The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) has told the United States that churches in Northern Nigeria were over 300 per cent more than the number of mosques in the Southern parts of the country where Christians are in the majority.
The organisation also challenged the Christian Association of Nigeria to cite the number of federal universities in the Southern parts of Nigeria, in which Muslim professors were vice-chancellors, as compared to those of the Northern parts where christians are VCs, saying CAN lied on allegation of religious rights violations in Nigeria.
The NSCIA said that the 72 year old University of Ibadan had never had a Muslim vice-chancellor since its inception.
The Chairman, Media Committee of NSCIA, Femi Abass, stated these in an interview with THE PUNCH in response to the blacklist placed by the United States on Nigeria because of religious intolerance and its backing by CAN.
The Special Assistant, Media and Communications, to the CAN President, Adebayo Oladeji, had stated that Christians had been victims of religious persecution in Nigeria.
He said many states in the North would not allow churches to be built within the towns and cities, adding that in the University of Ilorin, Kwara State, no Christian hasdbeen allowed to be its vice-chancellor in the last 25 years.
Abbas, however, said, “Perhaps by gaining access to records, the US government may discover and be able to explain to CAN that the churches in the Northern parts of Nigeria, where Muslims are demographically predominant in physical presence, are about 300 per cent or more than the number of mosques in the Southern parts of the country where Christians are in the majority.
“Except for the South-West, the ratio of mosques to churches in other parts of Southern Nigeria is about one to 100 in virtually every locality. The NSCIA or any Muslim group is not making any noise on it. Is Nigeria meant for Christians alone?
“As for the allegation over the seats of the vice-chancellors in the federal universities, we challenge CAN to cite the number of federal universities in the Southern parts of Nigeria, in which Muslim professors are vice- chancellors compared to those of the Northern parts where Christians are vice-chancellors.
“Even the 72 year old University of Ibadan, otherwise called Premier University, which was established in 1948, has never had a Muslim as vice-chancellor since its inception till date.
“For the first two decades of the University of Ilorin, all the vice-chancellors of that university were Christians and no Muslim ever complained about it.”
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