Middle Belt defence of Oritsejafor irresponsible –Waku

Vice President of the Arewa Consultative
Forum, Senator Joseph Waku, has described
the defence of the President of the Christian
Association of Nigeria, Pastor Ayo
Oritsejafor, by the Middle Belt Youth Forum
as “irresponsible.”
In his reaction to criticisms from the Forum
on Monday, on his comments against
Oritsejafor, Waku said he sympathised with
the group, adding, “I do not join issues with
people who are full of emotions rather than
Waku represented Benue North/West Senatorial District from 1999 to 2003 in the Senate.
He had criticised Oritsejafor’s recent presentation before a Committee of the United States
Congress on Violence in Nigeria, where he urged the lawmakers to designate the Islamist
sect, Boko Haram, as a terrorist organisation.
The ex-lawmaker had argued that Orisejafor’s comment was capable of causing more
disaffection among Nigerians.
Waku said he did not speak in his capacity as the vice chairman of the ACF, adding that he
was free to take a position on any national issues.
He said he did not need to take permission from “an irresponsible and self-style organisation
like the Middle Belt Youth Forum.”
He added, “I do not belong to any religious organisation than to make comment and advise
religious leaders.
“It was not the CAN I challenged. I challenged the comments made by the Reverend
(Oritsejafor). If he had made it in his private capacity, I would still challenge him. Any
meaningful Nigerian, irrespective of his religion, would agree with me.
“I am surprised that the youth forum did not read the comment made by the American
Congress in respect of this man’s request. They said they were not designating Boko Haram
as a terrorist organisation but individuals.”
“So, it is the same reasons that I gave three months ago that the American Congress gave;
that Boko Haram has several versions. There is the criminal Boko Haram, there is economic
Boko Haram and there is political Boko Haram.
“If the so called Middle Belt Youth Forum had read their statistics since the inception of Boko
Haram, can they give me the total number of people Boko Haram has killed? How many
Christians and Muslims?”
According to his calculation as at February, 2012, Boko Haram had killed about 2,500 people,
out of which Muslims were over 2,000.

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