Background … ... … … … … … … … … 9
Examples of Christian Helplessness … … … … … … … 10
The birth of the CSMN … … … … … … … … 11
Aims and Objectives … … … … … … … … … 11
CSMN assets … … … … … … … … … … 12
Memoranda and Publications … … … … … … … 12
Membership … … … … … … … … … … 13
Christian Social Thoughts … …. … … … … … … 13
The Common Good … … … … … … … … … 13
Subsidiarity … … … … … … … … … … 14
Solidarity … … … … … … … … … … 15
Facts Christians must know … … … … … … … … 15
The 1999 Constitution … … … … … … … …. 16
The Church and Poverty … … … … … … … … 17
Wealth and The Nigeria Society … … … … … … … 18
The Social Goals of CSMN … … … … … … … … 18
The Caliphate as powerholders … … … … … … … 18
Citizen Based Action … … … … … … … … … 18
The Media … … … … … … … … … … 19
Volunteers … … … … … … … … … … 19
Self Help … … … … … … … … … … 20
Funding … … … … … … … … … … 20
There is a mutual bond of solidarity that unites all Christians – the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We must therefore come together to recognize and support the courageous commitment to peace, justice and reconciliation. As Christians our faith demands of us that we challenge every person to respect the life and dignity of all and to realize the connection and common dignity of the entire human family.
From our past history, we have come to learn of savage wars, degradation of human dignity, slavery, marginalization of women and children, despotic rulers and kings, and very recently, military regimes, some so brutal that the world took notice of their brutality. In the circumstances, we were supposed to learn from our mistakes. Unfortunately, there is a high level of attitudinal re-orientation to what is happening to us, and over the years, we have been made to believe that it is the wish of God that we found ourselves in this position. In the process, we, as a people, have come to regard the conduct of our bad leaders as legitimate, and, in the process, voluntarily obeyed them and their policies.
Christians in Nigeria must work with others within and outside the country to reform political structures and rehabilitate national institutions, human rights and responsible, transparent governance. We must encourage calling for greater respect for democracy, and if necessary, participate in inter-ethnic, inter-religious dialogue. We must stand up for human rights and spare no effort to reform the Nigerian Constitution, defend human rights and uproot corruption.
Our colonial past contributed to our conflicts disorder, and animosity among ethnic groups. Colonial agenda was one of alienation, discrimination, social exclusion, manipulation of ethnic identity intended to ensure domination and control over our human and natural resources. Our military leaders employed the same principles to human resources for their own narrow ends and today in Nigeria, military men “elected” or selected have dominated the legislature, the executive and traditional institutions. The end result is corruption and bad governance. The fruits of corruption and poor governance are poverty, illiteracy and unemployed masses.
The Christian Social Movement of Nigeria is the Socio-politico Wing of the Christian Association of Nigeria [CAN]. The reasoning behind the establishment of a Social Wing of CAN came about as a result of the way Nigeria was dragged into the Organization of Islamic Conference [OIC], which in the eyes of the international Community, makes Nigeria an Islamic state notwithstanding there are more non-Muslims in the country than Muslims. It has also created the impression that Nigeria as an Islamic country tolerates a sizeable number of Christians. This does not represent the true situation in the country.
It will be recalled that in 1966, under the Public Order Decree No. 33 of 1966, the Federal Military Government headed by a Christian Major General J.T.U. Aguiyi-Ironsi dissolved 81 Political Societies or Associations and 28 Tribal Unions and Cultural Organizations. The formation of new ones was prohibited while the Associations for Sports, Religious, Cultural, Charitable or Co-operative purposes under the Trade Union Act were exempted. As a result of this exemption, coupled with the lack of separation of Islam and politics, the Jamatul Nasri Islam JNI, as a religious/political Association, was not proscribed.
The Jamatul Nasri Islam [JNI] translated to mean “society for the victory of Islam”, accommodates all Muslims in the country and each member has the option to decide whether to be a silent or active member. The JNI founded by the Sardauna of Sokoto years before the military intervention, has always been active in the politics of Nigeria, and only recently , pronounced a Fatwa (death sentence), against two Christians – Miss Isioma Daniel of This Day Newspaper and its Publisher, Mr Nduka Obaigbena over an alleged blasphemous article Miss Daniel wrote in 2002, concerning the aborted Miss World Beauty pageant that had earlier been scheduled to hold in Nigeria but later moved to London due to protests by Muslim extremists to which there was no federal Government reaction.
