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CAN Joins the Anti-Demolition Frenzy in Kano State

CAN Joins the Anti-Demolition Frenzy in Kano State

CAN Raises Concern Over Kano SSG’s Comments. . .

By Muhammed Yakubu

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has expressed reservation and shock over a statement made by Secretary to Kano State Government,(SSG) Dr. Baffa Bichi on the reason for demolition of Kano government House roundabout.

A statement by immediate past CAN chairman, in Kano, on Wednesday, Rev. Adeyemo Samuel cautioned the SSG not to bring Christians to issue of politics and maintain the harmonious relation being experienced in the state over the last few years.

The statement read, ’’we received with rude shock the denigrating statement of Kano state secretary to the State Government Mal Baffa Bichi while he was speaking on Freedom Radio the motive behind the demolition of the beautiful commemorative round about in front of the State government house, housing the Kano state golden jubilee monument designed by a talented young female architect, a Kano state indigene.

He said “…they pulled down the golden jubilee round-about because it carried the Christian symbol of a Cross…” he further said, “plans are underway to remove the Christian symbol on the Muhammadu Buhari Inter change flyover at Hotoro…”

‘’It should be recalled that on June 14th, 2023 when the roundabout was demolished, according to the report published by Solace Base an online reputable News media, the Chief Press Secretary to the state governor posited that: “prior to the demolition exercise, government had consulted professional engineers in the relevant fields who ascertained to the fact that the roundabout construction was substandard and has a tendency to collapse between 2023 & 2024…”

According to the release, ‘’the statement of the SSG to us as Christians in Kano State puts a lot of questions to our hearts about this government and it is already painting Kano in the bad light and returning us to the dark days of religious intolerance which could blaze religious and violent extremism.’’

‘’It is imperative to make it clear that, in Kano State under the immediate past government, we have enjoyed a robust inter faith relationship that had engendered a peaceful co-existence between Muslims and Christians, the Council of Ulama under respected Sheik Khalil and the previous CAN leaderships fostered a strong collaboration that has developed into inviting each other to programs, and we have stood together to promote religious harmony and religious peaceful coexistence in several inter faith programs.

‘’We celebrate our festivals together; during fasting we organize programs of breaking of fast for Christians put together by our Muslim brothers and the Christians had put together breaking of the Muslim fast together.

We have a strong brotherhood relationship.

We also rejoiced together in our various joyous ceremonies of marriages and child births and we also mourn together when the inevitable- death occurs to any of our followers.

We built our strong Christian-Muslim relationship as we send each other goodwill text messages.’’

”Truly Kano state had become the state where everyone domicile irrespective of tribe or religion go about their businesses, trade, professions and worship without any inhibition because of ethnicity or religion.

The atmosphere provided by the last administration was that of inclusivity and prosperity in all that we do.

One thing that depicts inclusivity was we being included in some important committees in the state by the state government and we being put into consideration when some major decisions are to be taken that could affect our religion.

We were never considered as an offense for destruction rather we were considered as partners in progress.”

”It is on record that Kano State was the first state in Nigeria to have hosted a National Inter Religious Conference on December 1, 2022, with the Theme: “Harnessing Nigeria’s Religious Diversity for Sustainable Peace and National Development”.

The committee that planned this program was chosen from all the geo political zones of the nation.

The guests were from all over the nation with notable leaders of the two faith in attendance.

Most respected Bishop Mathew Hassan Kukah, the Convener of National Peace Committee and head of Kukah Center Abuja delivered the key note address, while Professor Shehu Galadanchi, the Murshid of National Mosque Abuja delivered another notable paper and together with Cardinal John Onaiyekan were both Co-Chairs.

Various heads of religious bodies were present in Kano for this program.

To mention but a few; Sheik Lau of JIBWIS, Rev Dr Israel Akanji, the President of the Nigerian Baptist Convention, also the CAN Chairman of Lagos state who was also a member of the planning committee.”

It is indeed sordid to hear such statement from a respected academician and public office holder, the SSG of Kano State, the party where the vice presidential candidate is a Christian and a very senior clergy-a respected and revered Bishop from the south-south.

As a Bishop he wears his Cross Symbols at all times.

I know him, he will never compromise his faith and His Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ for any reason or position. ”

”As one who had at several times seen this monument from when it was beautifully constructed, there has been no time when we the Christian faithful residing in Kano ever thought that the design or drawing was a Cross, rather we have been seeing it as a symbol of a small sword or dagger, which to us depicts an Arewa sign, indicating the founding fathers are warriors.

To us that symbol had never at any time been the symbol of a Cross.”

”The SSG and the government called it a cross because of the personal hatred they have for the previous administration and wanting to use a religious platform to justify their actions.

If care is not taken, we the Christians can be made to begin to think this government hates us and anything about Christianity.”

It is very imperative for this government to have a rethink on the way they look at the Christian faith, else they might be considered as anti-Christian.

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