A Nigerian Anglican Archbishop, Josiah Idowu-Fearon, has told the BBC that christian leaders in the country thwarted government’s efforts a combating militant group, Boko Haram, because of they believed Muslim leaders were in support of the militant’s activities.
Josiah Idowu-Fearon, who has just resumed as the new secretary-general of the Anglican Communion, is reputed for promoting dialogue between Christians and Muslims in the country.
According to the archbishop, efforts to maintain unity among the two main religion, were undermined by some christian leaders who he accused of failing to engage with their Muslim counterparts.
“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,’”he said.
He however revealed that their attitude has now changed, but after so many lives have been lost. He said: “Now they are singing a different tune… I tell you more Muslims have been killed than Christians in the north-east of Nigeria.”Perhaps it is no surprise that Archbishop Idowu-Fearon decided to leave Nigeria and take up his new role as secretary-general of the Anglican Communion.
He also revealed that his attempts to promote unity between Christians and Muslims in the face of Boko Haram’s attacks were not always welcome, even as he said the church of Nigeria distanced itself from him when he was appointed in his new role.
Meanwhile, the federation of Muslim Women’s Associations in Nigeria (FOMWAN) has condemned calls to ban hijab in northern Nigeria.
The group warned that any ban of such kind would offer no solution to the problem of insurgency currently plaguing the northeast.