Unfortunately, Christianity has no equivalent organization to JNI. In 1976 the Christian Association of Nigeria [CAN] was established (not as a Christian political association or “society for the victory of Christianity” as the JNI) but as a pressure group. Since that time, CAN has continued to protest vehemently when the religious rights of Christians are trampled upon but it lacked social activism. As a result of this handicap there was usually no follow up action on social issues because of the lack of understanding and consensus by Christians in the country. The effect of these shortcomings is that CAN is unable to influence the government sufficiently. Rather, Christians in government who, in most cases, are collaborators with the Caliphate influence CAN either to turn the other cheek or look the other way. Christians in Nigeria appear to be helpless.
Examples of Christian Helplessness
Take-over of schools
(a) The take over of Christian Schools in the 1970s, provided an excuse for refusing visas to Christian Clergy from the West to come to Nigeria to establish Christian Schools and Colleges and, in the process, stop them from promoting Christianity. This take-over of schools reduced the effect of the boarding house system that helped the Churches to train students to become good citizens according to Christian and Western standards. During this period, most state governments did not build public schools, but embarked on providing special schools and colleges for the Police, the Army, the Air force, the Navy and other agencies, which made the ordinary Nigerian the loser.
Membership of OIC
(b) Nigeria’s Membership of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) whose constitution provides amongst other things, for Islamic Solidarity, safeguard of Muslim Holy Places, and the strengthening of the struggle of all Muslims. The OIC website (2003) contains the name of 55 member countries of OIC and these countries, including Nigeria, are said to represent “the world’s 1.2 billion Muslims.” Christian’s unequivocal and irrevocable demand for the immediate withdrawal from the OIC, since 1986 have been ignored. Islamization was further strengthened with Nigeria’s membership of D8 and the introduction and application of full-blown Sharia law in twelve states of the Federation.
Faulty Democratization Process
(c) Democracy and Islamization seem to be incompatible, which explains why Nigeria is finding it very difficult to transit from military dictatorship to genuine democracy. Anti-democratic measures are promoted at all levels, Federal, States and Local Governments. There is a deliberate policy to prevent the growth of Democracy in Nigeria with constitutional provisions one of which permits Nigerians to vote, but not to be voted for as a candidate except on the platform of a political party. The registration of political parties, which is an exclusion method whereby those who do not belong to a political party cannot be voted for as well as the abolition of Independent candidacy, the composition of INEC are deliberate anti democratic practices entrenched in the 1999 Constitution.
It became very clear that there exists in Nigeria a social vacuum which had to be filled with some measure of activism which the Clergy, unlike their Muslim counterparts, is unable to perform because of the discipline of the Christian faith – separation of church and state. This activism can only come about when all Christian denominations come together to implement the social teachings of Christianity. For example, the question to ask is “are our Leaders chosen by God?” CSMN does not think so. Christian Social Thought tells us that the office (authority) of president, governors, federal and state governments, etc. are derived from God, but how these offices are filled is left to us humans. It is wrong in the circumstance to steal votes. Leaders that stole votes, at an election, cannot claim that God ordained them. “The authority required by the moral order derives from God: Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore he who resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgement.” “The duty of obedience requires all to give due honour to authority and to treat those who are charged to exercise it with respect, and insofar as it is deserved, with gratitude and goodwill.” If authority belongs to the order established by God, “the choice of the political regime and the appointment of rulers are left to the free decision of the citizens”.
The issue of predestination- an Islamic doctrine that is creeping into Christian doctrine has to be addressed. Christian concept of free will is a direct opposite of predestination.
The birth of the CSMN
A Church Leader’s conference was held at the NIIA, Victoria Island, Lagos in January 2000 on the recommendation of the chairman Edo State CAN, His Grace Archbishop Patrick E. Ekpu. At this conference, Church Leaders approved the establishment of the movement. The CSMN was thereafter, inaugurated on May 4, 2000 by Archbishop John Onaiyekan; Vice President of CAN on behalf of Prelate (Dr.) Sunday Mbang, President of CAN. With the support and approval of CAN, CSMN was registered by the Corporate Affairs Commission on September 27, 2001 under part C Incorporated Trustees and issued with certificate No.14076.
