The leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria has cautioned Muslim leaders in the country against the alleged promotion of violence and trouble which may result in a religious crisis.

The body gave the warning in a statement signed by its National General Secretary, Joseph Bade Daramola, on Tuesday.

CAN stated that some Muslim leaders in the country have been fishing in troubled waters and intending to provoke Christians in their neighbourhoods. 

The religious body advised against continuing with such actions, saying they may result in an avoidable religious crisis.

CAN urged the security agencies in the country to caution any group of people whose actions can lead to religious and social crises in the country. It also called on all well-meaning Islamic leaders to persuade their members with ‘provocative and evil-intended actions'.

The statement reads, “We are worried and disappointed with the activities of some Islamic extremists in the country whose past time is how to trigger religious crises and violence and throw the already nervous country as a result of serious security concerns into utter confusion.

“All over the country, there are some actions that are being taken by some Islamic leaders who are out to provoke their Christian counterparts to anger and CAN has been working behind the scene to nip such ungodly actions in the bud. 

“For example, in Kwara State that CAN is still trying to curb the violence occasioned by the Governor's directive to mission’s schools to allow the wearing of the hijab, some extremists have built Ummul Khair Central Mosque and Islamic Centre beside Catholic Bishop’s House and the Secretariat primarily to tempt peace-loving Christians into a religious crisis.

“Will Islamic schools allow Catholics or Christian women who are their students to dress to the school premises in their cassocks? 

“To compound the problem, one Imam Abubakar Ali-Agan and the General Manager, Kwara State Physical Planning Authority, are claiming that there was a Memorandum of Understanding between the Catholic Bishop of Ilorin and the owners of the Ummul Khair Central Mosque before they built the two buildings, whereas, it was absolute falsehood and misinformation. But if they are certain about their claim, they should publish the said Memorandum of Understanding.

“It is high time we advised some Muslim leaders in the country to stop fishing in troubled waters with a view to provoking Christians whom they share the same neighbourhood with. This should stop.

“It is an open secret that no religion has a monopoly of violence, hence, Christian leaders continue, always, to caution faithful Christians against provocative actions against other religions or citizens wherever they live as Jesus Christ taught us. 

“We, therefore, call on the security agencies to caution and prevent any group of people whose actions can lead to religious and social crises and violence in the country. We also call on all well-meaning Islamic leaders to talk to their members with provocative and evil-intended actions.

“We have had enough bloodletting in the country. Violence lovers should be firmly reprimanded and disciplined. We equally appeal to the Kwara State Government to order the relocation of the controversial mosque and the Islamic Centre immediately in order to prevent the crisis being deliberately provoked by some Islamic leaders and followers in the country. Thank you.”

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