A paper presented on October 25, 2019 @ the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria, Benin City by Solomon Asemota, SAN
ADDING VALUE TO MY FAITH: REPORTS AND COMMENTS
I visited the Archbishop of Benin City and President CBCN, His Grace, Most Rev. Dr. Archbishop Augustine Obiora Akubeze on August 10, 2019, wherein he promised to create one hour at this Conference for me to address you, the Catholic Bishops of Nigeria and for this, I am very grateful.
I had this privilege some years ago when, at a Conference held in Enugu in 2002, I presented two papers. At the end, the Secretary of CBCN then, told me that Christians are not as helpless as I made them look. I am happy to state that the Rev. Father who was grieved at the time (2002), has now joined a number of us, Christians in the country, to draw attention to the fact that Christians need to equip themselves to provide an active and objective defence of Christianity and Democracy as well as share the message of Christ’s in love against the claims of Islamism.
I take this opportunity to tell the CBCN and Archbishop Obiora Akubeze that when the Benin Liturgical Group of which I am a member resorted to a court case, the people of Edo wanted to draw attention to the fact that we were being marginalized and neglected and to get the Vatican to listen and this was done out of court for the good of all. I am proud to say that the Benin Archdiocese could not have had a more conscientious, humble and godly Archbishop in the person of Archbishop Obiora Akubeze. He has turned out to be a very good friend of the Benin people. Your Grace, I thank you for your understanding and tolerance. May God continue to guide you in carrying out your pastoral duties. Amen
I am writing a book titled Nigeria’s 60 Years in the Wilderness, which I hope to complete next year. A chapter of the book is titled The Islamization of Nigeria. It is clear that when our colonial masters (the British) and our new neo-colonial masters (the Fulani), who are a minority Ethnic Nationality, are able to control the majority tribes of Hausa, Nd’igbo and Yoruba, the remaining over 380 other Ethnic Nationalities merely fell in line. Unfortunately, the Fulani were not tutored on Democracy by the British and, as a matter of fact, “It is a mistake to think that administrators (colonial) were motivated by liberal ideals of democracy. In many cases, they chose careers in the empire precisely because they were n0t democrats. They were elitist, men who could write Latin and Greek epigrams and had sought to wield power without having to go through the inconvenience of being elected. Milner himself remained ‘profoundly distrustful of the enfranchised.’ To argue that he and his colleagues were promoting democracy stretches the truth. The empire stood for order and the rule of law, but we must not pretend that its character was something other than what it was. The imperial administration was highly stratified and snobbish. It was the very opposite of the egalitarian, plural and liberal institution that some historians have portrayed.” It is important to add that decisions in the British Empire which were made in a personal, almost whimsical level have a massive impact on international politics. The empire in its belief in the individual action of its servant (Lugard with respect to Nigeria) with very little supervision and without any real central philosophy created an environment in which a non-indigenous light-skinned Fulani engaged in the promotion of Islam was able to restrain the growth and development of the black race in a black populated Nigeria. Amalgamation of 1914 took place when racism was in vogue. Today, the Fulani seem to believe that religious politics is the solution to Nigeria’s problems.
In this presentation, I have suggested that Nigeria’s problem stem from conflict of ideologies of Democracy and Sharia resulting from the belief of two races – Negro and Negroid and the two major religions – Christianity and Islam, which developed Democracy and Sharia. I came to the conclusion, after a thorough appraisal that the conflicting and incompatible ideologies are responsible for Nigeria’s inability to meet her potentials as the giant of Africa. I also suggested that dialogue and conversation are the answers to jihad (stealth and conventional) and have invited all Nigerians especially Muslims, to key into the reality of one country, one system for unity, peace and development.
It would appear that the British handed over Nigeria to the Fulani with whom they could do business 0when one appreciates the fact that the oil license granted to Shell to prospect for oil in 1938 has enabled the Negroid Fulani to control the wealth of the country today. It will be recalled that a low level of royalty came to Nigeria for the independence in 1960.
