Para-Mallam: What we expected from govt is explanation not attack
A Christian leader and member of the National Executive Committee of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Revd Gideon Para-Mallam has enumerated reasons why many were taken aback by the debut article of Mr. Femi Adesina, Spokesman of President Muhammadu Buhari on his Facebook page tagged: Inside Aso Rock.
He also took on the presidential spokesman on the points he raised in the article pointing out that the Christian Association of Nigeria had expected him to tell the public more of what the government is doing rather than dressing down CAN.
Para-Mallam dismissed Adesina’s position that Andimi was killed not because he was a Christian saying such position is far from the reality. He stated that Boko Haram left no one in doubt that Andimi was killed because he was a Christian.
He said Adesina ought to have told Nigerians what the government did to secure the release of late Rev Lawan Andimi.
“Does CAN and indeed Nigerians deserve to know or not? This would have been far more positive than such self-serving defense of the government and uncalled for attacks on CAN at a time when the government should be condoling not only Rev Lawan’s family but the leadership of CAN.”
The CAN official also noted that Adesina should have used his column to praise Andimi’s doggedness. “Andimi’s refusal to convert to Islam is worth celebrating as an act of courage and dogged commitment to Christ. The Federal government should be praising this godly virtue. If Adesina claims as he tries to show that he is such a follower of Christ, why did he not celebrate Andimi for dying as a martyr on his Facebook page?”
He expressed worries that Christians in government are being used against “the church they claim to belong to”
On Adesina’s position that the Chief of Naval staff and Chief of Defense staff as two Christians in government and that the CDS is a Pastor in RCCG he notes, “Yes of course they are and what is that practically supposed to mean? The CDS from what I hear is a very hard-working, quiet and descent man and committed to his job professionally. Therefore, my immediate reaction is simple: For how long have the Chiefs of Army, Airforce, Customs, Immigration, Minister of Defense, National Security Adviser, DSS, Police IG, been there in their offices?
“Adesina is talking about two Christians verses eight Muslims (not to mention heads of Parastatals and Ministers) and a Muslim President. By the government sustaining this arrangement and not paying attention to the criticisms trailing the security architecture, what is the government communicating internally and externally? Is it only the Northern Muslims that have the answers to our present security concerns or we are being suffocated with the tyrannical syndrome of the majority complex?”
He then counseled that such sensitive appointment should be made to “reflect our multi-cultural and multi-religious diversity as a nation. This is needed for the sake of our national cohesion. More so some of those appointments have gone on for over four years now. Some of these appointments deserve a careful review and radical changes made.
On Adesina’s note that bombs no longer go off ever-so often, he said, “ Well, yes, that fact needs to be accepted but are we now supposed to roll out the drums to celebrate this government? Was CAN’s reference to security-focused only on bombings? If the government wants to be praised for reduced bombings, I cannot fault it but Adesina cannot use that to deny that our security is still far from where it ought to be and there is truly nothing to cheer about.
“No frequent bombings but kidnappings and killings by Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen have become the highest insecurity concern in this country today. The kidnappings and killings have dramatically increased since this government came into power.
On Christians being marginalized, Para-Mallam states, “Christians do not only feel that they are marginalized, they actually feel excluded and left also to be killed by Boko Haram and the bandits. Is this not an intentional narrative this government is pushing?
The leadership of CAN visited President Buhari when he won re-election. CAN offered him advice on the political appointments and the need for balance – what did CAN get out of this? Attacks.
“Is Buhari’s government an exclusive Muslim government which only doles out token political appointments to Christians?”
He recalled that when this government came to power only Boko Haram was the security concern of the nation regretting however that the deadly group has produced The Fulani herdsmen militia.
He said President Buhari boasted that he would tackle security once he gets into power in 2015. “It’s now 5years on, we are worse off on security of lives.”
The CAN NEC official who is an advocate of peace and social justice stated he had no problem in praising government “if they did what is good. But acknowledging something good they have done, does not remove the fact that ending the violent attacks and killings in Christian communities remains non-negotiable.”
He also regretted that Adesina did not use his Facebook page to tell Nigerians on the situation about Leah Sharibu and other innocent captives – especially the new 20-year-old Lilian Daniel Gyan, a young University of Maiduguri student from Plateau State – kidnapped on January 9th 2020
According to him the condolence message of President Muhammadu Buhari good enough. He regretted that Adesina’s article did more damage than good.