The five Church groups are signatories to the application and also nominated twelve members each to serve in the Governing Council. Branches of CSMN have been established in a number of states.
Aims and Objectives
The spirit behind the aim of CSMN is to promote social groups in various Churches in Nigeria. This in essence, means that each Church and/or denomination should have a Social Forum. The Catholic Social Forum. The Catholic Social Forum, the Christian Council of Nigeria (CCN) Forum, made up of Anglican Communion Forum, Baptist Forum, and Methodist Forum etc. and when these fora meet they constitute the movement at Local Governments, States, Zonal and National levels to harmonize various church teachings on social doctrine. In the Catholic Church, the Laity adopted the Catholic Social Forum [CSF], which was approved by the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria [CBCN] and it was CSF that resisted the authoritarian dispensation of Governor Chimaroke Nnamani of Enugu State.
The CSF with the co-operation of other Church groups in Anambra State also challenged Governor Chinwoke Mbadinuju that compelled his party, the PDP to drop him as a candidate. In Edo State, the CSMN (through CAN) ensured that no vigilante groups were established.
CSMN assets since it came into existence two years ago include a piece of land in Benin City and an office with facilities including computers. Individuals have financed the general running of the Benin head office. CAN has approved 10% deductions from funds collected on its behalf by CSMN and also mandated the movement to tour the country and help to organize CAN where a functional one does one exist. CSMN undertook the training of monitors for the 2003 elections in Ibadan, with representatives from over twenty states of the geo-political zones of the country in attendance.
Memoranda and Publications
As part of its social crusade, CSMN submitted memoranda and made oral presentations to various committees set up by the Federal Government. These include:
- Memorandum to “The Presidential Committee on Provisions and Practise of Citizenship and Rights in Nigeria”, titled “The need to redefine Nigeria’s value system to meet the challenges of the 21stCentury”- March 1, 2002
- Memorandum to “The Presidential Committee on National Security titled “The imperative of National Security is Justice”. - January 4, 2002. The memorandum was followed with oral evidence at the public sitting of the committee in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
- Memorandum to “The Presidential Technical Committee on the Review of the structures of Local Government –July 12, 2003. CSMN defended it in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
- Publications and Press Statements on National Issues. Some of the publications include:
- Democratic Governance- the Christian approach.
- Constitutionalism, Democracy and Nation Building.
- Christian Leadership and Nigeria.
- Gold for Clay.
- Nigeria and the Politics of Globalization.
- The Need for National Conference.
- Solidarity Subsidiarity and the Common Good, as Instruments against Evil.
- Sharia- The implications for our society
Membership is mandatory for all Christians and other Nigerians who may wish to do so, to give it a moral and financial support so that the envisaged unity of Christians and Nigeria as a whole can be achieved in our lifetime. CSMN’s aim is to borrow from Muslims in West Africa who “are Muslims first before being Nigerians or Senegalese” (The Economist: June 2003). We must be Christians first before being a Nigerian Igbo, Yoruba or Hausa. CSMN aims at putting Christianity first. For anyone who considers himself a Christian, it is imperative to belong to one of the three categories of CSMN.
Christian Social Thoughts
It is pertinent to draw attention to only three principles of Christian Social Thought- Common Thought, Subsidiarity and Solidarity to appreciate its depth and richness that should help to re-shape our society.
The Common Good
The Common Good is understood to mean “the sum total of social conditions which allow people, either as groups or as individuals, to reach their fulfilment more fully and more easily.” The common good concerns the life of all. It calls for prudence from each, and even more from those who exercise the office of authority. It consists of three essential elements; first, in the name of common good, public authorities are bound to respect the fundamental and inalienable rights of the human person. Society should permit each of its members to fulfil his vocation. In particular, the common good resides in the conditions for the exercise of the natural freedoms indispensable for the development of the human vocation, such as “the right to act according to a sound norm of conscience and to safeguard … privacy, and rightful freedom in matters of religion.” Secondly, the common good requires the social well-being and development of the group itself. Development is the epitome of all social duties. Certainly, it is the proper function of authority to arbitrate, in the name of the common good, between various particular interests; but it should make accessible to each what is needed to lead a truly human life; food, clothing, health, work, education and culture, suitable information, the right to establish a family, and so on. Finally, the Common Good requires peace, that is, the stability and security of society and its members. It is the basis of the right to legitimate personal and collective defence.
