PRESENTED BY NATIONAL CHRISTIAN ELDERS FORUM AT RCCG MEGA POLITICAL CONFERENCE ON FRIDAY 15TH JUNE, 2018 AT REDEMPTION CAMP LAGOS
UNDERSTANDING THE ISSUES
Nigeria is currently embroiled in myriad of crisis and distresses that stagger the imagination. For careful observers, it is a mystery how the country still exists. National distresses range from corruption to insecurity, unemployment of gigantic proportions, collapsed social infrastructure and dysfunctional institutions, kidnapping, drugs, armed robbery, ritual killings, human trafficking, unimaginable poverty, bastardized democratic institutions, conflicting Constitution, and other unbelievable social ills.
There Is intense debate on the cause of the distresses. To some observers, the problem of Nigeria is corruption while others believe it is militocracy, the interference of military in politics and governance. Some generous observers simply put it as bad governance and are very sure that if the right people are in charge of government, the nation would be straightened out. This group place very high premium on the emergence of a new political class dominated by youthful intellectuals.
It is necessary to point out, especially for Christians that the problem of Nigeria is not North versus South, rich versus poor, military versus civilians, political class versus the electorates or APC versus PDP. The problem of Nigeria is simply Islam versus Christianity. This has always been the problem and until it is resolved, Nigeria is not going anywhere.
THE ROOT OF THE PROBLEM
During the Constitutional Conference preceding Independence in 1960, one vital issue for discussion was the National Ideology of the emerging country. A country’s National Ideology defines the character of the nation and its system of governance. It was felt that due to the multi religious, multi ethic and multi cultural nature of Nigeria, an all inclusive ideology would be required that would guarantee Justice, Equity and Fairness for all citizens. On this basis, Liberal Democracy was adjudged the best National Ideology for Nigeria with Parliamentary System of Governance.
The Muslim North expressed preference for a system of governance of which an essential ingredient would be Islamic Law. The Colonial Government subjected Sharia to what Willinks Commission in 1958 described as the “repugnancy test”. Sharia failed the test and it was rejected as National Ideology.
Unfortunately, the sponsors of Sharia did not stop nursing the ambition of imposing Sharia on Nigeria and transmuting the nation from a democratic nation into an Islamic Theocratic State with Sharia as the National Ideology. From 1st October, 1960, the very day Nigeria obtained Independence, the battle line was drawn between Liberal Democracy and Sharia Ideology. The Sardauna of Sokoto, late Sir Ahmadu Bello was quoted as saying on 1st October, 1960:
"The new nation called Nigeria should be an estate of our great grandfather Othman Dan Fodio. We must ruthlessly prevent a change of power. We use the minorities in the north as willing tools and the south as a conquered territory and never allow them to rule over us and never allow them to have control over their future."
– Sir Ahmadu Bello, The Sardauna of Sokoto Parrot Newspaper October 12, 1960.
While the likes of Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Chief Anthony Enahoro, and other non northern Muslims leaders were thinking they were building a nation where “though tribes and tongues differ, in brotherhood we stand”, another section of the nation was busy planting landmines and surreptitiously undermining Liberal Democracy so that Sharia can become the National Ideology. Of course, the ascendancy of Sharia signals the death of Democracy and by extension, Christianity.
Working through the Military Heads of State, most of whom were Muslims from the North, Nigeria was, in a clandestine manner, turned into an Islamic State. It should be pointed out, right at the onset of this paper, that Nigeria is an Islamic state, despite the unrealistic denial of some Christian leaders. There are two factors that confirm any nation to be an Islamic state and both factors have been fulfilled in Nigeria:
- Membership of the country in OIC
- Inclusion of Islamic law and jurisprudence in the Constitution of the country.
In 1986, General Babangida, as the self appointed Military President of Nigeria, smuggled Nigeria into the OIC and it was kept out of public awareness until 1996 when Sultan Dasuki confirmed to Pope John Paul that Nigeria is a full member of OIC. In 1999, General Abdulsalaam Abubakar smuggled Sharia ideology into the 1999 Constitution thereby creating a dual conflicting ideology in the Constituti... Read All RCCG Mega Political Conference