The real independence ceremony seem to have taken place a year later as Ahmadu Bello, the Sardauna of Sokoto wrote in his autobiography My Life: “About twenty miles upstream of Sokoto and on the north bank-that is, on the opposite side of the river from Sokoto is the little town of Rabah. It was here that I was born in 1910. My father was the District Head. There are forty-eight District Heads in Sokoto Emirate and he was one of them 'Only seven years had passed since the British drove out the Sultan Atahiru from his own capital, chased him across Nigeria and eventually caught up with him and his devoted followers on the borders of Bomu. Here, he made a last stand; on a deserted hillside, and died fighting, far from his people and his home. His standard was found near his body. It was folded up and taken to England. Only this year, after Independence, was it brought back and formally restored to the present Sultan at a distinguished ceremony. It had been very well preserved and was given back in a large and handsome frame.” We must not ignore the meaning of this symbolism. Whatever is the case, there is nothing that dialogue and goodwill cannot solve.
This is not the time for recrimination but reflection, understanding, unity and teamwork to save our country - the giant of Africa and not to dismantle her as is being suggested in some quarters.
Nigeria is the only country in the world that has about equal population of Christians and Muslims even as recent demographics favor a slight edge in advantage to Christians, which in the 1970s and 1980s drifted from democracy towards authoritarianism. Other Nigerians especially Christians should have done more to protect the country’s democracy and its institutions. Christians failed to learn from Sudan and therefore Nigeria finds herself in the present situation that could have been avoided.
The reason for this state of affairs includes:
(a) Nigeria’s problem of conflict of the ideologies - Democracy and Sharia;
(b) The return of the caliphate flag in 1961, the prevailing clash with Miyetti Allah and the concept of Sacred Space etc, show that Nigeria is at war with itself - jihad.
(c) Not withstanding (a) and (b) the whole scenario also provide opportunity for working at our unity as a people and not for dismantling our country as some have suggested.
Facts of Islamization
When the Federal Government in an affidavit on August 29, 2019, said that the Islamic Movement of Nigeria was trying to Islamize Nigeria, it confirmed what the presenter and some Christian organizations said some twenty years ago, that Islamization is taking place in Nigeria. The present political administration unfortunately does not believe in Democracy, as none of the leadership of the three arms of government in reality swore to uphold the Nigerian Constitution, because being Islamists, they cannot swear to uphold man-made laws especially the Constitution.
In addition to the above, the Chief of Army Staff organized a spiritual warfare seminar which showed in practical terms that Nigeria is also involved in a spiritual or religious war – jihad. Unfortunately, no mention was made about other Islamic organizations such as Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) that in 1980 participated in partnership with Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) in the jihad against the Maitatsine sect in Kano. The IMN, JNI and Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), have the same objectives to wit. “The Council shall therefore, ensure that the ideals of Islam as laid down in the Glorious Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (P.B.O.H) are adhered to by all Muslims in Nigeria.” It should be noted that Islamic morality says that Muslims cannot be ruled by a non-Muslim (Kafirs).”
Sharia as a Political Instrument
It cannot be denied that:
- Sharia is firmly rooted in Islam’s doctrinal texts and is favored by influential Islamic commentators, institutions, and academic centers;
- Sharia has for over a half-century, been lavishly financed and propagated by Islamic regimes; and
- Due to the fact that Islam lacks a central, universally recognized hierarchical authority, authentic Islamic moderates and reformers have an incredibly difficult task in endeavoring to delegitimize Sharia in the community where it matters most the Muslim world.
The Sharia system is totalitarian, in that it imposes itself on all aspects of civil society and human life, both public and private. It is also anti-Nigeria Constitution especially Fundamental Human Rights provisions of the Constitution because it holds that all rights belong to Allah and humans only have obligations.
Colonial Policy and Islam in Nigeria (Lugard)
Lugard is the architect of Islamization in Nigeria from his Indirect Rule policy imported from India and his loss of faith in God as a result of an affair with a divorcee. Colonial Nigeria was modeled after colonial Sudan. Sudan was the home of Islamic “fanaticism”. Christian missionaries in Sudan were forbidden to preach Christianity while the colonial government undertook the building of mosques. In Northern Nigeria the same rule applied. The British did not hide their preference for the Fulani as their “successors”, and this became prominent when Nigeria was preparing for independence in 1960. Islamization continued through the Sardauna’s conversion campaign with public funds and no one complained. He founded the JNI, (society for the victory of Islam in Nigeria in 1962). It is very clear that the JNI is the ‘The Muslim Brotherhood of Nigeria with similar objectives. Muslim Brotherhood was founded in Egypt in 1928 with the defeat of Othman Empire by Mustapha Kemal of Turkey following the dissolution of the caliphate and its termination. The Society of Muslim Brothers or the Muslim Brotherhood [MB] objectives include the unification of Islamic states under a new caliphate and subordinating all lands to the caliph’s rule pursuant to Sharia.
