Christian leaders in Nigeria have exposed and condemn Islamizing plots by President Muhammadu Buhari to turn Nigeria into an Islamic State “through the backdoor”.
A coalition of over 14 Christian groups described the plots by the presidency as “desperate” and warned that such action contravenes Nigeria’s secular status.
According to them, the Bill in the House of Representatives proposing amendment to Section 262(1) of the 1999 constitution with a view to expanding the existing jurisdiction of the Sharia Court of Appeal and the State by including criminal matters was insensitive and inconsistent with democratic and republican ideals of the constitution and the Nigerian State.
Members of the coalition include National Christian Elders Forum (NCEF); Nigerian Christian Graduate Fellowship (NCGF); Think Tank for the body of Christ(TTBC); Christian Lawyers Fellowship of Nigeria (CLASFON; Association of Christian Schools in Nigeria(ACSIN); Students Christian Movement(SCM); Christian Professionals Forum (CPF); Intercessors for Nigeria (IFN)and and International Prophetic Ministerial Association (Inc. Worldwide College of Bishops and Ministers: Africa, UK and USA.)
The coalition also has Intercessors Without Walls IWW); Wailing Women International (WWI); Full Gospel Businessmen Fellowship (FGBF); Nigerian Fellowship of Christian Students (NFCS) and University Joint Campus Christian Fellowship (UJCCFF) as members.
Several calls to the President Buhari’s spokesman, Mallam Garba Shehu, were not taken.
The spokesperson of the coalition and National President of NCEF, Mr. Solomon Asemota (SAN); Prelate of Methodist Church/Head of Christian Council of Nigeria bloc in Christian Association of Nigeria, Emmanuel Udofia and Leader of CPF, Prof. (Bishop) Funmi Adesanya-Davies, tabled these demands at a press conference held on Friday in Abuja.
Asemota said, “The proposed amendment is a desecration of the sanctity of the FCT as a symbol of national unity, which should be preserved. Nigeria’s membership of religious organisations and associations, particularly the Organization of Islamic Cooperating Countries and the Coalition of Islamic Nations against ISIS, is insensitive, against our best national security interest and democratic and democratic norms.
“To maintain the unity, faith, peace and corporate progress of Nigeria, we demand that Sharia should be expunged from the constitution and Shariah-based public institutions, agencies and practices in the states should be abolished. In this respect we demand the return to status quo as per the Republican Constitution of 1963.
“In recognition of Nigeria’s multi-religious and democratic Status, section 10 of the 1999 Constitution prohibits the adoption by the Federal or State government of any State religion. Therefore, the adoption and implementation of the Shariah law and principles by some States in Nigeria is a clear and blatant violation of section 10 of the Constitution
“The deployment of the resources and institutions of the State for the promotion of Sharia is unconscionable and violation of the Constitution and offence against the sensibilities of the diverse Nigerian people.
“The current trend whereby States deploy public revenue to fund activities, functions and programs of Islam are discriminatory and a clear adoption of the Shariah as State religion to the detriment of non-Muslims. It is unjust and a violation of the ideals of sections 16(1) (a)(b) and 17 (1) (2) (a) (3) (a) Y(b) of the 1999 Constitution which provides equal status and opportunity for every citizen.
“The selective and discriminatory economic empowerment of Muslim clerics by some States in the North, in particular Kano state, by their placement on the government payroll is a clear violation of the ideals of democracy and social justice as entrenched in section 14(1) of the 1999 Constitution.
“The proposed Kaduna Religious law violates the Freedom of association, expression, Conscience and Right of worship as entrenched in section 15(3) (d), 38, 39 and 40 of the 1999 Nigerian constitution.
“There are adequate provisions in the Penal Code to curtail religious extremism, criminality and terrorism. The escalation of religious extremism, criminality and terrorism is due to the failure of leadership to enforce extant laws due to religious bigotry and discriminatory tendencies and sympathy for religious persecution, extremism and terrorism.