Each Human Community possesses a common good which permits it to be recognized as such; it is in the political community that its most complete realization is found. It is the role of the state to defend and promote the common good of civil society, its citizens and intermediate bodies. Human interdependence is increasing and gradually spreading throughout the world. The unity of the human family, embracing people who enjoy equal natural dignity, implies a universal common good. This good calls for an organization of the comity of nations able to “provide for the different needs of men; this will involve the sphere of social life to which belong questions of food, hygiene, education … and certain situation arising here and there, as for example … alleviating the miseries of refugees dispersed throughout the world, and assisting migrants and their families.” The common good is always oriented towards the progress of persons: “The order of things must be subordinate to the order of persons, and not the other way around. This order is founded on truth, built up in justice, and animated by love.”
The word subsidiarity has entered secular political language via Catholic Social Teaching in connection with the Maastricht Treaty, where its application was a British initiative. The principle of Subsidiarity, was defined by Pope Pius XI in his Encyclical Quadragesimo Anno (1931) in the following terms:
“Just as it is gravely wrong to take from individuals what they can accomplish by their own initiative and industry and give it to the community, so also it is an injustice and at the same time a grave evil and disturbance of right order to assign to a greater or higher association what lesser and subordinate organizations can do. For every social activity ought of its very nature to furnish help to the members of the body social, and never destroy or absorb them.
The Supreme authority of the State ought, therefore, to let subordinate groups handle matters and concerns of lesser importance, which would otherwise dissipate its efforts greatly. Thereby the State will move freely, powerfully and effectively do all those things that belong to it alone because it alone can do them: directing, watching, urging, restraining as occasion requires and necessity demands. Therefore those in power should be sure that the more perfectly a graduated order is kept among the various associations, in observance of the principle of subsidiary function, the stronger social authority and effectiveness will be, the happier and more prosperous the conditions of the State.”
It will be seen that the principle of subsidiarity is no ally of those who favour maximization of State power, or centralization of the state at the expense of more local institutions. It supports a dispersal of authority as close to the grassroots as good government allows, and prefers local over central decision-making. Subsidiarity also implies the existence of a range of institutions below the level of the State: some of these bodies are for the making of decisions affecting individuals, some are for influencing the way those decisions are made. Throughout Pius XI’s teaching there is an implicit and intimate relationship between subsidiarity and the common good. Society as envisaged by Catholic Social Teaching should be made up of many layers, which will be in complex relationships with one another but which will be ordered as a whole towards the common good, in accordance with the principle of solidarity.”
Money in Nigeria that would have helped promote poverty eradication is being diverted through corruption, weak governance and poor economic management. Peace, stability and good government are necessary for poverty eradication. The CSMN, as part of civil society, encourages and will promote the civil society to play an increasing role in the monitoring of good governance and the formation of a deeper understanding of Solidarity, Subsidiarity and the Common Good.
The future of Nigeria belongs to the youth as they also provide hope in the midst of very serious challenges. It is therefore necessary that adequate resources and opportunities must be provided in order to prevent instability and further decay of the Nigerian society. Education must be strengthened because it plays an essential role in the formation of conscience and responsible participation in democratic processes. The development of professional and technical expertise are all ingredients for the promotion of the Common Good in a society bereft of clear cut ideologies and managerial finesse
There is a saying that if you want anything done, get the women. Most Nigerians especially those from polygamous or broken homes, know very well that but for their mothers, they would have become street urchins. All students of history in Nigeria know that the first confrontation which the British had, as a precursor to the struggle for independence was from the Nigerian women in Aba. Women also bore the brunt of the civil war, (1967 – 1970) and are bearing the brunt of the HIV/AIDS scourge. Therefore, women are the cornerstone upon which the CSMN must build to overcome evil through non-violent means. Sharia seems to target women and they are being abducted and enslaved in Arab countries. We must work jointly with other organizations to stop these vices.
