BY AMOS TAUNA, KADUNA – The Zaria Diocese of Anglican Communion has disssociated itself completely from what it described as the humiliating visit to Governor Nasir El-Rufai and the apologies therein.
The Diocese categorically said that Governor El-Rufai should stop embarrassing himself with demolition of Churches in any part of Kaduna state.
It particularly expressed surprise over an apology allegedly expressed by Archbishop Buba Lamido at the Kaduna State Governor’s office on Tuesday, November 12, 2019 stressing that such a move was disgraceful, adding that Bishop Lamido is known to always compromise Christian standards and the truth.
These were contained in a statement by Bishop Abiodun Ogunyemi for and on behalf of the people of the Zaria Diocese of the Anglican Communion, in which he further expressed concern and surprised over the views and apologies allegedly tendered by Archbishop Buba Lamido, who led other Anglican Bishops from the Northwest on a visit to Governor Nasir El-Rufai.
Ogunyemi further said; “Nobody can propose to demolish our Cathedral and we will keep quiet or apologise. A letter was written by KASUPDA on the orders of the Governor to us to quit the cathedral premises within 7 days and we responded in the best possible ways together with CAN and other Christian organisations all over the world.
“Bishop Lamido deliberately avoided CAN in his humiliating visit to the Government House. Like we wrote few days ago, this is the Bishop (Lamido) that sold three very precious landed properties of Wusasa Diocese to some Muslims. These properties were acquired by missionaries in the late 1800s. These great legacies have been lost forever by the Wusasa community.
“Besides, at one of the meetings of Northern Bishops, Bishop Lamido brought a governorship candidate with money to bribe the house of Bishops to vote for this man against Governor El Rufai. His antecedents when it comes to standing for the church speaks volume.
“The Diocese of Zaria is not at war with the Governor and we are not religious bigots as stated by Bishop Lamido at the Government House. We are only fighting for our right. Nobody can stop us from fighting for our right. Besides, prophets do not apologize to kings but kings apologises to prophets.
“Rather than apologising to the Governor, the Governor should apologise to the Church and the general public for embarrassing himself with the quit notice.”
“Any attempt to demolish our shops or our properties in Sabon-Gari market is evil, callous and wicked and will be associated with the wrath of God.
“The whole of the Sabon-Gari market is our land acquired in the early 1900s with genuine C of O which we have submitted to the state government for recertification.
“Any attempt by Governor El-Rufai to demolish any of our properties in that market will be a direct assault on the Church in the whole of Nigeria.
“All these visits and apologies is planned by Bishop Lamido and Idowu-Fearon to score a political point for the Governor because he is being prepared for 2023 elections.
“I speak prophetically as a servant of the living God. Let fake Christians and religious spies placed in our Church by a particular religion be aware of the consequences of their actions because heaven is watching.
“May the Lord expose these spies in our midst in Jesus Name. In fact their actions now show very clearly that they are working for an interest against the Church. The Lord in His infinite mercies will raise help to deliver His church from fake Christians, fake converts and novices,” Bishop Ogunyemi stressed.
Special Adviser to the Kaduna State governor on Media and Communication, Muyiwa Adekeye, had in a statement on Tuesday said that the Archbishop of Kaduna Province, Anglican Diocese, Buba Lamido, apologised to Governor Nasir El Rufai over the social media campaigns that tried to turn the issue of the redevelopment of Sabon-Garin Zaria market into a religious matter.
Adekeye said that Bishop Lamido expressed regret over the manner in which the purported plan to demolish St George’s Cathedral, Sabon-Garin, Zari was handled, adding that the Church has no rift with the Kaduna state government.
Adekeye said that Archbishop Lamido, who is also the Dean of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, and Bishop of Wusasa, Zaria, had at Government House Kaduna, distanced the Anglican Church from the campaign that has been “whipping up baseless allegations of religious bigotry,” adding that the church sees itself and the government as partners.
Lamido, who is believed to have stated these at a closed-door meeting with El Rufai, expressed gratitude to the governor for his decision to preserve St. George’s Cathedral.
El-Rufai’s spokesman, Adekeye quoted Lamido as haven said that; “The meeting has afforded us a welcome chance to clarify matters and recalibrate our relationship in a mutual commitment to the peace and progress of Kaduna State, and harmony in its diverse communities. We are grateful for the opportunity to remove the cobwebs of misunderstanding in an atmosphere of mutual respect.”
Adekeye also stated in the statement that Governor El-Rufai recalled that in 2016, the Kaduna state government decided to preserve Saint George’s Cathedral when it chose a private company to fund the redevelopment of the Sabon-Gari market.
He said; “Over 40 structures that were to be affected by the exercise were identified and assessed for compensation. Three years later, after it became clear that the private developer could not raise the funds, KDSG decided to ask its market development company to fund the project.
“Following this renewed push to rebuild the market, notices were sent to the affected properties, on which compensation had been paid.
“The records show that St. George’s Cathedral itself was not subject to the eviction notice, as only the shops attached to it were affected.”
El-Rufai expressed shock that a social media campaign was being waged against him on the matter and said that leaders have a responsibility to ensure that people should not mobilise along ethnic and religious sentiments or turn faith into a weapon of division.