“The proposed Kaduna Religious law is an attempt to adopt and institutionalise preferred religion by the State and religious practices acceptable to the government for the time being.”
According to him, Section 2 of the 1999 Constitution forbids the control and management of the Nigerian State by any person or group except in accordance with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution.
The coalition also demanded restructuring of the country in accordance with the recommendation of the 2014 National Conference which was duly constituted and inaugurated by a duly elected government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Asemota said, “It was funded by the hard earned tax payers’ money of Nigerians for the five months it was convened and headed by a well-respected jurist, Hon. Justice Idris Legbo Kutigi. The composition of the National Conference was made up of well-meaning citizens of this country.
“It is therefore impossible for any individual, or group of individuals or any government to wish away or pretend that the CONFAB 2014 never took place. The recent statement of the president of the federal Republic of Nigeria to jettison this document to the “archives” is very unfortunate and worrisome.
“The Honourable Nigerians that constituted the membership of the 2014 National Conference are responsible and valuable citizens of Nigeria, therefore they should not be treated as such by jettisoning their well-thought out recommendations which according to the Conference Honourable chairman were all ‘adopted by consensus and not once did we have to vote or come to division’.
“We strongly advocate that a report that made far reaching decisions on the need to restructure Nigeria and ensure that true Federalism is practiced in the nation should be accorded top priority for implementation in the overall quest for the peace, unity and progress of this great country –which we all desire. We call on our President to re-consider his position and direct relevant agencies to commence implementation.
Christian Leaders Against Buhari Islamizing Nigeria: A Communique
PRESS CONFERENCE BY COALITION OF CHRISTIAN GROUPS IN NIGERIA
1. NATIONAL CHRISTIAN ELDERS FORUM (NCEF)
2. NIGERIAN CHRISTIAN GRADUATE FELLOWSHIP (NCGF)
3. THINK TANK FOR THE BODY OF CHRIST
4. CHRISTIAN LAWYERS FELLOWSHIP OF NIGERIA (CLASFON)
5. ASSOCIATION OF CHRISTIAN SCHOOLS IN NIGERIA (ACSIN)
6. STUDENTS CHRISTIAN MOVEMENT (SCM)
7. CHRISTIAN PROFESSIONALS FORUM (CPF)
8. INTERCESSORS FOR NIGERIA (IFN)
9. INTERNATIONAL PROPHETIC MINISTERIAL ASSOCIATION (IPMA) (Inc. Worldwide College of Bishops & Ministers, Africa, UK & USA)
10. INTERCESSORS WITHOUT WALLS (IWW)
11. WAILING WOMEN INTERNATIONAL
12. FULL GOSPEL BUSINESSMEN FELLOWSHIP
13. NIGERIAN FELLOWSHIP OF CHRISTIAN STUDENTS (NIFES)
14. UNIVERSITY JOINT CAMPUS CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP (UJCM)
HELD AT THE JUBILEE HOUSE OF NATIONAL CHRISTIAN CENTRE, ABUJA ON FRIDAY 3RD JUNE, 2016 AT 10.00 A.M.
The Christian Elders Forum (CEF) present; all Heads of Blocs of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN); Other Arms of Christian Bodies; Arch Bishops, Bishops, General overseers, Reverends, Pastors, Brothers and Sisters in the Lord, Gentlemen of the Press, Ladies, Gentlemen and Fellow Nigerians;
We are all here gathered today in one accord to address some significantly remarkable issues about our nation, Nigeria. You will all agree that this is an epoch event as it is one of its kind and it is in order to prevent instability in the Country, occasioned by the tension generated by certain events of recent times which is putting to a test our collective resolve as a democratic and secular State. To the Christian community, all we observed is an Islamization process and we stand to be corrected looking at the issues listed below. Such issues that we intend to address and protest are as follows in stickers forms:
HIGHLIGHTS OF ISSUES:
REMOTE: I, AS A CHRISTIAN
IMMEDIATE: I, AS A CHRISTIAN
➢ I StandagainstAttacksOfIndeg
FIGHT AGAINST CORRUPTION AND THE RULE OF LAW
We fully support the current all out war against Corruption. We believe that this monster should be firmly dealt with –and it is the responsibility of ALL NIGERIANS. Our church leader’s role in speaking with their members and demanding godly restitution is very much in order.