The principle of solidarity, also articulated in terms of “friendship” or “social charity”, is a direct demand of human and Christian brotherhood….Solidarity is manifested in the first place by the distribution of goods and remuneration for work. It also presupposes the effort for a more just social order where tensions are better reduced and conflicts more readily settled by negotiation.
Socio-economic problems can be resolved only with the help of all the forms of solidarity: solidarity of the poor among themselves, between rich and poor, of workers among themselves, between employers and employees in a business, solidarity among nations and peoples. International solidarity is a requirement of the moral order; world peace depends in part upon this.
Facts Christians must know
In addition to the above teaching of Christianity, there are fifteen basic principles underlining the thinking of the writers of the American Constitution, which are applicable to the Nigerian Constitution, (1979 and 1999).
- A belief in God and His providence, by which he guides and controls the universe and the affairs of mankind.
- A belief in and respect for revealed religion - that is, recognition that God has revealed his truth through the Holy Scriptures.
- A belief in the God-given power of human reason to apprehend truth. While reason does not supersede revelation, it serves as an aid in the search for truth where the scriptures are silent.
- A belief that man is not a perfect or perfectible being, and therefore governmental theories must take that fact into account.
- A belief that God has ordained human government to restrain the sinful nature of man.
- A belief that God has established certain physical laws for the operation of the universe, as well as certain moral laws for the governance of mankind.
- A belief that God has revealed his moral laws to man through the Scriptures (revealed or divine law) and through the law of nature, which is discoverable through human reason and conscience.
- A belief that, human law must correspond to the divine law and the law of nature. Human laws, which contradicts the higher law, are invalid, non-binding, and are to be resisted.
- A belief that the revealed law and the law of nature form the basis for the law of nations (international law) and that this law of nations includes the right of a nation to defend itself against aggressors (just warfare).
- A belief that the revealed law and the law of nature include natural, God-given, inalienable human rights, which include life, liberty, and property.
- A belief that governments are formed by covenant or pact with the people in order to safeguard human rights.
- A belief that governments have only such powers as are delegated to them by the people in the said covenants or pacts, and that when governments attempt to usurp powers not so delegated, they become illegitimate and are to be resisted.
- A belief that, human nature being what it is, rulers tend to usurp more and more power if given the opportunity.
- A belief that the best way to prevent governments from usurping power is to separate their powers and functions into legislative, executive and judicial branches.
- A belief that human nature being what it is, a free enterprise economy is the best way to give people an incentive to produce and develop national prosperity.
The 1999 Constitution
Our 1999 Constitution has the Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy, which is the “Manifesto” - the declaration of policies for Nigeria. The Constitution also has Human Rights provisions. There are no Human rights in Islam (as Islam rejects individualism for communalism). Islam teaches that all rights belong to God and humans have duties. The Christian content in the 1979 and 1999 Constitutions explains why the three arms of the Nigerian government selectively apply the provisions of the 1999 Constitution. This also explains the reason for the introduction of Sharia in our legal system, and the desperation with which it is being pursued.
The Church and Poverty
The churches in Nigeria (with few exceptions) are maintained by contributions of members and church concerns such as schools, hospitals, pastoral centers and the like. It is therefore of utmost importance to the financial welfare of the churches in Nigeria that their members should have a regular and secure income from which they can readily support their church. Thus the church has the greatest possible interest in a just and even distribution of wealth. The best community for Church support at present is a comfortable middle-class neighborhood. A social system that would make moderate wealth available to all Nigerians or a majority of them would be the best for churches. What we have presently in Nigeria is a society that is divided into a few rich families, some of whom made their wealth immorally by collaborating with the military and by sharing Nigeria’s wealth kept in their custody. On the other side, we have a mass of poor wage earners, unemployed majority that portend problems for the church, as most members contribute nothing or are dependents of the church instead of support. The situation, under the circumstance has to be reversed especially as God has so richly endowed Nigeria as a country.
