In the confidential memorandum we submitted to Christian Senators on July 25, 2017, the National Christian Elders Forum (NCEF) recommended that among other things, “…there is need for a Truth Commission to open our eyes because as it is suggested above, we entered British colonialism with our eyes shut and now with our eyes open could not see when we were colonized by the Fulani/Hausa. A full disclosure of individual, institutions and organizations will heal the wounds of two-time colonial misery;”
A Truth and Reconciliation Commission has become necessary in view of the speed with which the Government of Nigeria is pursuing what we know as Sharia compliant policies, these include amendment of the constitution, Federal appointments in violation of Federal Character Principle, Sukkuk, and the fact that no member of the Senate, Christian or Muslim, or the staff of the Senate has contacted NCEF since July 25, 2017 when we met with the Christian Senators and there has also been no acknowledgment of our Memo.
As we do not intend to continue Press controversy with the Nigerian Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) we have decided to send this memo to the Chairman of the Governing Party, the APC and through him to the Vice President of Nigeria to express our understanding of the meaning of Sharia and how it has negatively impacted on our country. We reject the appellation of ignorance in present day 21st Century when their exist Internet and Google to be precise and English translation of the Quran and other Islamic literature as we have exhibited below. We emphasize that we are not ignorant, we however want to say that we are prepared to ventilate our knowledge or ignorance before a legally constituted Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
In this memo on the above topic, we dealt with Sharia and Jihad, what advocates of Jihad in modern time say, including collaboration between Sunni and Shiite Muslims in the promotion of Jihad elsewhere and in Nigeria. We pointed out that Jihad is obligatory, that waging Jihad is a constant state of war that must exist between the Dar-al-Islam and Dar-al-Harb. We postulated that God must be a Nigerian, because both Stealth and Conventional Violent Jihad are being waged simultaneously in the country yet Nigeria has survived and continues to survive.
We traced the friendly relationship between British “man on the spot”, Lugard and the Emirs and the fact that the British approved the Fulanis right of conquest of some part of northern Nigeria and drew attention to the fact that Lugard had issues with Christianity notwithstanding the fact that he was the son of an English parson. The British loved the North, its weather and polo game.
In modern times, the Muslim Brotherhood has recast Jihad as not just strictly warfare, but also a revolution and an anti-colonialism. Muslim rulers who refuse to adopt Sharia are adjudged as apostate. We defined both the Stealth and Conventional Jihads.
FIRST LEGISLATIVE ACT AT INDEPENDENCE
The first legislative Act enacted by the Parliament in 1961, the State Emergency Act of 1961, was a strange way of celebrating Independence with Jihad legislation. In our views, the following examples, among many others, are Jihads:
- The coup of 1975 is Jihad because no armed forces in the world would overthrow their commander in chief for delay in handing over power the “bloody” civilians. Retirement that followed the overthrow was Stealth Jihad, wherein over 90% of those retired were Christians, Monsignor Martin appointed to look into these retirements was himself retired. Maitatsine uprising was jihad. The Riots in Kano 1953, 1954, 1982, 1991, 1995, Kaduna in 1987, 2000, Katsina 1991, Bauchi, Tafawa Balewa 1991, 1994, 2000, Portikum 1994, Plateau 1994, Jos 2001, Borno 1998 etc were all Jihad. Thereafter, Boko Haram. Religious Riots became routine events in Northern Nigeria that progressed to the East.
- It is Stealth Jihad to co-opt Christians into the ruling elite by appointments, remuneration especially members of the National and State Assemblies with Jumbo pay and other inducement that elevate them into the status of Neo-colonialists, replacing expatriates in various Government Reservations, set up by Lugard in order to develop a new kind of noble men and women.
iii. Nigeria’s membership of OIC in 1986, was Stealth Jihad so also was Babangida’s transition without end and it is the view of the NCEF that the “death” of Abiola and Abacha have the hallmarks of jihad. The 1999 Constitution is be valued as the compilation of the spoils of jihad since amalgamation of 1914, in that the North remained the same; the South has to pay for the land locked disadvantage of the North and revenue distribution with contribution in favour of one region.