However, we are concerned that the RULE of Law in this process should be adhered to. We are concerned at the deliberate disregards of courts orders on the Fundamental Human rights of Nigerian Citizens. Unfortunately, the wheel of Justice which is known to grind slowly-grinds more slowly in Nigeria.
Nevertheless, we live in a democracy. The protection of this hard fought democracy is for the benefit of all. Perceived selective action in this fight against corruption is sending out very wrong signals. We call on the Government and the Law courts to ensure that those currently invited by our Anti-corruption agencies have their bail rights fully protected and ensured.
THE FORTHCOMING CAN ELECTIONS: CONFIDENCE IN THE ELECTORAL PROCESS.
We note the emergence of various groups purported to be parts of CAN and attempting to infer there is a division within CAN and cast aspersions on the CAN Electoral process–even as we approach the elections of our new leadership. We are not unaware of the likelihood of sponsored persons and groups organizations that perceive CAN in negative light and wish, for the personal and group self-interest to create non-existence confusion and divisions.
As with all organizations who have their internal structures and process, CAN structures are well in place. We do wish to unequivocally state that we have implicit confidence in our Electoral process to stay with the process and ensure a duly elected CAN leadership. Under God, we shall have our chosen leadership.
We call on well meaning Nigerians to please join and pray for the elections and advice against undue interferences by external bodies and demonic forces of wickedness.
INFRINGEMENT OF SHARIA ON THE CONSTITUTION
In recognition of Nigeria’s multi-religious and democratic Status, section 10 of the 1999 Constitution prohibits the adoption by the Federal or State government of any State religion. Therefore;
– The adoption and implementation of the Shariah law and principles by some States in Nigeria is a clear and blatant violation of section 10 of the Constitution;
– The deployment of the resources and institutions of the State for the promotion of Sharia is unconscionable and violation of the Constitution and offence against the sensibilities of the diverse Nigerian people.
– The current trend whereby States deploy public revenue to fund activities, functions and programs of Islam are discriminatory and a clear adoption of the Shariah as State religion to the detriment of non-Muslims. It is unjust and a violation of the ideals of sections 16(1) (a)(b) and 17 (1) (2) (a) (3) (a) Y(b) of the 1999 Constitution which provides equal status and opportunity for every citizen.
– The selective and discriminatory economic empowerment of Muslim clerics by some States in the North, in particular Kano state, by their placement on the government payroll is a clear violation of the ideals of democracy and social justice as entrenched in section 14(1) of the 1999 Constitution.
– The proposed Kaduna Religious law violates the Freedom of association, expression, Conscience and Right of worship as entrenched in section 15(3) (d), 38, 39 and 40 of the 1999 Nigerian constitution.
There are adequate provisions in the Penal Code to curtail religious extremism, criminality and terrorism. The escalation of religious extremism, criminality and terrorism is due to the failure of leadership to enforce extant laws due to religious bigotry and discriminatory tendencies and sympathy for religious persecution, extremism and terrorism.
– The proposed Kaduna Religious law is an attempt to adopt and institutionalize preferred religion by the State and religious practices acceptable to the government for the time being.
Section 2 of the 1999 Constitution forbids the control and management of the Nigerian State by any person or group except in accordance with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution. Therefore,
– The lopsided appointment and constitution of the Federal government and some States which is rampart with the appointment of persons of particular religious faith and ethnic nationality constitute abuse of power; and breach of sections 15(1)(2)(4)(5) of the 1999 Constitution;
– The composition of defense institutions and internal security agencies with persons of particular ethnicity and religion is in breach of the Federal character principles in section 14(3) of the Constitution and induces a state of apprehension and insecurity.
