Wike incurs wrath of Islamic group for declaring Rivers a Christian state

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Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike has been called names by the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) for saying that Rivers is a Christian state.

MURIC said the governor “is short in intellect, long in impunity” and that his claim “exposed him as an analogue governor with a triangular approach to all problems: religion, violence and impunity.”

This was contained in a statement the Islamic group released on Thursday through its director, Professor Ishaq Akintola.

Wike had at a recent crusade put together by the Lord’s Chosen Charismatic Church in Port Harcourt, the state capital, declared that Rivers is a Christian state.

But apparently irritated with the claim, MURIC in its statement accused Wike of being in the habit of making such claims and urged stakeholders in the “Nigerian project” to call him to order.

“At a time when Nigeria is facing religious and ethnic crises, a state governor still has the temerity to declare his state a Christian state. Wike is short in intellect, long in impunity. It is not his first time of making this pronouncement. We ignored him the first time because we did not want to dignify him with a response. But he has just exposed himself as an analogue governor with a triangular approach to all problems: religion, violence and impunity. Wike cannot think outside this triangular box.

“At a time when religious fanaticism is on the rise and the authorities are cautioning Nigerians to be moderate, a state governor is running loose with reckless statements like, ‘I repeat once again without apologies, Rivers is a Christian state. That is why nobody can touch us’.

“This is nothing but articulated demagoguery. It is audacious, preposterous and myopic. It is also a dangerous precedent. Nonetheless, Wike’s statement must also be seen as meaningless unless he can establish Canon law for his ‘Christian State’. That is the challenge we like to throw at Governor Wike. He should promulgate canon law without any hesitation, otherwise, all his boasts amount to nothing. They are empty.

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“Is Rivers the only state with Christian majority? Wike should learn from the moderate stance of the governors of Cross Rivers, Delta, Enugu, Anambra, Ebonyi, etc on the issue of religion. Wike is perpetuating a culture of acrobatic religiousity. He is playing on the intelligence of the good people of Rivers State and lending credence to Karl Marx’s view of religion as opium of the people…

“Before we take a break, we remind Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State that specialisation necessitates division of labour. He should, therefore, concentrate on governance which is the job for which he was elected and leave evangelization and fire-brand crusade to Christian clerics. Wike should improve the security situation in order to attract investors and tourists. We appeal to stakeholders in the Nigerian project to call Wike to order,” the statement read in part.

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