I read one long Epistle by a man who said he is a Christian about the Chief of Staff to the Governor of Kogi state, Pharm. Jamiu Abdulkareem Asuku. My conclusion was that of a mistaken identity.
I am a Christian and I have worked with the Chief of Staff closely since 2015. I understand his official and personal characters and can say so much about him. The extreme opposite of Asuku is religious fanaticism.
He is a devoted Moslem just like many people are devoted to their religions. But most importantly, he is one of the people whose character demonstrate the oneness of the God we both worship. He is free to associate with people of different religious backgrounds. He is at home with people of diverse ethnicity.
He is a young man who never lost touch with his past, a past drenched in the history of hope and hardwork; but most importantly, a rail of abundant grace.
Asuku’s faith in God is universal. He believes that God is for all men and women, for all races and for all religions. More than most Christians, he exemplifies the anchor of love of God and humanity. Religion without love is a pool of hypocritical water.
I listened to the message he sent. I also sought counsel from people of the two main religions. I have therefore come to the following conclusions:
1. What the CoS attempted to do and actually did was to preach harmony between the different Islamic denominations. They all worship Allah. They all believe in His Prophets.
2. There was no slander against Christianity in the entire message. None, at least to a clean mind and consciousness.
3. With his intervention, the festering tension among the Moslem faithful in Kogi Central has been calmed. Now the people see the futility in fanning the embers of crisis.
With the incontrovertible facts above, what did the writer want to achieve by attempting to create religious disharmony in the state?
These are the drops from the ill-fated, hate-laced and uninformed script of the writer:
1. He surely has a personal issue with Pharm Asuku. He probably doesn’t like the religious harmony being enjoyed in Kogi State as a whole; which was hatched largely by the large heart and fairness of the CoS. The Christian Association of Nigeria should probe the writer for deliberately and cunningly attempting to set the state on the trenches of religious explosions.
2. The writer has a serious issue with the policy of GYB to put young and vibrant minds in sensitive positions to pilot the affairs of the state. The attacker was unguarded and unguided in launching missiles against the generation of leaders that have placed Kogi on the map of World development. He strenuously labored in vain to paint giving power to the youth a bad omen. History is waiting on the wings of time to judge the difference between now and then. The present generation of leaders in Kogi have enjoyed excellent goodwill and acceptance that no acidic mind could discredit.
3. The writer is hereby challenged to publicly defend this allegation against him that he is a religious bigot. Christians and Moslems in Kogi State have always lived together, engage in intermarriage and work together. We do not rate people based on their religion which is their personal relationship with God. The writer has failed woefully to stain a sterling character that Asuku represents.
I thank the people for rising up in their numbers to condemned the writer for that show of shame and religious intolerance. And we say to him, we all appreciate Asuku and there won’t be religious disharmony in our dear state.
God bless Kogi State.
– Kingsley Fanwo
APC Chieftain and Commissioner for Information