– The predominance of persons from a particular section of the country does not foster the much needed sense of national unity.
The inexplicable selective deployment and use of the armed forces to protect the economic rights of some citizens such as armed offensive against cattle rustling while ignoring the unabated threats of Fulani cattle herdsmen against the lives and economic interests of majority Nigerian people, constitutes abuse of power; and unacceptable desecration and erosion of cherished national value of respect for life above materialism.
We view the selective and discriminatory use of the armed forces and security agencies of the State against unarmed citizens as attempts at stimulating and escalating crises to justify fascism. Therefore,
Enjoin governors and elected public officers to rise to the demand of leadership to protect the lives, and the economic interests and rights of their people.
The national assembly is therefore invited to conduct a public hearing and inquest to audit the above appointments.
Nigeria is a republican state with a democratic Constitution and institutions. Therefore;
– The Bill proposing amendment to Section 262(1) of the 1999 Constitution to expand the existing jurisdiction of the Shariah Court of appeal and the State by including criminal matters is insensitive and inconsistent with democratic and republican ideals of the Constitution and the Nigerian State.
The proposed amendment is a desecration of the sanctity of the FCT as a symbol of national unity, which should be preserved.
– Nigeria’s membership of religious organizations, association, particularly the Organization of Islamic Cooperating countries and the coalition of Islamic nations against ISIS, is insensitive, against our best national security interest and democratic and democratic norms.
To maintain the Unity, faith, Peace and corporate progress of Nigeria, we demand that the Shariah should be expunged from the Constitution and Shariah based public institutions, agencies and practices in the States should be abolished.
In this respect we demand the return to status quo as per the republican Constitution of 1963.
We are disturbed by the virtual northern Islamization of the key security units in the country. Under the present administration, the signal we are receiving is that it is only Muslims from the North that are capable of managing security units in Nigeria. Not only is this policy direction a total negation of the Federal Character principle in appointments into Federal offices, it also promotes the possibility of a section of the country using the instruments of the state to oppress, suppress, and intimidate other parts of the nation. The Federal Character principle was introduced as check and balance to ensure that there is mutual safety and respect amongst all the divergent groups in the country. It is very unfortunate that the Buhari Administration has demonstrated outright disrespect for this erstwhile sacrosanct national value.
Today, the following appointments have been made in key security units in the nation:
Director General, Department of States Services -Muslim North
Minister of Defense-Muslim North
Minister of Internal Affairs-Muslim North
National Security Adviser-Muslim North
Economic and Financial Crimes Commission-Muslim North
One is bound to ask, with these lopsided appointments, in favor of the Muslim North, are the intelligence services Nigerian institutions or Northern Islamic
We demand an immediate reversal of this obnoxious pattern of Muslim North domination of the intelligence services. It cannot be in the best interest of Nigeria. We call on Mr. President to respect the fragile balance of the Nigerian polity and cease causing tension and uneasy in the nation through insensitive and discriminatory appointments. We also call on the National Assembly to pay attention to this flagrant abuse of the Federal Character Principle because it can easily encourage ethnic cleansing and genocide.
To confirm this apprehension, there is currently an atmosphere of palpable fear in the nation. Dr. Frederick Fasheun commented recently that President Buhari is “governing Nigeria by intimidation”. The President should resist the temptation of using executive power to bully Nigerians. The nation is slowly turning into a Police State through the domination of the security units by the clansmen of the President. Nigerians are “free-born” therefore; every form of arrangement that could be manipulated to oppress and intimidate Nigerians should be dismantled forthwith.
TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION COMMISSION
On 8th April, 2015, Max Siollun of the New York Times wrote, “Nigeria today requires a reconstructive surgeon, not a bulldozer”. This international assessment of the Nigerian state is correct. With a chequered history of coup and counter coup, mutual suspicion and distrust amongst the federating units, a banditry political class and lately religious tension occasioned by religious extremists, Nigeria requires a leader that would reconcile all the divergent groups within the nation and, with sensitivity and wisdom, providing healing and build trust.