Muslim Brotherhood’s Influence in Nigeria
The Aniagolu Commission on the Kano Riots of 1980 found that JNI was founded with the sole aim of Islamizing Nigeria and in turn registered subordinate organizations including the Muslim Students’ Society [MSS] which Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky was the National Vice President. The Islamic organizations both JNI and MSS have one thing in common - promotion of a rigid adherence to the tenets of Islam and conversion of other to Islam. The Commission found that JNI and MSS insisted that Sections 35, 36, 37, and 38 of the 1979 Constitution all dealing with Human Rights, must be subject to Sharia. President Buhari today insists that Human Rights are subject to state security which it is submitted, explains why there is so much insecurity in Nigeria. One wonders if this insecurity is contrived or accidental.
The Recommendations of the Aniagolu Commission included that Government should avoid any attitude of special patronage or show of preference or favor to any particular religious groups or leaders. Shagari as President tried to implement these recommendations and others before he was removed. This presenter is of the view that though a Muslim, Shagari was not a fanatic. What followed after Shagari was Buhari’s military junta that showed rigid adherence to the tenets of Islam.
Tenets of Sharia
Tenets of Sharia include jihad (Conventional and Stealth), Contemporary Advocates of Jihad, the Shiite and Iranian views of jihad, Jihad as Obligatory, Waging Jihad and Application of Sharia. These are discussed sufficiently in this presentation. Other tenets of Sharia include Abrogation, Apostasy, Gender Inequality, Hudud Punishments, Islamic Supremacism, Lying/Taqiyya, Slander/Blasphemy, Zakat and the Concept of Sacred Space which were also discussed to show clearly the incompatibility of Sharia and Democracy in one country. The two systems ensured that we as a people pulled in very different directions ensuring that reconciliation became almost impossible.
The Sultanate and Nigeria
The presentation referred to the press statement of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, titled Muslim and the Nation on October 9, 2019, published in various media, which this presenter considered as unfortunate and intended to undermine Nigeria’s Democracy. Part of the statement reads:
- “The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), under the leadership of its President-General and Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence, Alhaji Ma’ad Sa'ad Abubakar, CFR, mni, held its Expanded General Purpose Committee Meeting on Saturday, Muharram 28,1441 (September 28,2019) in Abuja.
- The Council urged restraint on the issue of mosque/ DPC demolition in Rivers State while awaiting the report of its fact-finding Committee. Meanwhile, we believe that students of Rivers State University (RSU), who had won the case against religious discrimination at the High Court and the Court of Appeal, should be given respite and be allowed to re-build their demolished mosque and practice their religion without let or hindrance. We therefore urge the Rivers State Government to halt its unnecessary and time consuming gimmicks of appealing to the Supreme Court on a matter that is clear and unambiguous. The Council urged the Muslim Students in Rivers State to still bear the pains of the deprivation of fundamental human rights by the Rivers State authorities while the apex Court decides.
- The Council is mortified by the growing spectrum of hate, bile and bigotry targeted at Muslims in the South Eastern part of Nigeria. We warn that under no condition should the viral threats against Muslims be actualized as those who live in glass houses should not throw We cannot afford to ignite another war. The episode of 1966-1967 should be a lesson to those who can learn from history. What Nigeria needs is mutual cooperation and peaceful co-existence not religious intolerance and ethnic jingoism.
This presenter reminded readers that the Sokoto Caliphate was re-introduced only recently in 1963, no doubt to champion modern Nigeria’s march to Sultanate and the reason for Nzeogwu’s coup on January 15, 1966 as stated by Isa Kaita is “that they had to kill the Sardauna because of the Northernization policy. He said: “How can a Nigerian be a foreigner in his own country?” it is pertinent to conclude by saying that the Civil War of 1967 - 1970 was fought mainly by Christians against Christians, a situation that was reflected by the fact that only Christians were involved in the surrender exercise- Adekunle, Akinrinade, Alabi Isama, Ayo Ariyo and Obasanjo. Effiong surrendered on behalf of Odumegwu Ojukwu and of course General Gowon. One wondered whether the present military buildup in the North is intended this time for a Muslim war against the South and agreed with NSCIA that warned that no nation has survived two civil wars. The presenter went on to remind us the reason for 1914 amalgamation.