Wealth and The Nigeria Society
The Federal Government has appropriated to itself all wealth (“carrots”) and security agents (“stick”) meant for the whole country. As a result, local governments and states have to rely on the generosity of the federal government controlled by the powerholders are in position to corrupt any Nigerian by dangling the ‘carrot’ and if he or she refuses, use the ‘stick’. The security forces, the police, customs, road safety, immigration, fire brigade including the armed forces are controlled by the federal government. When there is a problem in a local Government, the federal police is invited to deal with it at its own time and pace , mindful of the result they want to accomplish. We must fight for change for the sake of generations yet unborn. The wealth in Christian areas of the country should not all be taken and handed over to the powerholders who use same to promote their selfish interests or for conversion to Islam.
It is obvious that the way Nigeria is constituted and governed are contrary to Christian social thought of subsidiary discussed above, and a breach of one of the fifteen basic principles underlining the thinking in our 1999 Constitution. And with the forces at the disposal of the powerholders, they have become arrogant and unbending to reason and logic. Nigerians must come together to dislodge them by peaceful methods.
The Social Goals of CSMN
The social goals of the movement include:
- To create a new nationwide grassroots based social movement;
- To put the power holders actual policies and practices in the public spotlight;
- To create a platform from which the movement can educate the general public
- To present to Nigerians two contradictory views of reality - that of the movement and that of the powerholders;
- To win the sympathies and the opinions of a majority of the public; and
- To become recognized as the true legitimate and sincere platform for growth in contradistinction to the caliphate.
The Caliphate as powerholders
The power holders today in Nigeria are the Caliphate who runs our country through the political parties and the three arms of government - the Legislature, the Executive and Judiciary controlled by them. Although majority of Nigerians know that Nigeria has a major problem, they cannot pinpoint those responsible for the problem. CSMN is of the conviction that Nigeria’s major problem is caused by the Caliphate that wants to Islamize the country by all means that has resulted in a very sharp disagreement between Christians and Muslims within the country that has taken many lives in riots provoked by religious bigots and fundamentalists. Some Christians regarded this analysis as farfetched when all the signs and facts are staring them in their faces. CSMN intends that power be distributed throughout the country and not from one spot or group.
The CSMN is convinced that there is a deliberate policy on the part of the power holders - the Caliphate to adopt the Machiavellian concept that “when you conquer a superior culture or power, you have to run it down if you do not want to run the risk of being over thrown”. It is this Machiavellian concept that CSMN believes is responsible for crime, insecurity, cultism etc. in Christian areas of the South and the Middle-Belt, the refusal of the power holders to permit state police for these areas, and the convocation of a National conference to discuss how national wealth and political power are to be distributed in Nigeria. In other words, reinventing Nigeria from having a national consensus in order to retain the power holders.
The subtle culturalization, Islamization and Arabization, has resulted in a number of Nigerians being killed, maimed and hundreds of churches, mosques, private and public buildings torched by religious irredentists.
The manipulation of cultural and religious identity to gain and consolidate political, economic and social control seems to have left us Christians in a helpless situation. This is particularly painful, that denominational differences in the South-East, has blurred the blessing which Christianity and Igboness bestrode on Nd’Igbo. Oil, which should be a rich source of blessing has become, for the people of Niger Delta, a source of tremendous suffering, and oil exploitation has been associated with deeper economic impoverishment, political disenfranchisement, and ecological disasters for the people and the Region.
Citizen Based Action
The advancement of human society has largely been achieved through citizen-based actions. Activists around the world ousted dictators in Eastern Europe, the Philippines, Haiti and also terminated apartheid in South Africa. The CSMN is a non-violent, social movement based on grassroots, ‘people power’ as a means for the ordinary Nigerian to successfully challenge the present unjust social conditions and policies. CSMN will embark on massive public education and conversion. CSMN will make effective use of political and social institutions and processes, which includes court cases, raising of petitions, and embarking on citizens involvement programs and the training of activists and Christian leaders.
