There was a mild drama in Kaduna state over what was described as unusual among the adherents of religions in Nigeria when Christian clerics publicly called for the support of Arabic studies board in the state. Daily Trust reports that the clerics on Thursday, November 7, threw their weight behind the National Board for Arabic and Islamic Studies (NBAIS) and encouraged Christians to learn Arabic language.
Legit.ng gathered that while speaking when they paid a courtesy visit to the board, the general overseer of Christ Evangelical Intercessory Fellowship Ministry, Pastor Yohanna Buru, who led the delegation, said the study of Arabic by Christians would strengthen peaceful co-existence between Muslims and Christians.
He said: “Arabic is a language like English, French, German and so many other languages across the planet which can be used for normal communication and interaction for commercial activities across the African continent.” Buru urged Nigerians to study Arabic as a course and not to see the language as a religion, saying that, “Many Christians and believers of other faiths think Arabic is a religion, not knowing that it is a language.”
He said many Christian scholars have learnt how to read and write Arabic language for normal communication in Nigeria and some parts of West Africa, and urged others not to ignore the language due to its links to Islam.
Responding, the acting register of the board, Professor Shafi’u Abdullahi, said at inception, the board had 17 schools under it, but now has over 1,542 across the country. He stressed that a Christian facilitated the establishment of an Arabic department in Ahmad Bello University, saying that, “we learnt Arabic in the hands of Muslims and Christians.”