Rather than build bridges, the Buhari Administration is consistently reinforcing walls of division and disunity in the nation. Never before in the history of Nigeria has the nation been so sharply divided along tribal, ethnic, religious, and cultural lines. Wounds that are slowly healing in the nation have been brutally ripped opened by the present administration.
The only panacea to the disunity, distrust, and mutual suspicion in the country is the “truth”. Nigeria is ripe for a Truth and Reconciliation Commission. As we are now being confronted with the pursuit of National Unity and wellbeing of all Nigerian citizens, peace requires reconciliation between the people of Nigeria and the reconstruction of Society. In order to build the bridge among all Nigerians, we must establish complete picture as possible of injustices committed in the past. Settling old scores between the Dasuki’s and Buhari in isolation of other rulers and coup plotters cannot be regarded as a good solution while ignoring the untold sufferings which resulted from these injustices. While this is going on, our President Buhari should concentrate on rulership while a Commission is set up to handle Truth and Reconciliation in all its ramifications is put in place.
IMPLEMENTATION OF THE 2014 NATIONAL CONFERENCE REPORT
The National Conference was duly constituted and inaugurated by a duly elected government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. It was funded by the hard earned tax payers’ money of Nigerians for the five months it was convened and headed by a well-respected jurist, Hon. Justice Idris Legbo Kutigi. The composition of the National Conference was made up of well-meaning citizens of this country.
It is therefore impossible for any individual, or group of individuals or any government to wish away or pretend that the CONFAB 2014 never took place. The recent statement of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to jettison this document to the “archives” is very unfortunate and worrisome. The Honorable Nigerians that constituted the membership of the 2014 National Conference are responsible and valuable citizens of Nigeria, therefore they should not be treated as such by jettisoning their well-thought out recommendations which according to the Conference honorable chairman were all ‘adopted by consensus and not once did we have to vote or come to division’.
We strongly advocate that a report that made far reaching decisions on the need to restructure Nigeria and ensure that true Federalism is practiced in the nation should be accorded top priority for implementation in the overall quest for the peace, unity and progress of this great country –which we all desire. We call on our President to re-consider his position and direct relevant agencies to commence implementation.
IMPROPER HANDLING OF NIGER DELTA MILITANTS, IPOB AND OTHER MILITANT GROUPS
The rise of new militant groups is not in the best of a country struggling with security and economy. The Niger Delta Avengers formed since 3rd Feb. 2016 has been making its presence known by attacks on oil and gas facilities. The initial decision of Mr. President to treat the NDA militants as the Boko Haram insurgents has, to an extent, provided the tonic for the renewed wave of hostilities by the NDA.
The recent attacks and killings of IPOB members within a church environment while praying,vis a vis the ominous silence of the government following series of herdsmen attacks across the country send out negative signals of selective responses to perceived perpetrators of violent attacks on the Nigerian people.
The history of militancy and insurgency in Nigeria clearly shows that using force other than dialogue is not the best approach in handling such. We therefore call on the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria under President Muhammadu Buhari to use dialogue as an approach to handle the NDA, IPOB and other militant groups.
The silence of government and her agents over the killing of IPOB members by security agents and that of Christians in predominantly Christian communities across the country is totally unacceptable and runs contrary to government perceived interest on national unity.
The Grazing Reserve for cattle husbandry which is a private enterprise as is curiously being promoted and sponsored by the Federal and some State governments without its full implication in view of the provisions section 42 (1) (b) of the 1999 Constitution, (as amended) to the effect that a citizen of Nigeria or any ethnic group or community shall not be accorded either expressly or otherwise any privilege or advantage that is not accorded to other citizens, groups or communities.