Reasons for the Amalgamation of 1914
The presenter decided to remind the readers of the reasons for the amalgamation, which were Finance and Railway, and re-stated that the amalgamation of Northern and Southern Nigerias are more for the benefit of the land locked Muslim North. Till date, the Christian South has continued to provide for the Muslim North, yet Southern leadership has not attempted to use what they have which include ports, oil, gas, etc to get what they want – development and peace. Meanwhile, the Muslim North on the other hand, use cattle to demand that they are entitled to grazing land, RUGA, etc throughout the country and also as an offensive weapon for Jihad. Southern leaders have never regarded the South as a unit, and have never called the attention of the North to the fact that it is landlocked and that the “Southern lady of means” is the one who provides 90% of the money for housekeeping. The Fulani - a minority tribe is thus able to impose their Islamic values on the rest of Nigeria.
The North before Independence in 1960
The presentation showed the fears of the minorities in the North in 1958, at the time Christians were in the minority. The fears of Minorities then as provided by Sir Henry Willink in his Report of 1958 showed that Hausa/Fulani were recent migrants (19th century) to Nigeria. The fears at the time included a possible “swing back towards Islamism and autocratic rule of the Emirs”. Fear of Islam (Middle East) and went on to defined for the first time the phrase Hausa/Fulani: “many witnesses have referred to their fears of Fulani-Hausa domination, and though the meaning of this phrase was not always expressed in terms, or even consciously analyzed by those who used it, it clearly implies a system of rule and of society of which an important ingredient is the operation of Muslim Law. Some witnesses have specifically referred to this system of law as an object of fear”. The presenter however conclude that Hausa/Fulani is an ideology.
Catholic Social Thought and the Lay Faithful
These social thoughts are from the Catechism of the Catholic Church regarding the laity, their participation in social life and, in particular this teaching which states that: “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.” This shows clearly that God did not give us Abacha or Buhari, or indeed Abiola if he had ruled. It was our collective conduct that gave us these leaders. The presenter also discussed the Common Good as stated in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. “By Common Good is to be understood “the sum total of social conditions which allow people, either as groups or as individuals, to reach their fulfillment 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.” “The common good is always oriented towards the progress of persons: “The order of things must be subordinated 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 Catholic Church with her social thoughts needs to guide the Nigerian Church as a whole on Democracy in order to withstand the onslaught of Sharia.
Northern Nationalism: Non-Muslim Nigerians Dilemma
Religion expresses common moral values and spiritual beliefs. The religious fundamentalism which the Islamists continue to employ in the North is very much a creation of the modern world (1928). It has taken different forms and contrasting ideological features, particularly in societies afflicted by perceived crisis of identity.
Enlightened Nigerians are presently at a disadvantage in many ways including for example, cut-off marks for admission into universities, gender inequality, etc. The gender inequality “ensures that this lady of means (South) has the responsibility to provide for her husband” thus Common Law providing for Sharia. Sharia also ensured that Sowore was put in custody for an alleged treason charge while the leader of Miyetti Allah continues to dictate sectional policies including RUGA. These two systems in one country, one for the Muslims (Sharia) and Common Law for others (non-Muslims) have resulted in discrimination and confusion.
There is need to state some historical facts as for example, the metaphor of Lord Harcourt to wit: “we have released Northern Nigeria from the lending strings of the Treasury. The promising and well-conducted youth is now on an allowance “on his own” and is about to effect an alliance with a Southern lady of means. I have issued the special license and Sir Frederick Lugard will perform the ceremony. May the union be fruitful and the couple constant! The Nigerias are not designed to be a great “Trust” but a great “Federation”. This marriage has become the permanent feature of leadership in Nigeria, North husband, South wife with Sharia as the type of marriage.
Boko Haram as product of Dupes
Nigerians were encouraged by dupes to think favorably of Sharia as a good replacement for Democracy and the presenter used two associations with which he has been involved over the years - the Nigerian Bar Association and the Christian Association of Nigeria. The leadership of both organizations has been taken over by Islamists aided by Christian collaborators, which explains the modus operandi as to how “Sharia” is systematically replacing Democracy as system of government in Nigeria.
