The NCEF visited the British High Commission in Abuja as part of its efforts to provide solutions to the crisis in Nigeria. The National Christian Elders Forum is aware, before the visit, of the role the British played in skewing leadership advantage to the Islamists of northern Nigeria, particularly the Fulani Muslims. The NCEF wanted to place on record its efforts to enable Britain review its policy of racial discrimination in view of modern day realities. However, it would appear that Britain remains unperturbed.
Therefore, it is clear to the NCEF that it is the responsibility of Nigerian Christians to resist Islamists’ attempt to replace Democracy with Sharia in the country and transmute Nigeria into an Islamic Sultanate. During the visit, NCEF invited the British Government to understand the issues unfolding in the country and assist in the following ways:
- A Nigeria where, in the words of our Independence National Anthem, “Though tribes and tongues may differ, in brotherhood we stand”
- URGENTLY, a Truth, Peace and Reconciliation Commission should be set up as the basis for confession, forgiveness, healing, and reconciliation in the country.
- Restructuring of the country to conform to True Federalism.
- Removal of Government sponsorship of Religious Pilgrimages and the making of Section 10 of the Constitution justiciable.
- Immediate inventory, assessment and payment of compensation for lives and property lost to Islamic insurgency and Jihad in the country.
- NCEF requested the urgent intervention of the British Government to secure the release of Leah Sharibu as well as the remaining 113 girls from Chibok still in captivity of Muslim insurgents.
- Abolition of Nigerian Inter-religious Council (NIREC) and its replacement with Nigerian Charter on Religious Rights and Freedom.
The NCEF is persuaded that JIHAD has been launched in Nigeria and it has its roots in the preparation for Independence at Constitutional Conferences in London. While Southerners and Northern Christian discussed and agreed on Democracy, Rule of Law and Federalism they did not realize that the Muslim North preferred a system of government of which Islamic law is an essential ingredient. Not only was the rest of the country unaware of this preference for Sharia, they were also unaware of how hard the Northern Muslims would fight to force it down the throat of other citizens in Nigeria. Currently, the Islamists have introduced both conventional Jihad (Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen) and stealth Jihad (civilization Jihad).
Most Christians know what conventional jihad is, e.g. jihad by Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen, but stealth jihad is more concealed and is more dangerous if not more than Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen. Stealth jihad includes the method by which Nigeria became a full member of OIC, the method by which Nigeria was given 1999 Constitution and the recruitment of Church leaders as foot soldiers for the Islamists. Church leaders need to know the extent to which Stealth Jihad has permeated Nigerian Church. Stealth Jihad was largely responsible for the mistakes of Church leaders as well as Christians in government due to lack of knowledge and it may continue if not stopped.
The NCEF is also concerned at the actions and inactions of the incumbent President of CAN. The unfortunate impression being created is that the President of CAN is fighting the Church. An example is the active attempt to scuttle today’s meeting based on spurious allegations. The President of CAN sent an email to the General Secretary of CAN titled: “The National Christian Centre Must not be Used for National Christian Elders’ Meeting with Church Leaders:”
Certain unfortunate examples have to be cited to underscore the seriousness of what is going on in the Church. NCEF has no doubt that stealth Jihad is responsible for the following conducts:
- Refusal to sign protest letter to DSS who, unlawfully detained trustees of CAN Trust Fund to which the CAN President is Chairman. He had earlier agreed at a meeting with the NCEF that he would sign the letter before he suddenly reneged.
- Denying the Trust Fund administrative expenses. This in no doubt would cripple the CAN Trust Fund and hinder CAN from becoming financially independent.
- Demand that the administrator of the Trust Fund spend hours on risky road journeys to come and sign cheques personally monthly. The President refused that cheques must not be sent to him.
- Deliberately frustrating those who wanted to donate funds to run the Secretariat of the Trust Fund.
- Creating a parallel Secretariat in CAN which caused confusion and acrimony.
These are unfortunate examples and they are not cited to condemn but to confirm to Church leaders the reality of stealth Jihad against the Church. Many Church leaders are unaware of stealth Jihad and so fall victim of the Islamists manipulations. NCEF submits that it is time for the Body of Christ mobilize against Jihad, both stealth and conventional which Islamists and some political parties are waging against all Christians in Nigeria. The object of stealth Jihad is to use Christians, particularly the leaders, against the interest of the Church.
The Sardauna of Sokoto established the JNI to work out the strategy for domination and the Islamization of Nigeria through Sharia. The special position Ahmed Joda held, as founding member of JNI, we imagined, was responsible for his appointment as Head of the Transition Committee of President Buhari.
For a lasting solution to the problem of religious divide in Nigeria, NCEF proposes that Nigeria adopts and adapts the South African Charter of Religious Rights and Freedoms. It spells out the responsibilities and relationship between the “State” of South Africa and its citizens concerning religious belief.
It is very clear from the above that Christians in Nigeria should now have a better understanding of Islamism or political Islam. This write up is not intended to mock Islam or deride Church leaders but to show that while Nigeria was a colony both Christians and Muslims behaved properly, some will say peacefully. However, after independence and development of Islamism, Nigeria became two countries in one, one promoting Democracy and the other Sharia stealthily promoting wars against Democracy.
The Islamists worked hard with the instrument of Jihad, using military regimes to catch up and try to overtake democracy and replace it with Sharia. They almost succeeded because majority of the political parties are not Christian because nearly all are skewed to promote Sharia. There was the need therefore to establish the Elders’ Forum whose membership average age of 70. They will not seek office but offer voluntary service without remuneration. They are function as a serious organization Christians could turn to for help in favour of Democracy and Rule of Law.
There is also the need for Christians, particularly Church Leaders to understand that the problem of Nigeria is basically Islam versus Christianity and Islamism has gained the upper hand because it has taken control of politics in Nigeria. To redress the imbalance, the Church must redefine its theology of Christian participation in Governance and understand that Isaiah 9: 6 states, “the government shall be upon His shoulder”. If the Church does not get involved in politics, the instrument of the State shall be used by the Islamists to destroy Christianity in Nigeria.
Finally, the NCEF urges Christian leaders to understand that it is in their best interest that CAN is financially independent. The bait of the Islamists to ensnare Christian leaders into stealth Jihad is money. CAN has to raise its funds so that it can fund Christian Agenda. That is the reason NCEF will encourage every Church leader to promote the CAN Trust Fund. If CAN is not sufficiently funded, the Nigerian Church will be strangulated into oblivion. The reality is open for all to see.
Solomon Asemota, SAN
National Christian Elders Forum (NCEF)
10th May, 2018