The Muslim Corpers' Association of Nigeria (MCAN) has described as unacceptable, what it termed as the "abduction and deceitful or forceful conversion of children, who are victims of terrorism in North East, to Christianity".
This was contained in a statement by the association's Public Relations Officer, Ibrahim Apena Adeboye.
In the statement, the association claimed several Muslims, amongst which are over a hundred children below the legal age of consent, were abducted from government-administered internally displaced persons (IDP) camps accross the country by a Christian missionary organisation, International Christians for Mission with the aim of deceitfully or forcefully converting them to Christianity.
Mr. Ibrahim told Enews on phone that his association, in line with it's humanitarian objectives, approached the IDP camp to deliver admonishment and relief materials to the displaced persons, as it has done in many other similar camps accross the country.
He further noted that to their amazement, they were denied access to the camp by one Pastor Solomon A. Folorunsho, who is in charge of the camp. After several entreaties, the pastor told them to send an official request to that effect.
Thereafter, MCAN sent a request letter through the Ameer (president) of MCAN, Edo State chapter, Abdulkareem Yusuf, requesting for access to visit the camp to admonish and deliver relief materials, but again, they were denied access.
The request letter, which was addressed to the Camp Manager, reads as follows:
"With due honour and respect to your highly dignified personality, the above named association hereby wishes to request for permission for a three day visit to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) Camp by the end of this month.
"The association hopes to undertake the following activities in the course of their stay: Medical check-up of Internally Displaced Persons; Da'wah (sermon) session; and Distribution of relief items."
After the letter was delivered, the camp management declined the request in a short reply which reads:
"Thanks a million!!! Due to the security situation, visitors are now restricted to just making donations to the IDPs. Please bear with us."
After declining, officials of MCAN made efforts to verbally persuade the pastor to grant them access to the camp, citing their relief efforts in other similar camps. Thereafter, he agreed to give them access to the children in the camp only, but not the entire people in the camp.
The PRO noted that "they fear the children might have been incited and manipulated into believing that Muslims are only coming to take them back to Boko Haram, because some military personnel were resisted by the children when they, at the instance of NSCIA, tried to transfer them to another camp. The children shouted and threw stones at the officers, saying they weren't going back to Boko Haram."
The PRO further informed Enews that the matter has been reported to the Sultan for his urgent intervention because such a thing will not be accepted.
He further noted that his association is calling on President Muhammadu Buhari, Inspector General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase, the Executive Governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshimhole, as well as all peace loving citizens of Nigeria to quickly intervene and order the return of these Muslims back to their parents/guardians, or hand them over to Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) as soon as possible in the interest of peace and to avoid unnecessay tension in the country.
Efforts made to reach Pastor Solomon for comments before this report proved abortive as his phone was off.