At the opening ceremony of the NBA National Convention in Abuja on August 26, 2018, President Buhari said “I believe that lawyers can contribute to another core objective of enhancing our business environment and promoting social justice by promoting respect for the Rule of Law; contributing to the law reform process and putting national interest and professional ethics above self in the conduct of their business. Rule of Law must be subject to the supremacy of the nation's security and national interest. Our apex court has had cause to adopt a position on this issue in this regard and it is now a matter of judicial recognition that; where national security and public interest are threatened or there is a likelihood of their being threatened, the individual rights of those allegedly responsible must take second place, in favor of the greater good of society.” This is the manifestation of what the Muslim leaders were unable to achieve in 1980 at the Aniagolu Commission. Christians and Democrats must not allow Islamism, overcome Democracy. They must use democratic process to get a president learned enough to know the importance of Human Rights and Common Good in a Democracy. [Emphasis supplied]
Lawyers must not fail Nigeria
The presenter adopted the facts contained in the Tell magazine: Edition No.37 of September 1992 containing facts and events at the Annual Bar Conference of the NBA in Port Harcourt in 1992 and subsequent takeover of the legal profession in Nigeria by the Islamists which enabled Sharia to replace the Constitution in part. The situation is not hopeless notwithstanding the gains now being exhibited.
Sharia and Christian Collaborators
The British were able to colonize over half of the world with the help of local collaborators. The strides so far gained by Islamists in Nigeria is because of the co-operation of some Christians who for reasons of ignorance did not fully appreciate the issues involved – Sharia to replace Democracy.
Over the years, CSMN the “Catholic thing” had campaigned against Islamization, until very recently when the government itself came out to confirm this fact. At the same time the Federal Government resorts to taqiyya (deceit) and stealth jihad as an alibi did not make a clean break of the issue when it alleged that IMN alone is involved in the Islamization.
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) decided to join in the conversation when it appointed Professor Charles Adisa and the Nigerian Christian Graduates Fellowship to research and publish its findings on Fulani herdsmen. After the exercise, CAN held a Summit with the theme: Church Leaders Stake Holders Summit, RUGA: The Church response in the 21st century.” After the Summit, CAN conclude as follows:
- No to RUGA
- No to Amended Waterways Bill
- A private sector driven, sustainable, conflict free, profitable and environmentally friendly alternative to RUGA.
Conclusions did not reflect on Fulani herdsmen and their modus operandi. These as contained in the report submitted to CAN
The summary of the Research paper included the following submission: “since January 2016, there have been documented deaths of approximately 1000 Nigerians from across the Middle Belt, the South-South, and South-Eastern parts of the country from these coordinated Fulani herdsmen attacks. Rather that this engendering a strong condemnation of the Fulani herdsmen’s carnage and unifying the rest of us towards a common cause solution, the contrary is the case. What we have are only confused State executives, who do not even understand the magnitude of the problem at hand”.
Normal state security protocol demands that to solve a problem, one need to first understand the problem. We therefore dispatched a fact finding team to the North and South/Eastern part of the country and came to the conclusion that there seems to be a willingness and eagerness for the violence to end.
- The Fulani herdsmen terrorists are Fulanis but mostly non-Nigerians;
- The Fulani Herdsmen terrorists do not own cattle;
- The Ama-Hausas and Garki locations harbor 80% of the Fulani herdsmen killers;
- The Fulani herdsmen that accompany cattle from the North to the South per season do not own cattle.
There are about five (5) million Fulani people in Nigeria making them one of the smallest ethnic groups in the country. About 60 percent of the Fulanis in Nigeria are governors, Pastors, Imams, Emirs, Sultan, House of Rep members, Importers, Exporters, Ministers, Oil well owners, lecturers, Vice Chancellors, Senators etc. In a nutshell, the Fulani control all sectors of the Northern economy. These rich Fulanis own all the cattle being reared in Nigeria.” These Fulanis are the successors of the British colonialists like the whites in Australia, South Africa, etc, that control the economy of these countries after colonization.
“What constitutes a Fulani herdsmen attack? The Fulani herdsmen who accompany the cattle will locate the nearest Fulani settlement and if there is none, will locate the nearest Garki or Ama Hausa settlements. When they arrive, they will narrate their story. The Fulani (Nigerian middlemen) cattle managers will notify their top Fulani Herdsmen which in this case, include governors (like El Rufai) and other top Fulani Bourgeois who own the cattle. A decision will be made about whether there should be an attack or not on the said village or host community. Most times, Fulani herdsmen in the military and police are notified and everyone sends a representative. Neighboring settlements send out representatives and arms cache are opened and arms are distributed to the participants.”