We thereafter recited our first hand experience of Stealth Jihad since the inauguration of the CAN Trust Fund which was established in Makurdi on 9th July, 2014. The objectives of the CAN Trust Fund include rebuilding Christian infrastructure in some states following the activities of Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen, funding CAN Secretariat, establishment of Christian institutions to transform CAN into an institution, and so on.
The first salve came from a prominent Church Group had accused NCEF that its flier on CAN Trust Fund: “as worrisome and arrived at the following conclusions: (a) that people will think that CAN is “sourcing for funds to build a Christian Army to fight the Muslims”; (b)NCEF “reduced Christians to mere children by assuming that the disunity in CAN is from without whereas the problem is deeply within”, and; (c) That Christian Elders should not “further polarize the Body of Christ in Nigeria.” We were able to overcome this challenge when we pointed out that “Weapons win Jihad but it takes Ideas to win the Peace”.
Thereafter the DSS struck. The Laity members of the Board of Trustees of the CAN Trust Fund were invited to the SSS Headquarters. They were compelled to make “statements under caution” before they were released. In our letter of protest, we informed the President of CAN as follows:
- The Elders took considerable time deliberating on this incident and frowned at the act of impunity by the Intelligence Agency. For most of the Elders, it was a confirmation that the Intelligence Service in Nigeria has aligned itself with the Islamists to truncate Democracy and emasculate Christianity. The Elders resolved that a strongly worded letter condemning the action of the SSS should be written and the President of CAN should sign it. For one, the SSS failed to issue an official letter of invitation to the Trustees and failed to acknowledge the letter written by CAN that it should have channeled its invitation through the President of CAN. The letter would also condemn in very strong terms, the demand of the SSS that the Trustees should make statement "under caution" connoting they had committed a crime.
- As Christians, we have not heard of any reported case of Islamic insurgents, Fulani herdsmen or other anti-Christian agents being paraded, prosecuted, or convicted by the courts for the repeated murder, rape, arson, wanton destruction of Christian habitations in this country, the fact that the Jihadists have been on rampage in this notwithstanding.
iii. CAN is and will always be disposed to dialogue with your office on issues relating to the Islamists persecution, activities of the Christian Church in Nigeria and the general peaceful coexistence off the ethnic nationalities and religious communities in Nigeria.
- Having considered the negative effect of your interrogation “under caution” of the distinguished members of the Board of Trustees of the CAN Trust Fund on the Christian Community in Nigeria, it is demanded that a written public apology be tendered to these distinguished Nigerians.
BILL ON NGO’s ACTIVITIES IN NIGERIA
The NCEF is convinced based on circumstantial evidence contained in this memorandum, that the NGO’s Activities Bill, now before the National Assembly is another attempt to truncate the ability of Christian organizations to raise funds for its activities. We associate ourselves with the views of Prof. Chidi Odinkalu that “this is the most dangerous piece of legislation that has come for consideration in the National Assembly since the return to Civil Rule in 1999”.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission would provide a platform for those for and against, Islamism, political Islam or Sharia. NCEF is protesting against various jihads committed against Nigerians which include killing of the Abiolas, killing of demonstrators in Lagos, co-opting some Christians as junior partners in Government in order to promote and enhance jihad over the years in Nigeria. Amnesty can be granted to some to bring the political parties on board. No moral distinction should be made by the Commission between the violence used to promote jihad and the violence employed to oppose jihad. Fortunately, Christians do not have the equivalent of Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen and a Commission will prevent a revenge group from developing in the future to prevent hate speeches, pogrom or genocide.
Nigeria needs to re-define the basis of its existence as a country in search of Nationhood. Those who were killed or suffered as a result of jihad, people like Alfred Rewane, the Abiolas, Tunde Elegbede etc need to be “heard” from their graves. And those who suffered such as Pa Abraham Adesanya, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Chief Olu Falae and others also need to be heard and there is not a better forum for this than a Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Truth and Reconciliation Commission is an antidote for hate speech and retaliation and above all an instrument for Reconciliation and National Unity to promote Nigeria from a country to a Nation. Nigeria has to be liberated from political Islam a.k.a. Islamism or Sharia.
God bless Nigeria.
For: National Christian Elders Forum (NCEF)
Solomon Asemota SAN
September 25, 2017