By AUSTIN OWOICHO, Abuja
A message trending on social media alerting Christians not to attend a
crusade tagged ‘We Are One’ because Muslims planned the crusade with
the intention of bombing the venue in order to kill all Christians in
Nigeria has been debunked by an Islamic human rights organization.
In a press statement issued on Monday 21st January, 2019, the Muslim
Rights Concern (MURIC) described the message as fake news and advised
Nigerian Christians to ignore it. The statement was signed by the
director and founder of the organization, Professor Ishaq Akintola.
“We are aware of a message now trending among Christians on social
media. The message which was meant for Nigerian Christians only was
leaked to MURIC through a patriotic and true Christian, reads:
To all Christians: please tell all the Christians brethren (sic) around
You not to attend the crusade with the title *we are one*. It’s said that
the crusade is planned by Muslim leaders and it will be holding in all
the states in Nigeria at the same day and time. They will use a popular
and well respected pastor in a state as a guest speaker in the crusade in
other (sic) to gather people. Their intention is to bomb all Christians at
ones (sic) in other for them to archive (sic) their Islamisation agenda.
One of the elder (name withheld for security) who is not in support of
the plan has just made this known to the head of … (name of Christian
mission deleted by us). Please pass this info to at least 20 people in your
contact as the crusade is just few weeks away. The Lord will hold you
responsible for any life lost through this evil attack if you refuse to share
“This is a blatant, wicked and diabolical lie. We assure Christians in
Nigeria that there is no such plan. It exists only in the figment of
imagination of the devilish authors. It is the handiwork of enemies of
Nigeria. We cannot rule out disgruntled politicians, particularly
looters who are afraid of being exposed. They are looking for all
means of causing pandemonium so that the authorities will be too
preoccupied with searching for peace to have time for bringing them to
“In the same vein, we urge Nigerians to ignore another rumour
concerning the hijab. Fake news mongers claim that Muslims in the
South West are advocating for the use of hijab by their women and
female school children because Muslims plan to launch terrorist
attacks. They said the hijab would serve as special identity for
Muslims so that the attackers would not attack them.
“This is atrocious. It is far from the truth. It is also illogical,
false, baseless and unfounded. Nigerians should not allow themselves
to be hoodwinked by rumour mongers. How is this possible? If the hijab
is to serve the purpose of identifying Muslim women in the event of a
terrorist attack, what of the Muslim men? If the attack is to happen
in schools, what of the male Muslim students? How will the terrorists
identify Muslim male students so as not to attack them? It is sheer
bunkum, balderdash and poppycock twaddle.
“We urge both Christians and Muslims in the country to go about their
businesses without any fear. This is the time to come together putting
our heads under the same thinking cap for the sake of our country.
Election period is a sensitive time and we should do everything we can
to avoid anything capable of undermining the security of the nation.
“Nigerians should ignore baseless information particularly those that
have security implication around this time. Any information which
cannot be verified should be ignored. Adherents of the two major
religions should follow the teachings of their faith regarding fake
news. The Qur’an commands Muslims to investigate information before
taking any action so that innocent people will not be hurt (Qur’an
49:6). The Bible also urges Christians to ‘Investigate all matters and
hold on to the truth’ (II Corinthians 5:19 -20).
“We share the same destiny in this country and we should stick
together in the interest of peace and progress. Where are the peddlers
of hate and animosity today? Where are those who said we should not
vote for Muslims? Where are those who said we should not vote for
Fulanis? They should hide their faces in shame. The last time we
checked, the candidates of the two major parties (APC and PDP) are
still Muslims. Fulani blood also flows in their veins.
“Those agent provocateur ended up in a cul de sac because both
President Muhammadu Buhari and former vice president Atiku Abubakar
are Muslims and full-blooded Fulanis. It goes to prove further the
folly in acrobatic religiousity and articulated ethnicity. We should
allow merit to decide who will rule us. The criteria should not be
religion. Neither should it be tribe. We should seek noble criteria
like integrity, credibility, antecedence, etc.
On a last note, we charge Nigerian Christians to ignore rumours of
Muslims planning a grand crusade with the intention of killing all
Christians in Nigeria. The rumour of Muslim women using hijab for
protection in case of a terrorist attack is also fake news. Nigerian
Muslims love their neighbours and they wish to coexist peacefully with
all regardless of creed or tribe.