“These attacks are well coordinated and sometimes involve the approval of senators and influential men in Abuja. Even our President, Muhammadu Buhari, has a herd of cattle and hence is a Fulani herdsman; corroborating the information we received from respondents on ground. Fulani herdsmen attacks involve all Fulani ethnic members in Nigeria. Most times, these attacks happen only because “respectable men” sanction them.” It is the view of this presenter that this is treason, but the Negroid regard it as jihad.
As stated previously, the facts as presented by the Committee are in accordance with the findings of the CSMN. Christian Association of Nigeria failed deliberately, to mobilize Christians armed with facts of the Adisa Committee report, no doubt because of the meetings between the Association and Miyetti Allah earlier alluded to. Scarcely would a better opportunity present itself for Christians to state the facts of their precarious existence as have been presented by this Committee. The lack of will to do anything in this direction is symptomatic of the leadership of CAN under Rev. Dr. Supo Ayokunle, the CAN President. It is however pertinent to state that the Nigerian Christian Graduate Fellowship did not consider the Islamic concept of sacred space in Sharia.
Since then, the Vanguard newspaper of October 13, 2019 has published an article on foreign herdsmen in National Livestock Transformation Programme (NLTP) with respect to 5 States that can be regarded as Christian States in the North.
Foreign Herdsmen in National Livestock Transformation Programme (NLTP)
Zamfara: We’re a step ahead of FG
Nasarawa: Dissent as govt earmarks 7 LGAs for NLTP
Nasarawa State Governor, Abdullahi Sule
Taraba: NLTP is RUGA in disguise
Adamawa: Programme at formative stage
Plateau: Programme to commence amid anger
Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State and Darius Ishaku of Taraba State
Nigeria’s March to Sultanate
This was a presentation made at a JDPC Conference in Ibadan on October 22, 2009 in which Nigeria’s membership of the OIC established in Jedda in 1972 was considered. The paper contained issues concerning Constitutional Development, Revenue Sharing, Warped Revenue Allocation, Land Use Act, Traditional Rulers and Sarikin Muslimi, Co-option of Christians, Security, Mukharabat (informers) in Nigeria, Election Cases, and reasons for the presenter’s commitment to Democracy etc.
Immediately this paper was presented, Mr. Asemota became “personae non grata” with respect to speaking at JDPC gatherings. A standing lecture with JDPC Ijebu-Ode was cancelled, as a result of which this presenter wrote to the CBCN Secretariat, to find out whether the ability to distinguish between the voice of God and that of the devil was reserved only for Priests and Pastors. Rev. Fr. Ekpeyong the Secretary of the CBCN then invited Mr. Asemota to Abuja as CBCN’s guest for one night where the issues were discussed, at the end of which the position remained the same until this presentation.
In 2002, this presenter, wrote and presented two papers on Islamization, after which one of the reviewers who was then the Secretary General CBCN in his contribution said without even reading the papers that “Christians are not as helpless as the presenter made of them”. Fortunately, the other reviewer Prof. Peter Ejiofor and the Bishop of Enugu, Bishop Gbuji disagreed. In fact, Prof. Ejiofor said he had read the papers and to use his words, averred that it was a “mine of information”. It was clear that CBCN wanted the activities of CSMN which had been dubbed the “Catholic thing” to stop. Out of frustration, CSMN was forced to suspend its activities.
In 2015, it was reported that the President of CAN, Pastor Oritsejafor refused to subjugate Christianity to Islam by refusing the dictates of Sarkin Musulumi and this presenter was convinced that Pastor Oritsejafor appreciates the incompatibility of Democracy and Sharia. CSMN therefore secured an appointment with the CAN President where after the meeting, it was agreed that the National Christian Elders Forum (NCEF) should be founded as an alternative voice for Christians in Nigeria, with the presenter as Chairman. It has become very clear that all those who think that Democracy and Sharia are compatible do so for lack of understanding of the implication of the dual ideology in operation in Nigeria. The only other country in which one nation with two systems have been tried is China, with Hong Kong as part of China but with a different system. It has not worked. The failure of Nigeria as a nation is the failure of one nation, two systems i.e. Democracy and Sharia.
It is very clear that whenever the Executive acts contrary to the Constitution, it is intended to show that man-made law, the Constitution, is subject to God made laws Sharia especially in the promotion of Muslim interest such as the removal of a Christian CJN for a Muslim CJN and ensuring that the Governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, a Muslim and Sharia proponent is protected with the removal of Elder Simon Achuba, a Democrat.
