Wed. Jul 24th, 2024

Position Of FCT Minister Not Birthright Of Anybody, Religion – Group Tells Critics


A group, Northern Youth Christian Network has condemned in strong terms, critics of the appointment of former governor of Rivers State, Nyeson Wike as FCT Minister.

At a news briefing in Abuja Monday, the group accused the critics of planning to derail the policies of the present Administration and therefore advised President Tinubu not to succumb to cheap blackmail.

Hereunder Is the full text of the briefing;-


Good morning gentlemen of the Press and, thank you for honouring our invitation to this august but timely press briefing which is aimed at addressing some ills eating away at the fabric of our sanity as Nigerians.

We are a group of concerned individuals under the auspices of the Northern Youth Christian Network. We are disheartened and disappointed at the recent hateful and segregational statements which have trailed the confirmation of former Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, as the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, among other comments which are incitful.

It is no longer news that following his inauguration as the FCT Minister, renowned Islamic cleric, Sheikh Gumi in a viral video, described Wike as a hater of Northern Nigeria and an infidel, however, what is news is the layedback approach at which some individuals have accepted this hate speech and divisive rhetoric, which seeks to sow seeds of discord among Nigerians and reignite religious crises which have taking a back seat for a long time.

Similar statements as those of Sheikh Gummi by some Islamic fundamentalists have also saturated the media space and it is very worrying and horrible that In 21st century Nigeria, those who are trusted with uniting our different religions are instead taking us through the harrowing journey of barbarism and promulgating bigotry.

We, therefore, vehemently kick against such individuals who want to tarnish the image of Wike and that of President Bola Tinubu, not on the basis of competence, but because of religion and selfish agenda. Nigerians must uphold the principle that the country belongs to all its citizens, regardless of religious, ethnic, or political affiliations, as the unity and cooperation among all regions are important to our country’s progress and development.

We ask them to desist from judging Wike on the basis of his religion and the region he comes from and rather provide evidence against his competence and qualifications as to why he is not fit to man the FCT and produce the required changes the area and the country at large yarns for. Besides the FCT which became the official capital of Nigeria in 1999 has had only Hausa/Fulani Muslims as Minister of the territory which is a far cry to what inclusiveness in governance entails.

The position of FCT Minister is not the birthright of anybody, religion, sect or creed, it is a Nigerian territory and even it’s original owners – the Gbagyis – have not complained about Wike’s appointment. Those planning to derail the policies of the present administration, especially as regards to ministerial portfolios which are very important in moving the nation in the right direction, are backing up the wrong tree and their ill-conceived gimmicks have failed on arrival.

We urge the government of President Bola Tinubu not to give in to such cheap blackmail and continue with the evenly balanced sharing of political appointments which has not been witnessed in Nigeria in a long time. We also call on Wike not to allow such hateful and divisive statements affect his ideas of repositioning the FCT. Wike has been known to be astute, dogged and undeterred, so we urge him not to abandon the tenets that made him succeed as governor of Rivers State.
Overtime, the Muslims in the Northern part of Nigeria habour the notion that they are the dominant religion in those areas. They hinge on this using centuries long propaganda by the colonial Masters and the Muslim Northeners who control the media in the North to make the world believe that Christians in the North are insignificant, about 5 percent of even less. However, this is a misnomer as statistical data reveals that Kaduna State has more Christian Indigenes (60%), though over the years, so many Muslim immigrants from other States/boundaries, had diluted it and it’s now about 53% Christians as against 47% muslims.

Statistics also shows that in Gombe, Niger and Kwara states there are at least 40% Christians each, while Borno, Bauchi and Kebbi states have about 30% Christian each, with the southern parts of these States being majority Christians.

Katsina State is made up of 20% Christian. Six LGAs in the South of Katsina state (Kafur, Malumfashi, Funtua, Bakori, Kankia & Dutsin-Ma) are dominated by christians.

Yobe and Kano states also have around 20% Christian. However, Boko Haram seriously displaced Yobe Christians from around Potiskum area and now they may be less than 10%, while in Kano State, it was about 30%, before Muslim immigrants from other states and Niger republic seriously reduced this figure. However, some LGAs such as; Tudunwada, Sumaila, Rogo, Bebeji, Shanono & Doguwa (all in Southern Kano) have hundreds of Christian villages.

Christian population In Jigawa and Zamfara is about 20% and there are majorly Christian communities in Roni LGA of Jigawa State. Adamawa State is home to about 30% Christians or even more.

It is also pertinent to point out that, Vice President Kashim Shettima, prior to the presidential inauguration, picked an Igbo Catholic, from the South East, as his Chief Security Officer(CSO), and a Northern Christian, as Aide De Camp (ADC) to douse Islamisation agenda claims.

According to the VP, he was a child of necessity, and therefore, there is no Islamisation agenda or whatsoever colouration to their administration, adding that “Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is a Muslim who is married to a Christian, not only a Christian but a pastor in the Redeemed Christian Church of God”.

Having explicitly made it clear that this country (Nigeria) does not belong to Muslims alone, we, therefore, call on the relevant authorities such as; the DSS, the police and others to call these unscrupulous elements to order, arrest them if need be and advice them against brewing trouble in our nation Nigeria, just as we urge Christians to continually preach peace and harmonous coexistence.

Lastly, Nigeria belongs to Christians, Muslims and even traditionalists, and so bigotry and zealotism must not be tolerated and should be condemned in strong terms. We encourage the media not to relent in her efforts of broadcasting factual contents and it should also keep upholding its statues as the “Fourth Estate of the Realm”.

Long live Northern Youth Christian Network!
Long live Kaduna State!!
Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria!!!


Comrd. Abdulsalam John Tanko.
National President, NCYN.

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