation to reach national limelight — The abduction of over 200 Chibok schoolgirls conniving with the Borko Haram and ISWAP terrorists frustrated the government of former President Goodluck Jonathan by using the terrorist group Boko Haram and ISWAP to push him out of power in 2015. Now the All Progressives Congress (APC) is compensating Kashim Shettima with vice-presidential candidate.
“We warn Nigerians not to vote for the APC’s presidential candidate for the sake of unity and progress of the country. The duos were deliberately forced on the APC members to complete the Fulani agenda of the Buhari regime. He believes Nigerians are now partially aware of the Islamic agenda which is too gloving today. Today, most Christian Religious teachers are allowed in southern Borno, which is predominantly Christians. We added that “in the northern part of Nigeria, a Christian traditional ruler dies, they will manipulate, enforce and appoint a Muslim to take over, if the governor is a Muslim.
“Governor Ahmed El-Rufai of Kaduna State did (it) in Kajuru LGA. Governor Inuwa Yahaya did same in Biliri, Gombe state and Mallam Musa Bello, FCT Minister equally did the same in Bwari area council and now they’re trying to enforce a Muslim on Egown people in Akwanga, Nasarawa state.
“Appointments—The Muslim leaders have continued to deny building of churches in the northern part of Nigeria. Christians have been denied employment opportunities and appointment as Vice Chancellors in Universities based on religious prejudice.
“Christians are not appointed Rectors of higher institutions, both at the federal and state government institutions. Christians are being denied the opportunity to study medicine, law, mechanical engineering at Northern-based Universities. Abduction of underage Christian girls and forcing them into forced marriages and forcefully converting them to Islam using Sharia court and intimidating the parents of these underage girls are what the Christians in the North pass through.
“The fact that our country, Nigeria is experiencing ethno-religious tension, kidnappings, terrorism, banditry attacks, cannot be ignored,” the centre said
“Hidden Agenda: The Centre also lambasted the APC presidential candidate for attempting to cause disharmony amongst the Christian faithful.
According to the Centre, “the invitation of Archbishop Peter Ogunmuyiwa of African Church, Chairman Pentecostal Bishops Forum of Northern Nigeria Archbishop John Daniel Praise and vice chairman, Bishop Jonas Katung by the presidential candidate of APC Bola Tinubu is one of the several attempts to ridicule the Church.
“We also learnt of one of the key Christian leaders from the North who receives a Toyota Prado with N10 million from Tinubu running mate, Kashim Shettima. These are the men who are using Church/Christianity for their own personal gain. These Christians have already defiled themselves by working against the body of Christ.
“This attitude of anti-Christians, we dare say that Bola Tinubu and APC have declared Church useless in this country and these fake and so-called Pastors and Bishops using the Church title are working for their own personal gain,” they added.
Speaking further, the Centre said “it is very unfortunate that we are hearing about some Church leaders from the north are working for the Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket of Bola Tinubu and Shettima in secret.
“These Church leaders are supposed to be fighting for the release of Leah Sharibu who is still in ISWAP captivity for over 5 years.
“Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket to rule Nigeria is total war against Christians and still these again-called Pastors and Bishops are supporting it because of love of money.
“Conclusion: Senator Shettima has no social or moral standing to be on presidential ticket or vice. Presidential ticket in this Country. His past has strong link to Boko Haram tribalists and he is a religious bigot.”