Moreover, setting up of a National Commission to acquire and deprive communities of their choice land for the private enterprise of a preferred ethnic group is contrary to the provisions of section 26 of the Land Act to the effect that any transaction or any instrument which purports to confer on or vest in any person any interest or right over land other than in accordance with the provisions of the Land Use Act is null and void. Also, section 6 (1) (b) of the Land Use Act empowers only the Local Government “to grant customary right of `occupancy to any person or organization for the sue of land for grazing purposes and such other purposes ancillary to agricultural purpose as may be customary in the Local Government Area concerned”
To forestall the anticipated, dangerous and devastating outcome of the proposed Grazing Reserve Plan we recommend ranching which is the modern and up-to-date-technique of animal husbandry which is practiced in other developing countries such as Saudi Arabia, Botswana, Argentina etc. We believe that the creation of ranches will solve the lingering herdsmen/ farmers crisis in the country which has resulted in the wanton destruction of human lives, properties and sacking of villages.
Dear Nigerians, please tell your legislators, traditional rulers and other stakeholders that you are opposed to the issue and bills of Grazing Rights, Routes and Reserves.
FULANI HERDSMEN ATTACKS ON INDIGENOUS HOMESTEADS AND CHRISTIAN COMMUNITIES
The unchecked killings and wanton destruction of communal life from the ranges of Middle belt down to the South is a time bomb waiting to explode. There is hardly any day that passes without a report in the news media of the heinous activities of these ubiquitous herdsmen.
Vanguard Newspaper of 26th April, 2016 reported “Blood bath in Enugu as Fulani Herdsmen kill 40.”
Vanguard of 27th April 2016, also reported “Activities of Herdsmen, Threat to Nigeria’s Unity says Emir of Ilorin”. We therefore recommend that the Federal Government, should as a matter of utmost urgency and in the interest of National Security:
1. Totally disarm the rampaging and murderous herdsmen.
2. Put a stop to all their acts of terrorism including kidnapping, raping, killing and destruction of properties all in the name of grazing their cattle.
3. Identify the owners of this cattle and employers of these herdsmen and hold them responsible for all their terrorist activities unleashed on non-Muslim indigenous communities and prosecute offenders with their accomplices, in accordance with the law.
4. Undertake to pay all damages, compensation claims and reparations to all victims of herdsmen terrorism.
We believe that it is the duty of all Nigeria to say No to any religion of hate, extremism, terrorism, killing of human beings and intolerance.
VIOLATION OF PRINCIPLE OF FEDERAL CHARACTER IN FEDERAL APPOINTMENTS
We, the Church in Nigeria are worried over wanton violation of the principle of federal character in the appointments of key positions in the government by the present administration. We are worried because we know that justice and fairness are germane to progress and development and their lack could breed anarchy in the polity.
Section 171 subsection 5 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 19999 as amended stipulates that the president in exercising his powers of appointment under this section shall have regard to the federal character of Nigeria and the need to promote national unity. A cursory look into list of appointments by this administration shows utter disregard for issues that promote national unity. How can one explain a situation whereby out of 48 key positions in a country of six geopolitical zones one has 25 which is more than 50% of the entire appointments, while another has only one.
This is more worrisome considering the touted slogan of the government is war against corruption. Yet no government, even the one considered as the most corrupt in the last 37 years has violated this principle as the present government with all impunity. And if this is not corruption what else could be?
A rundown of the appointments shows that Northwest where mr president come from got 25, Northeast got 9, South south got6, Southwest and North central got 4 respectively, while Southeast is made to lick the sand with one appointee. We call on government in the interest of peace and unity and for fairness and justice to review her appointments to conform to the stipulations of the constitution as the only way to justify her corruption crusade. Government cannot be building on one hand and be scattering on the other by sowing seeds of discord.
NEW EDUCATIONAL CURRICULUM: 9-YEAR BASIC EDUCATION
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has painstakingly studied the content of the current educational curriculum as it concerns Christian religious studies (CRS) as it is merged with Islamic religious studies (IRS) as on omnibus subject called Religion and National values and have observed key lapses in the curriculum.
(1) Inciting and derogatory statements which attack the foundation of the Christian faith. For example, that Jesus is not the Son of God and that he was not crucified.
