The Nigeria Inter-Religious Council (NIREC) has debunked claims by Bishop Dr. Olabode Daniel in his publication, which alleged that the secretary to the government of the federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, had said that the federal government would unleash security officials on certain Christian leaders who criticise the government.
Calling on Nigerians to disregard what it described as erroneous information, NIREC in a press statement issued by its secretary, Cornelius Omonokhua, stated that the SGF did not make such statement during the meeting.
NIREC’s position was in response to the viral publication on the social media authored by Bishop Daniel, the Interfaith Human Rights Activist and Constitutional Justice Administrator, which reads, “The Secretary to the Government of the Federation Mr. Boss Mustapha on the Friday 27th August 2021 has declared that from September, 2021 the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Nigerian Police Force will start arresting Bishops and Pastors who are using their Church Pulpit to preach against the Federal Government.”
NIREC said the piece claims, among other frivolous things, that the Secretary to the Government of the Federation has indirectly declared war against the Nigerian Pastors.
But, reacting to the publication, NIREC stated that in its just concluded 3rd quarter meeting of the Nigeria Inter-Religious Council which held from August 25 to 27, 2021 in Abuja, the SGF while declaring the meeting open, did not make such statement as alleged by Bishop Daniel.
“NIREC under the co-chairmanship of His Eminence, Rev. Dr. Samson Olasupo A. Ayokunle, the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, CFR, mni, the Sultan of Sokoto and President-General, Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs hereby states that in the just concluded 3rd quarter meeting of the Nigeria Inter-Religious Council held from 25th -27th August, 2021 at Reiz Continental Hotel Abuja, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Gida Mustapha, while declaring the meeting open, said that: ‘Leaders that are fond of making statements that do not in any way bring succour and comfort to our people but rather further deepening discord ought to be cautioned.’
“During his address, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation did not mention anything about Bishops or Pastors. For avoidance of doubt, the full video clip of his address can be accessed on NIREC YouTube channel,” NIREC said.
According to Omonokhua, NIREC felt the need to correct the wrong impression created by the trending publication as it was prone to heighten the discord and add tension to an already tensed situation in the country.
Declaring its commitment to keeping the peace and fostering inter-religious co-operation, NIREC admonished Nigerians to disregard the propaganda by Bishop Daniel and continue to exist peacefully.
“NIREC is committed to the peaceful co-existence of Nigerians. The Federal Government through the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation supports NIREC to achieve this noble mission and vision.
“NIREC calls on Nigerians to disregard the propaganda of Bishop Dr. Olabode Daniel TLD and work graciously towards the realisation of a peaceful nation,” the statement added.