“Every Christian, particularly Christian leaders are urged to read this full report. It gives an understanding of the issues unfolding in Nigeria.
The National Christian Elders Forum (NCEF) took time to prepare this Report to enlighten and educate Christians. May we not perish for lack of knowledge”
“To keep Nigeria one is a task that must be done”, “Go on with one Nigeria” (GOWON) are some of the slogans or catch phrases used during the Nigerian Civil War of 1967 – 1970. There is no doubt that these slogans contributed to the success of the war in favour of the Federal Government. The question now is whether Nigeria can remain one in the face of two ideologies, two religions and a pided country of North and South - two amalgamated countries not integrated but segregated in townships, neighbourhood, schools etc. Presently under Buhari’s APC government, power sharing has entrenched two political systems in one Nigeria. There is therefore the need for dialogue with respect to unity whether it is sacrosanct or not. NCEF has come to the conclusion that it is only through dialogue, balance of power and, above all, one political system that we can continue to go on with one Nigeria.
After stating briefly the political history of Nigeria and the disparity between North and South, the distinction between Islam and Islamists, we concluded that Islamists under the name of Boko Haram and Fulani Herdsmen have not taken over completely but have and are still conducting Jihads. The NCEF borrowed from one Majeed Dahiru that there are fundamental beliefs that are Muslim but not Islamic. These are (1) concept of Caliphate, (2) the question of the people of the book and; (3) the question of Bid’ah [innovation] and concluded that “Islam is a peaceful religion and is a blessing to mankind. The virtues of mercy, grace, love, justice and forgiveness are the hallmarks of this great religion. Muslims must reflect on these virtues always, as the essence of Islam will always be mirrored by the conduct of Muslims.”
The National Christian Elders Forum (NCEF), after one year in existence, took time to study the political history of Nigeria and has come to the conclusion that the competition for power since 1914 was rooted in two unequal instruments - Ethnicity and Religion, Muslim religion had a very large followership then and now, while ethnicity either in population or land space cannot inpidually compete with Islam. The North contested for power on the basis of religion - Islam, the South and Middle Belt on the other hand, contested on the basis of ethnicity that resulted in two parallel political platforms. The Ethnic Nationalities of the country numbering over 390, relied on their ethnicity and ethnic organizations for the competition. Nigeria has three major Ethnic Nationalities of Hausa/Fulani, Nd’igbo and Yoruba, which the British had hoped would assimilate the other over 300 Nationalities. This however did not happen even though some of these minority tribes have lost their languages. Nigeria, today, has over 500 languages according to the Bible Society of Nigeria (BSN).
Islamic North remained potent as a result of the religion of Islam, thanks to the industry of Sir Ahmadu Bello (the Sardauna of Sokoto), Sheikh Abubakar Gumi and Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI). Christian South and Middle Belt on the other hand, was weakened and rendered ineffective by the multiplicity of denominations and tribalism. Christian leaders such as Awolowo, Azikiwe, Akintola, Aguiyi-Ironsi, Gowon, Obasanjo and Jonathan were more concerned about their ethnicity and with Gowon, more concerned with his being a Northerner. These Christians leaders inpidually did not see Christianity as a unifying factor that would protect civilized culture and values. Muslims were able to work stealthily all these years because of one of its tenets Taqiyya which, until this day, is not understood by non-Muslims in Nigeria. Islam therefore became and remained the major factor in the quest for political power in Nigeria. It can safely be said that whenever a Christian rules the country, it is because they were allowed by the Muslims to rule.
Military coup entrenched two political systems in the country, and to do this, the Military re-organised the intelligence service in line with what the Nazis, the Communists and Apartheid South Africa did that resulted for Nigeria two system of Justice as exemplified by Major Bamidele and Major General Vatsa cases. We now have two systems of justice.
The Report then considered docility among Christians and the disagreement between the Catholic Secretariat and CAN on the question of CAN TRUST FUND and disunity. The report was emphatic that CAN TRUST FUND flier is not “propaganda for a perceived war on Muslims” and went on to advice that Church leaders must be careful not to be seen as proxies of Islamists in Nigeria.
The Genesis of the Muslim Brotherhood and its relation with Nigeria, for this we referred to the Tribunal of Inquiry on Kano disturbance headed by Justice Aniagolu, JSC and Shagari’s biography Called to Duty suggested that Egypt with the Muslim Brotherhood influenced the Military in Nigeria that staged coups from 1975, and thereafter. We listed some of the modus operandi of the Brotherhood, on organization of civil Jihad, etc that helped to promote Islamism in Nigeria.
We showed how Christian organisations in the country became agents and proxies for the Islamists. Attached is a 7 page Aide Memoir titled ‘Political Platform for Christians in Nigeria’ which we believe was responsible for instructions being issued by the Islamists that control all the 32 or so political parties through the Intelligence Service not to meet with NCEF and thereafter appointed Ali Modu Sheriff as hatchet man to complete the destruction of PDP as a political party. At this juncture the question all Christians must ask is, which of the 32 parties can Christians say has or would protect its interests in Nigeria? The answer is none, and we established in this Report how the Islamists were able to achieve this feat. First by security clearance, thereafter abolition of Independent Candidacy and, perhaps the most important, is that votes seldom counts.
We pointed out that these factors coupled with “Mukharabat” operatives everywhere, Christians as a political force is less than 10% even though Christians constitute more than 50% of the population. With respect to security, we showed how the Islamists not only control the conventional security apparatus of the Armed Forces and the Police but went further to create the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, a special “Sharia” Police of the Islamist. With these vast powers, they decided to confront the Legislature – the Senate. The Islamists want to remove Saraki as Senate President though a Muslim is not a known Islamist.
