Kaduna — The Northern States Christians Elders' Forum, NOSCEF, weekend, accused some Northern Muslim elders of shielding Muslim terrorists and their sponsors.
The forum also called for the restructuring of Nigeria into six regions as a way of maintaining the unity of the country.
On the N5 billion appropriated for the building of Almajiri Primary Schools in the North, NOSCEF said it also wanted N5 billion appropriated for Christian Mission Schools as a way of ensuring that government was not favouring Muslims over Christians.
These were contained in a communiqué issued in Kaduna and signed by its Chairman, Evangelist Mathew Owojaiye and Engr. Iliya Yusuf, Secretary at the end of the meeting of its states and national executives.
According to the communique, "the meeting noted the deterioration of security especially in the north eastern sector of Nigeria and now encroaching into the middle belt.
"Alarming still is the incessant and deliberate attacks, bombings and shootings of innocent Christians even at their places of worship, that is, churches in Kano, Plateau, Borno, Bauchi, Abuja and Gombe.
"The reason Christians do not retaliate is not because we are cowards but because that will be a sin. It is unfair to go and attack, kill or maim people that are innocent, that may not even know the attackers or may even hate what the attackers are doing. What offence did the worshippers in the churches commit against the sect?
"We had given the Federal Government of Nigeria time to retrain their security forces on how to tackle terrorism. Our patience is running out. We are hereby blaming the Federal Government for any woes visited on us.
"We are hereby calling for National Conference. We need to restructure Nigeria. We want the six geopolitical zones to become regions with a little alteration here and there according to the wishes of the people.
"Each zone will manage its resources and pay tax to the Federal Government as it was in 1960 and 63 constitutions. The Federal Government will take off its hands from education, agriculture, water resources, industries, mineral resources, research and technology, health, power generation, women affairs, youths and sports, works and housing.
"The Federal Government will be solely in charge of Defence, Foreign Affairs, Customs and Aviation.
"We Christians in the northern states welcome the idea of the Federal Government helping almajiri schools in the present set up. We view almajiri schools as Muslim mission schools. We Christians also have our mission schools. There is only one main difference. The Muslim almajiri schools teach only Islamic studies while the Christian mission schools teach Christian religious studies and include secular subjects like physics, chemistry, biology which schools in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iran, Iraq also teach.
"The Federal Government has released N5 billion to the Muslims, we congratulate the Minister of Education for that.
"We, however, remind Mr. President that the Christians are waiting for their own N5 billion. We remind Mr. President that the constitution forbids him favouring one religion above the other."
No more One North
"We agree with Elder Dr. Maitama Sule that Nigeria should not be allowed to break.
"We commend the Northern Elders for calling for meetings to see how to build unity in the North. Christian Religious study is not taught in government schools in the core north.
It was shocking to us that the Northern Elders invited our leaders to the meeting but did not allow them to speak even after they had introduced themselves. There can not be one North without equal treatment. They should concentrate on getting three friendly regions out of the North than thinking of the north as one region again. Situations have overthrown the idea of one north.
"What took place in Bayero University Kano (BUK) would have not happened if the Christian community were allowed to have their own Chapel. We hereby call on the Federal Government and Head of Federal Institutions to allocate land for building of churches in the nineteen Northern States"