The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) said on Saturday it stood by its claim that Christians were being persecuted in Nigeria.
The Christian umbrella body stated this in a statement issued by its National Director of Legal and Public Affairs, Kwamkur Samuel.
CAN was reacting to a statement credited to the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar, that the claim of Christians’ persecution was false and partial.
The association said the Sultan “got it totally wrong” by making such a statement.
CAN said it would have been better if the Sultan had “remained quiet the way he did when those killings were taking place instead of feigning ignorance.”
The statement read: “We respect the Sultan very much but what he said requires response in order to put things right.
“It is an insult and insensitivity for anyone to be claiming that the unprecedented persecution which victims are well known did not occur.
“It is also an act of disrespect to the dead. If those who were responsible for the genocide in the Middle belt of the country were Fulani atheists ‘whose main interest is to protect their cattle,’ what stopped him from condemning the unprecedented genocide?
“It is reprehensible that to date, those who killed our brothers and sisters after raping and maiming them for weeks are still at large as if they were spirits.”
On Sultan’s observation that CAN failed to raise its concerns about the killings of Christians at the Nigerian Inter-Religious Council (NIREC), the association wondered why the Sultan did not fault its position instead of using the public forum.”
“The Sultan should not pretend as if he was unaware of several times, we had gone to President Muhammadu Buhari to complain about systematic and deliberate killings of our brothers and sisters and the need for the killers to be brought to book and the killings stopped to no avail.
“The fact that we are meeting at NIREC does not mean that all is well. We believe that having dialogues with our Muslim counterparts can reduce the tension in the land if there is sincerity,” it added.