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Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Nigerian Muslim President May Relocate Christian Chapel


About two weeks ago, the Nigerian media was abuzz with news that overzealous aides of president Buhari had closed down the Aso Rock Presidential Villa chapel on the president's alleged order. It took Yemi Osinbajo (above), a law professor and Nigeria's christian vice-president's intervention for the security officials to allow people into the chapel on that particular day. But recent news suggests the chapel may go under the hammer as it is close to the presidential bedroom and kitchen, a deliberate move by former president Obasanjo, a christian, who built the chapel during his tenure, for his convenience. The chapel's location is now an inconvenience for the incumbent, a muslim.
While Nigerians are waiting, with bated breath, on Buhari's next move on this matter, it should be remembered that president Buhari had lost the last 3 presidential elections in part because he had been perceived by voters as an islamist and an alleged supporter of the Boko Haram terrorists. His next move will almost certainly determine the outcome of the next elections, even though it is early days yet.
The Presidential villa also has a mosque where the president prefers to worship rather than the central mosque within the capital city of Abuja. Nigeria continues to let petty religious squabbles interfere with state matters and cause needless distractions to the serious business of governance. President Buhari may be out to end the massive corruption bedevilling the country, but he is, at monumental cost to Nigeria, ignoring the other elephant in the room: religion.