(2) Production of single textbook in print which combine Christian religious studies and Islamic religious studies, thus exposing the children to other religion which negates the principle of our constitution.
(3) Making religious studies compulsory to all without adequate provision of teachers in those subjects, with implication that a Christian student in the core Islam dominated state in the far north will be forced to take Islamic religious studies if he must obtain his certificate; ditto a Muslim student in the Christian dominated state in the South.
We have also noted the explanations of the management of the National Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC). We believe that these explanations and defenses fly in the face of reason and reality. We, therefore insist that the two subjects should be separated and each made to stand alone. Again, it is our view that religious studies should be made compulsory, only according to the religion of the parent, guardian and the child.
Furthermore, because of the obvious irreconcilable deficiencies in the curriculum, particularly, its flagrant violation of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Child Right Act of 2003, the curriculum should be withdrawn immediately and a new one formulated after due consultation with relevant stakeholders in the education industry.
Finally, the National Education Research and Development Council should withdraw all the text books in circulation whose contents have in conjunction with the curriculum insulted the Christian faith and the publishers should be reprimanded. At the same time we demand an apology from the NERDC for gross dereliction of duty and insensitivity in matter that is capable of affecting the peace and unity of the nation.
NORTH EAST RECONSTRUCTION AGENDA OF THE FEDERAL GOVT
We applaud the Federal Government’s initiatives in this regard. We believe it is the moral and Godly duty of all Nigerians to be involved with both the reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts of their fellow brothers and Sisters alone in the North East.
We however note that repeated media footages and reports showing only Muslims as being majorly affected and supported while conveniently forgetting that the primary attacks were Christian communities and organizations(churches and business)- in the Boko Haram self-declared war and search for an independent caliphate.
Through the CAN Trust Fund and as our contribution to support this well thought-out initiatives, we shall be mobilizing and putting in place a 500-person volunteer workforce of professionals/young people (medics, educators, trauma counselors, builders etc) drawn from all the CAN blocs to provide service.
We shall, through our developmental agencies act as ONE for the preservation of our national unity by God’s grace.
The Christians’ bottom line recommendations and conclusions on the burning issue of Sharia is to the end that:
1. WE BELIEVE IN NIGERIA NOT IN SHARIA:
As a result of deep reflections on this SHARIA BILL, we are no more comfortable and do not want Sharia Law upheld again in ANY STATES of the Nation and entire Federation, not even in the North as this has impacted negatively on the Christian Community. The idea is unconstitutional for the ONENESS OF NIGERIA and our peaceful co-existence. We are a SECULAR STATE and this is SURE NOT an Islamic Nation. For instance – In which way HAS THE SHARIA LAW SO FAR HELPED TO CURB THE BOKO HARAM insurgencies, we still depend solely on our Nigeria Soldiers and Security. The only way to protect the Christians as claimed by the author of the SHARIA BILL is to expunge all forms of Sharia in Nigeria.
2. WE BELIEVE IN NIGERIA NOT IN POLITICAL-ISLAM:
A need to expunge Islamism and Sharia from Nigeria Constitution will be acceptable. This is because USES OF SHARIA BY COUNTRIES ARE USUALLY TOWARDS A FULL ISLAMIC CALIPHATE AND ISLAMIZATION includes:
• Sharia playing role in the Judicial system
• Sharia applies to Muslim’s personal law
• Sharia applies in full, including criminal law
• Regional variations in the application of Sharia
• Total application of Sharia to a State or nation,
Rather than amend Sharia laws by scope and jurisdiction, we opine that the Nigerian penal code and the criminal code should reflect all the supposed ‘good’ the application of Sharia would guarantee.
3. WE BELIEVE IN THE NIGERIAN CONSTITUTION:
This is because we as Nigerians already have our National Provisions for Civil and Criminal Acts in our Nigerian Constitution. If it is no more ONE NIGERIA, as Christians, we deserve the right to be informed!
