An Islamic group, Muslim Corpers’ Association of Nigeria (MCAN) has raised alarm over the alleged forceful conversion of Muslim children to Christianity in an IDP Camp in Edo state.
Read Statement released by National Public Relations Officer, Apena Ibrahim Adeboye below:
Abducted Muslim Children Forcefully Converted To Christianity In Edo IDP Camp
“As a matter of urgency and immediate attention, Muslim Corpers’ Association of Nigeria (MCAN) use this medium to reaffirm and throw more light on the recent post of Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) about the above headline currently going viral.
“As a result of the Boko Haram insurgency, some Muslims were taken from different states in the Northern part of Nigeria to a CHRISTIAN CONTROLLED IDP camp in Edo State, hundreds of children were forcefully or deceitfully converted to Christianity and the worst of all is that the management of the camp denied MCAN access to the needed populace of the Camp.
“As part of the humanitarian activities of the association, on the 5th of February, 2016, MCAN Edo state’s Amir and general secretary went to the Internally Displaced People’s camp at Uhuagua village, Edo State to inform the camp management about the intention of MCAN to visit, conduct free medical check Up, donate items and above all, admonish the inhabitants of the camp to remain patient and hopeful in Allah (God ) as directed by MCAN National but the management of the camp which was headed by a pastor stated that they do not allow such, in fact the pastor started acting funny once he noticed MCAN is constituted by Muslims who intended to admonish those under his care.
“The Edo state Amir stated that his first surprise was to have seen that it is a CHRISTIAN camp as the frontage sign board reads “INTERNATIONAL CHRISTIAN CENTRE FOR MISSION”. He stated that; they were dressed for jumat and obviously tagged as Muslims, Thus, they spent over 2 hours to be properly checked and confirmed as NYSC Corps members, though the security persons (Military) were friendly. He further stated that the head of the camp explained that the subjection to scrutiny of identity was a security measure. The Amir also stated that he was amazed that there was no single worship center in the camp for Muslims bearing in mind that there are/were Muslims among those in the camp. He gathered this fact from some young adults who were reluctant to associate with them.
“After submitting an official letter of purpose as instructed by the pastor in charge, he claimed the only thing MCAN would be allowed to do was to hand over the relief items to the management of camp which will be distributed to the inhabitants of the camp on behalf of MCAN. All efforts to make the pastor understand that MCAN is a recognized body by NYSC and REGISTERED with a CERTIFICATE OF CORPORATION was to no avail. Until the pastor was informed that MCAN National visited the biggest IDP camp (Dalori Camp, Maiduguri) in Nigeria about some weeks back for the same purpose of visit to Edo camp, without any problem or prevention by The Dalori IDP camp management before he agreed to allow MCAN access the children only. Based on this a foul play was sensed.
“The case was reported to the Sultan of Sokoto during a meeting and he stated that; they (Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs – “NSCIA”) are aware and they equally tried to take some of these Muslims out of the camp through the defense minister but children were manipulated or psychologically influenced to stone the military men, claiming they preferred the camp to their homes. After this, NSCIA decided to let go and left the children in the hands of Allah (God) in order to avoid religious conflict within the country. Roughly a month later, the case of #EseOruru came up to shake the whole Nigeria, this is synonymous to the issue at hand.
“MCAN believes the children are minors, therefore, The Christian camp cannot determine what fate is best for them, just as it is in the case of #EseOruru.
“MCAN noticed a lot of the Muslim inhabitants of the camp might have been deceitfully or forcefully converted to Christianity, since there is nothing to attribute themselves to in the camp as Muslims, In fact it was difficult to spot out the Muslims.
“These are some of the reasons why it was perceived that the pastor heading the camp intentionally prevented MCAN from gaining access to the elderly ones because their conscience can be easily preached to, unlike the children. More so, THE CHILDREN MIGHT HAVE BEEN BRAINWASHED BY THE PASTOR AND HIS STAFF TO STONE US LIKE THEY DID TO OTHERS IN THE PAST.
“Knowing fully well that it was Muslims he was dealing with , the Pastor went as far as sharing pamphlets with inscription “I saw Jesus” to the MCAN representatives, this shows how far the camp management must have gone to make sure they convert all the Muslims in the camp to Christianity, leaving them with no option.
“In all, we are not happy with the current state of the camp in sense that, AN IDP CAMP SHOULD NOT BE SOLELY MANAGED BY A PARTICULAR RELIGIOUS BODY since we have TRADITIONALISTS, MUSLIMS and CHRISTIANS who might be taken to such camp.
“MCAN should be granted access to all the accessible inhabitants of the camp. Any act of “stone throwing” at us must have been planned and influenced by the CHRISTIAN MANAGEMENT in charge.
“Islamic religious structure should be built in the camp. Else, If the camp will maintain its CHRISTIAN Name and current mode of operation, all Muslims should be evicted to a Muslim camp.
“Furthermore, MCAN does its community services for the sake of Allah and not for recognition by anyone, therefore MCAN should be allowed to carry out Community Development Services in as much as its members identity and genuineness of intention can be proved beyond all reasonable doubts.
“Anyone who knows or has a child or relative there should kindly meet with MCAN, MURIC or NSCIA for collective report to the rightful authorities.
“On this note, we draw the attention of the presidency, Senators, media houses, human right activist , Muslims and non Muslims within and Outside Nigeria to instruct the CHRISTIAN CONTROLLED IDP CAMP in EDO STATE to release the MUSLIM children to their parents or SUPREME COUNCIL FOR ISLAMIC AFFAIRS, allow recognized religious bodies to have access to the entire populace of the camp and Preach to them just as CHRISTIANS have been doing in the camp. In fact, the idea of a religious IDP camp solely managed by a particular faith needs to be stopped.
“Finally, If it were Muslims that did this, the media would have exploded long ago with comments like “MUSLIMS WANT TO ISLAMIZE NIGERIA”.
“This is not to trigger any problem but for the rightful to be done. LET US COME TOGETHER TO STOP THIS and #FreeTheMuslimChildrenInEdo.”