The Inititiative to Save Democracy has chided the former archbishop of Abuja, Cardinal Onaiyekan for comparing the Catholic Church to the Islamic Movement of Nigeria.
“We view with concern the recent comments by the former archbishop of Abuja catholic archdiocese, Cardinal Onaiyekan regarding the proscription of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria IMN by the federal government. The cleric was quoted to have called on the federal government to rescind the proscription as it was undemocratic. He also cited example with the catholic church asking if he found himself in the situation, whether the federal government would not allow his catholic adherents to protest.”
“We note that the retired archbishop missed the point as the proscription of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria followed due process and after serial breach of all known laws and regulations guiding public protests in Nigeria. We also want to put on record that the proscription followed a valid order from a court of competent jurisdiction banning the activities of the group and ordering for its proscription.”
“We are all witnesses to the activities of the group in the federal capital Abuja in recent times, as well as their violent outings in the public. Before our very eyes the group embarked on attacking public institutions and properties in the federal capital, and this led to the loss of human lives. The group is on record to have constituted themselves into public nuisance by blocking roads and attacking law enforcement agencies at will.”
“We are therefore disappointed that John Cardinal Onaiyekan chose to close his eyes to the violent activities of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria but rather found it convenient to criticise the federal government when they decided to bring the violent activities of the group to an end. This smacks of hypocrisy on his part as it was expected that he should have evaluated all sides of a case before commenting.”
“We want to believe that the cardinal was speaking in his personal capacity as the catholic church that we know usually obeys the laws of any country in which they operate.”