WE ARE NIGERIANS AND NOT MUSLIMS AS A NATION. WE CHRISTIANS SAY NO TO POLITICAL-ISLAM. We are so much fed up with the bloodshed by BOKO HARAMS AND THE FULANIZATION/ISLAMIZATION PROCESS. We cannot afford the infiltration of fundamental Islamists as SHI’ITES, ISIS, ISIL, Ishabaab, Al-Kedah, etc., in our Nation all in the name of SHARIA.
There are no Christian Courts, Laws and Legal institutions in the nation. In fact, we all can see and it is evident, that this is just not paying us all off as Nigerians.
4. THE AMENDMENT OF CONSTITUTION TO HELP CHRISTIANS:
We therefore propose, assert and insist that wherever any forms of provisions exist for any Religion only in the Nigeria’s entire Constitution; this should be amended and henceforth REMOVED OR there should be a SLASH (/) alongside the Christian Religion.
5. SHARIA LEGAL SYSTEM SHOULD NOT BE NATIONALISED IN OUR CONSTITUTION:
It is of notable importance, that as of 2014, there were reported to be around 85 “Sharia courts” in the UK, operated by two rival services -Islamic Sharia Council and the newer, smaller, less strict Muslim Arbitration Tribunal.  The councils/tribunals provide arbitration that is VOLUNTARY but NOT LEGALLY BINDING, are “officially mandated” and set up outside the court system..
In Germany, it applies to people with nationalities from countries using Sharia law. Its application is limited by the other public. . (Online Free Wikipedia.) This is what is needed in Nigeria as a Secular/ Democratic State.
6. ISLAMIC BANKING IS UNACCEPTABLE
Islamic banking is unacceptable to us in all ramifications in the 36 states of the nation.
7. WE DO NOT BELIEVE IN THE PRO-SHARIA BILL:
As regards the Controversial Pro-Sharia Bill of Constitutional Amendment Proposal BY HON ABDULLAHI BALARABE SALOME:
“A bill for an Act to alter Sections 262 and 277 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, to increase the jurisdiction of the Sharia Court of Appeal of the Federal Capital Territory and Sharia Court of Appeal of a State by including Criminal Matters of Hudud and Qisas’’
This to us is aimed at expanding the Islamic legal system across a Secular Nigeria State by the back door method using our lawmakers indirectly and the entire Christian Body is NOT IN ANYWAY INTERESTED, we say NO and it is as such dismissed because:
1.) NO PLACE IN HIS BILL (ATTACHED) DID HE MENTION SHARIA COMPLIANT STATES.
2.) WHY MUST HE EXPAND THE SHARIA JURISDICTION TO CRIMINAL LAW WHEN THE NIGERIAN CONSTITUTION HAS ADEQUATE PROVISIONS FOR CRIMINAL ACTS AND IS SUPREME TO THE SHARIA?
3.) HOW DOES HE PROTECT CHRISTIANS AND NON MUSLIMS WHEN HIS OBNOXIOUS BILL ACTUALLY REMOVES, IN HIS WORD ‘DELETE’ THE PROTECTION FOR NON MUSLIMS IN SECTIONS 262 AND 277 OF 1999/CONSTITUTION!
4.) HE CLAIMED HIS BIGOTED RELIGIOUS BILL IS ONE OF THE CHANGE AGENDA OF APC. SALAME AND APC IF HIS BIGOTED BILL TRULY REPRESENTS APC AGENDA, APC AGENDA OWE NIGERIA A PUBLIC APOLOGY. CONCLUSION
To conclude finally, the supremacy of the Nigerian Constitution should always be defended by all, regardless of divergence of interest as we collectively seek solution to our national problems. This is to the end that we can truly say that our nation is consolidating the gains of democracy by it yielding acceptable dividends to us all. Thank you all for your rapt attention. May the Almighty God bless you all and may He bless the federal republic of Nigeria in Jesus Mighty name. Amen.
Long live the federal republic of Nigeria!
Long live the federal republic of Nigeria!!
Long live the federal republic of Nigeria!!! Amen.
God bless you.
3rd June, 2016