The Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, has urged for the clash between the Shiite Muslims and the Nigerian Army to be resolved peacefully. The association made this known in a statement signed by The General Secretary of CAN, Dr. Musa Asake.
Read the statement below: "The Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, has observed, with much sadness, the altercation between the Nigerian Army and Muslim faithful of the Shia Islamic movement, which led to loss of lives of an as yet unknown number of Shiites."
"Our faith is bed rocked on love. We do not only love ourselves, but we also love our neighbors and Shiite Muslims are our neighbors. While we will not want to preempt the government and the Nigerian Army, we do however sue for peace. We call on President Muhammadu Buhari, as the Commander-in-Chief, to intervene and ensure that there is no escalation of the violence."
"We wish to draw his attention to the fact that similar circumstances as this led to the escalation of belligerence from the Jamā'at Ahl as-Sunnah lid-Da'wah wa'l-Jihād, also known as Boko Haram. More specifically, we urge that no harm must be done to the person of the spiritual leader of the Shia Islamic movement in Nigeria, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzakky."
"To ensure that another insurgency is not sparked off, we call on the Federal Government to commission a Panel of Inquiry to establish what happened in order to prevent a recurrence. CAN would also like to condemn reports by the Iranian Network, Press TV, which in its interview with one Zaid Abdullah Husseini, falsely alleged that the Christian Association of Nigeria colluded with Boko Haram and the Nigerian Army to perpetrate the killings of Shia Muslims."
"This is a most unfortunate accusation, especially given the fact that CAN has consistently sympathized with the Shias over previous clashes with the authorities. We urge the Iranian backed Press TV to be mindful of its reportage in order not to stoke religious tensions in Nigeria. We work on the assumption that that is not their intention."
Finally, CAN calls on all lovers of God, be they Christian or Muslims, whether Sunni or Shia, to keep the peace and await judicious action from constituted authority.
May God bless Nigeria.
By Chika Jones