The Christian Association of Nigeria, (CAN) has warned Kaduna State Governor Nasir el-Rufai against plans to arrest an arraign Founder and Senior Pastor of Dunamis International Gospel Centre, Dr Paul Enenche in Kaduna over alleged hate speech.
It was alleged that Enenche’s speech escalated recent killings that rocked Kasuwan Magani on October 18, 2018 that was followed by the assassination of the Agom Adara, Dr Maiwada Galadima, on October 26, 2018.
CAN said in a statement by its spokesperson Pastor Bayo Oladeji, on Wednesday clarified that Enenche merely made reference to a news item on how a Christian monarch was killed.
CAN also warned that any attempt to arrest and harass any of its pastors again will be considered an attempt to silence the voice of the church and reasoning in our nation.
The CAN added that it has become much difficult to know whose speech is to be regarded as hate speech and which speech should not.
“Let the government define clearly the difference between what is considered hate speech and advocacy for dying victims of continuous killings in Nigeria.
“What do you expect from a church leader whose members and fellow citizens are being killed daily without any satisfactory measures to abate the killings? Are we to keep clapping for government while people are being massacred in cold blood?”
The statement read in part, “While CAN abhors hate speech in whatever form.
We have carefully read the threat by Governor El-Rufai and his claim to know who is responsible for the “hate speech” that promoted the crises in Kaduna State and his vow to get Pastor Enenche arrested and prosecuted in Kaduna State.
“We have also examined the video clip of the Pastor and are abreast of all the facts concerning the Kasuwan Magani killings, among others. The main subject of Dr Enenche’s clip which Governor el-Rufai is alleging to be a “hate speech” to us is an outright condemnation of the fate that has befallen the Adara people and Christians in Southern Kaduna through the creation of new emirates namely; Lere, Kagarko and Kujuru. By the creation of these emirates, especially that of Kajuru, the Adara people have been subjugated.
“From a careful study of the speech, Pastor Enenche is not the originator of what he spoke about. He said; “ about the middle of this year we heard a Christian first class Chief, that they were told from the news report we heard…” hence the video, he was speaking about was what he read or heard from the news.
“While we will continue to condemn hate speech by religious leaders and other Nigerians, we cannot stand and watch our respected leaders being set up for molestation, humiliation and prosecution for an unfounded “hate speech.”
“We again caution that care must be taken in handling what Pastor Paul Enenche read which he wanted people to pray over.
“The idea of making Christians endangered species must stop for the sake of peace and unity of this country. We have had enough of troubles in this nation in the past years. We deserve to have our peace.”