Special Adviser to the President on media and publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, has asked leaders of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) to stop misinforming Nigerians as regards the state of affairs within the country.
In a statement on Wednesday, Mr Adesina urged CAN to desist from disinformation which can further divide Nigerians.
Adesina’s comments come on the heels of allegations by the Christian association bordering around the payment or non-payment of ransom for the release of the Chibok and Dapchi schoolgirls who were adopted by Boko Haram terrorists.
The President’s spokesman reacted directly to reports which quoted CAN’s Director of Legal and Public Affairs, Kwamkur Samuel to have said inter alia that “Nigerians need to know if they have not known the reason why the Presidency could not pay ransom to rescue Chibok girls. It is because 80% to 90% of the girls are Christians. The reason why Dapchi girls’ ransom was quickly paid and they were returned is the discovery that most of the girls were Muslims except Leah Sharibu who is still in captivity.”
According to the President’s media aide, the claims by CAN were unfounded.
Mr Adesina said when the media in August 2018 quoted a United Nations report alleging that the Federal Government paid a “huge ransom” for the release of the abducted Dapchi schoolgirls on March 21, 2018, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, immediately disputed the report, insisting that no ransom was paid, “little or huge.”
He further stated that according to the Minister, “There must be conclusive evidence to support such a claim. Without that, the claim remains what it is – a mere conjecture.”
Having stated this, Adesina rhetorically asked if Nigerians should believe their Minister for Information or CAN.
The president’s aide urged CAN to desist from disinformation which can further divide Nigerians, adding that the letter and spirit of the Holy Bible do not support discord, which CAN’s allegations are liable to cause.
“The Christian body needs not to be antagonistic to every attempt by the administration to move Nigeria forward before it can champion or defend the Christian faith.”
According to him, President Muhammadu Buhari made it very clear in 2015 that if a ransom needed to be paid to free the Chibok schoolgirls, he would pay it and that is a testament to his commitment to getting the girls back.
Adesina was of the opinion that regardless of the diversity of faiths in Nigeria, all Nigerians are stakeholders in the promotion of peace in their fatherland.
He said the Holy Bible enjoins everyone to seek peace, and pursue it.