ACC Secretary General Dr. Josiah Idowu-Fearon said the failure of Christian leaders to reach out to Muslim leaders has contributed to the stalemate in Northern Nigeria
The secretary general of the Anglican Consultative Council, the Rt. Rev. Josiah Idowu-Fearon, has criticized Christian leaders in Nigeria, claiming their actions undermined government attempts to defeat the Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram. In an interview with the BBC last week, Dr. Idowu-Fearon said the failure of Christian leaders to reach out to Muslim leaders contributed to the stalemate. “We warned the leadership in my country, the Christian Association of Nigeria: ‘Let us listen to the Muslim leadership, because the leadership is not in support of Boko Haram.’ … ‘Oh no no no,’ they said, ‘they are always deceiving us. They are all the same’.” Dr. Idowu-Fearon added: “Now they are singing a different tune… I tell you more Muslims have been killed than Christians in the north-east of Nigeria.” The Primate of Nigeria, the Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh declined to respond a request for comments on Dr. Idowu-Fearon’s charges. However, one Nigerian bishop who asked not to be named as he was not authorized to speak on behalf of the church stated Dr. Idowu-Fearon was not in possession of all the facts. The failure of Christian leaders to engage with their Muslim counterparts in the North — the scene of Boko Haram’s carnage — had its roots in the failure of Muslim leaders to condemn the terror group when its target was Christians. Muslim leaders only began to speak out when Boko Haram began to attack Muslims too, the bishop noted. The Christian Association of Nigeria was only able to reach out to Muslims about Boko Haram, once Muslim leaders acknowledged there was a problem, Anglican Ink was told.