The CSMN will beam its searchlight on individuals, groups, institutions and social system that promote policies and practices that violate revered social values such as child and women abuse, corruption, cultism, poverty, marginalisation, insecurity, selections in place of elections, political exclusion and, above all, refusing to accept dialogue as a means of settling Nigerians numerous problems. Evidence abound that those in positions of authority through the instrumentality of the Nigerian power holders are preventing Nigerians from participatory democracy, and have reduced Nigeria from the 12th wealthiest country in the world (1975) to one of the poorest countries in the world where over 60% of its citizens now live below the poverty line of less than one US dollar a day.
The above provocations notwithstanding, CSMN will be totally non violent following the footsteps of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jnr., in order to allow everyone to participate in the movement, men, women,elders and youths,including those people who would be unable or unwilling to carry out militaristic and violent social action especially the Clergy. CSMN will engage the power of the people to apply maximum pressure on the power holders to change their harsh views and policies detrimental to societal growth.
It is obvious that the power holders have in place laws, which restrict press freedom, because many television and radio stations are owned by the government and their collaborators, so CSMN has to make do with paid advertisements, weekly newspapers owned by various churches, E-mail services and face-to-face contacts. Members of CSMN are therefore encouraged to open e-mail addresses for easy communication. CSMN will continue to highlight Nigeria’s problems and powerholder inefficiencies, in the public consciousness. CSMN will ensure that the citizenry work together for the common good rather than being isolated from each other in pursuit of personal gains.
Volunteering spirit seems to be dying in Nigeria. In older democracies, it is the volunteers who enthrone presidents and prime ministers. That was how President Bill Clinton and Prime Minister Tony Blair, in their 40s, became president of America and prime minister of Britain respectively. CSMN believes that it is volunteers that can sustain our democracy. Most of us in Nigeria seem to have lost our volunteering spirit. People now want to be “settled” or “mobilized” first, before they volunteer for anything social or political. Our volunteering spirit has to be revived, as the movement will exit mainly on volunteers, who are usually more committed than paid officers. Volunteers are investors not profiteers.
Nigeria is blessed and signs of miracles are everywhere. What we need in addition to these signs and miracles is self-help. The Bible teaches self-help. In the first miracle at Canaan in Galilee, water was provided before Christ turned it into wine. In the feeding of the multitude, five loaves of bread and three fishes were provided before the multitude was fed with twelve baskets of food as surplus. What is lacking in Nigeria today is not only self help occasioned by the confusion in our Constitution, our federation and our culture is being manipulated by the power holders who want to transform Nigeria from a western culture into an Arabic one. The power holders ensure that the ‘carrot’ of the country (wealth) and the ‘stick’ – (forces of coercion) are controlled by them, and they alone must decide who gets what. And for us Christians, they decide that school dropouts, thugs, ex-convicts and misfits are those entitled to be empowered to rule us under the principle of Collectivism. The CSMN is set to resist this Caliphate’s forcible acculturization. It is only those who are morally strong that should rule us.
The CSMN will exit mainly on membership subscription to run all its projected activities. These subscriptions are necessary to maintain a regular source of income, the independence of the movement and ensure loyalty to its members.
Subscriptions will be in five categories (a) Ordinary members =N=500.00 per month (b) Activist N5000.00 a year, (c) Silent member =N=5,000.00 a year (d) Churches (as Group) =N=20,000.00 (e) Corporate bodies =N=50,000.00.
Overseas Contributions – individual $20.00 or £15, Group $1000.00 or £750
Donations will be accepted from members, Church groups and churches in Nigeria and abroad. CAN is also expected to make an annual grant to assist the movement.
CSMN is a countermovement directed at correcting perceivable ills in the society. Perhaps the wisest words on the place of culture in human affairs refers to the entire way of life of a society; its values, practices, symbols, institutions and human relationship. It also refers to values, attributes, beliefs, orientations and assumptions prevalent among people in a society. But no matter the culture or religion, Life is better than death,
Health is better than sickness
Liberty is better than slavery
Prosperity is better than Poverty
Education is better than ignorance
Justice is better than injustice
The central conservative truth is that it is culture, not politics that is the success of a society. The central liberal truth is that “politics can change a culture and save it from itself”. For us in Nigeria, politics has not only changed our culture but rather than save it from itself, totally destroyed it.
The summation of CSMN’s Policies is to promote these virtues.
May God’s Kingdom come. Amen.
Approved by the Governing Council this 26th Day of October 2003