The Way Forward
It is very wrong to re-introduce colonial rank structure in the Police Force as the Buhari’s Administration has done. Most Police Forces have between 6 – 10 steps from Constable to the Inspector General, the Buhari administration seem to have returned to the colonial era, when we had African and European ranks.
African ranks were from Constable to Chief Inspector while European ranks were from Assistant Superintendent to Inspector General. In addition to re-introducing multiple ranks, there is also now pension differential between “African (Christians)” and “European (Muslims)” in the payment of pensions. The case of Elder Nat Okoro, a Christian and the first Nigerian Managing Director of the Railway Corporation whose pension is N98,000 monthly and Alhaji A. A. Abubakar a successor to the post and Muslim whose pension is N1 million monthly come to the fore. All attempts by Elder Nat Okoro to demand for parity have so far failed.
Boko Haram, Fulani herdsmen and bandits that have caused havoc are instruments of the Islamists’ ideology. Nigerians having tasted Democracy and Sharia should know that Democracy is better and therefore should work very hard to restore Democracy. A Truth and Reconciliation Commission should be set up to allay the fears of those who believe in Democracy especially among the Nigerian Negro race.
Democracy as Unifying Factor
The unity of America is as a result of Democracy. The American Constitution was drafted by Christians and it is only since then that the world has changed to become more peaceful. Humans have gone to the moon and world institutions have tackled the issue of hunger and poverty. The Chinese and Western world learnt from the Americans. Sharia on the other hand, is preoccupied mainly with violence, jihad fault line wars and its attempt to control different people, territories, wealth and their resources. Buhari’s suggestion that proceedings at a military tribunal should be guided by the Bible and Quran, in effect, suggests Sharia rather than Common Law principles, which need to be discussed at a conference.
Conference on One Nation, Two Systems
The Nigerian Christian Elders Forum developed out of necessity following the question posed by Prof Pat Utomi, in the Guardian newspaper captioned “Where are Nigeria’s elders?” on October 14, 2009. The Elders concluded that it would appear that the Christian faith is being compromised when Christians work for the conversion of democratic Nigeria to an Islamic Sultanate. To achieve this, Sharia is a first step to take over the country. One nation, two systems has not worked in Hong Kong, it cannot work in Nigeria. There is need for advocacy on Democracy and Sharia. The Church should encourage a Christian Governor to call such a conference in one of the Christian States for the reason that it is legitimate to say “I am a Fulani, Benin, etc and a Nigerian.” It is not logical to say I am a Northerner Nigerian in one Nigeria as proposed by Prof Ango Abdullahi.
Christians unlike the Islamists do not have an Army or a Police Force under their control. All that the Christians have, is Advocacy “the act of pleading for or actively supporting a cause or proposal” under the principle of “self-neglect is more vile a sin than self-love”, and the implication is that by doing nothing, our sin is greater than those of the Islamists, especially when it is a fact that the Christian South has continued to provide for the upkeep of Nigeria since amalgamation. Christians must therefore promote “Go on with one Nigeria, one System, one Destiny”.
The presenter ascribes his appreciation of the Nigerian situation to his personal upbringing and experience based on the time of birth and his formative years in Jos, Plateau State where he learnt the three major languages of Nigeria – Hausa, Yoruba and Ibo. He also had the advantage of 60 years uninterrupted involvement with the law in Nigeria. He has always taken sides as investigator, prosecutor and arbitrator. This notwithstanding, he has always been able to overcome his emotions as reflected in this presentation by avoiding hate speech. It is time for the Catholic Church to take side with Democracy - “the secularized residue of Church doctrine of the people of God”. In the circumstance it is not golden to be silent. The only weapon we have is Advocacy based facts and this explains the volume of this presentation. The narrative has to change from taqiyya to truth.
This presentation is a precursor to the book titled “Nigeria’s 60 Years in the Wilderness” expected to be out in 2020 and can be accessed freely on the CSMN website: www.csmnigeria.org. Donations through our designated accounts stated below are however welcomed
Name: Christian Social Movement of Nigeria
Numbers: 1014138350 (Naira); 5070767330 (Dollar)
God bless Nigeria
Solomon Asemota, SAN
Chairman, Board of Governors
Christian Social Movement of Nigeria (CSMN)
Chairman, National Christian Elders Forum (NCEF)
October 25, 2019