We reported on Pastor Musa Dikwa who harassed Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor of CAN. He has, however gone to the President of CAN to apologize.
We explained the brush His Eminence, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor had with the Intelligence Service and the correct story concerning his private plane. Confirming government statement at the time that Pastor Ayo had nothing to do with 9.3 million dollars cash meant for payment of mercenaries not purchase of arms from South Africa, in Pastor Ayo’s plane when it landed South Africa.
We referred to the Chibok girls and the fact that a Committee has been set up to carry out fresh investigation into the abduction of these girls and that we owe our gratitude to the Anglican Church for this development.
In this Report, we have tried to show how and why Nigeria became an Islamic State. Christians should not believe that it is otherwise. There is much work to be done for Nigeria to return to the state it was before taking membership of OIC in 1986. All denominations under Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) must immediately improve and disseminate the facts above and ensure that Christians, especially the children, know the history of Nigeria and the fact that Nigeria is made up of the Negro aborigine and Negroid Arab stock that migrated to the North East – the Kanuri, and to the North West by the Hausa and later Fulani and that having lived together for centuries, it is time that we blend into Nigeria as one country with one destiny. This can only happen if we see ourselves as equals and fellow country men and women, not rulers and the ruled, but citizens that want prosperity for everybody, and a country with no slaves. This can be done, because the most prosperous nations, what Cardinal Onaiyekan calls the first league players – United States, Europe, Russia, India, China etc have since discarded nobility even in countries that have kings and queens like United Kingdom, Belgium and Japan etc. These countries have whittled down monarchy in the strict sense. Above all, is the fact that these first league players are presently living in peace and in enjoyment of their prosperity.
On the mechanism of change we wrote it is a known fact that economic, social, political and military power ultimately comes from the consent and obedience of the people, power therefore is not inherently fixed and stable but rather is fragile and shift accordingly to peoples’ will to consent to and obey a ruler. In the circumstance, Christians in Nigeria are capable of applying pressure on the ruler through withdrawal of obedience. Christians, in a non-violent struggle, must find ways to promote the ideas that the President’s power depend on the consent of Nigerians including Christians.
It is also correct to say that Rulers depend ultimately on people to run the country, and once a group decides to stop obeying the ruler, the power of the ruler diminishes. This, no doubt, explains why attempts have been made all the time by the Islamists to pide Christians in Nigeria so that they never arrive at a situation whereby power of the Islamists will diminish. The Dioceses of Enugu, Nsukka and Awgu on 3rd July, 2016 and, as the Report goes, staged a protest match - “the Enugu Catholic Diocese shelved its plan to march to the government house. The march was tagged “Diocesan peaceful prayerful protest march”. It was reported the planned march failed to hold after Governor Ugwuanyi and some members of State Executive Council visited the Church leadership to call off the march after they were informed of an alleged plan by miscreants including pro-Biafra activists to use the protest march to cause a breakdown of law and order”. Although, this is not a good reason for calling off the march, after all the European Cup Championship took place successfully in France notwithstanding Islamist threat. It is the duty of the Governor as Chief Law Officer of the State, to protect peaceful demonstration. Christians in Enugu State have made the point, and since then herdsmen have not attacked their communities.
The Church also made known its opposition to the proposed grazing bill in a joint press statement read by the Catholic Bishop of Enugu Diocese, Rt. Rev. Callistus Onaga, and the Bishops of Awgu and Nsukka dioceses. “The free grazing of cattle in our areas has now become a threat not only to the growing of crops, which is the mainstay of our sedentary people, but also to our lives. The nomadic lifestyle makes policing and the pursuit of criminals much more complex and hazardous, while providing terrorists like Boko Haram operatives with ready cover for penetrating every nook and cranny of our country,” the statement said. This is an example of a non-violent protest that can be used by Christians should it become necessary.
The next stage, should it arise in the future, we hope and pray that it will be “National peaceful prayerful protest march” of all Christians in towns, states, zones and nationwide”. Peaceful demonstration constitutes a “weapon” of a type to ensure that the ruler rules by treating all segments of society together and fairly. However we have stated above that one of the key strategies of the Islamist is co-opting key leadership of Christians.
The new Exco of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) under the leadership of Dr. Supo Ayokunle must continue the good work of Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor on Christian unity. He must recognize that Nigeria’s main problem is one nation with two irreconcilable political systems of Liberal Democracy and Sharia. That only a minority of Islamists in Nigeria are demanding full blown Sharia while the rest of Nigerians have opted for Democracy that was agreed upon by our founding fathers and the British at Independence in 1960. Sharia issue is a matter for a referendum not imposed stealthily by Islamists in the military.
Exco must as a matter of urgency establish for Christians a platform for participation of Christians in the politics of Nigeria. At the moment, all the 32 parties set up by the military supervised by the Intelligence Services and the National Security Adviser are agents of Islamization. Nigeria needs a political party or parties that will protect Christian democratic way of life. The Church must fight discord and cynicism among the body of Christ, promote sound civic education for Christians especially Christian politicians and generate good Church leadership. Tackle laidback mentality that accepts 2nd class status, speak out prophetically and uncompromisingly on the root causes of persecution and actions to make the point - legitimate, proportionate self-decency. Christians must be educated to be fearless and courageous in the face of persecution. The spirit we have received from Christ is not one of fear and cowardice. In the face of persecution, our response should not be that of fear or intimidation which is the goal of the Islamists but rather should be as stated in 2 Tim 1:7. “For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love and a sound mind”. There is a need for the Church and Christians to always be bold to speak and condemn evil against humanity. The Church needs also to be proactive to fulfil her role of being a prophetic voice to judge events in the land, in the light of God’s Word, proclaim pine punishments against evil and offer a vision of healing and salvation to the people.
God bless Nigeria