Bishop Prof. Funmilayo Adesanya-Davies
Firstly, rather than taking on the Christians, and we trading words, the Islamic cleric and the group would be encouraged and advised to immediately 'Google' (read) these six topics on the World-Wide-Web (News headlines on the six issues raised) as ideology is hereby paramount with wide consultations, to be informed and well-educated on such matters.
SAUDI DUMPS ISLAMIC CALENDAR TO SAVE FUNDS - https://www.vanguardngr.com
Oct 3, 2016 - Saudi Arabia, like other oil exporting countries, is facing an unprecedented cash squeeze... The calculation is that the measure will save the kingdom money by cutting salary days for ...
NIGERIA LOSES N138b TO PUBLIC HOLIDAYS - https://guardian.ng
Jul 8, 2016 - The three-day public holiday declared by the Federal Government in an economy inching closer to recession, will cost the country N138b ... “So, the week just ran like a closed economy...
MUSLIM-MAJORITY COUNTRIES ... Wikipedia.
Although Turkey is a Muslim-majority country, since Kemal Atatürk's reforms and the creation of the Republic of Turkey, Sharia law was banned in 1924 and new westernized civil and penal codes were adopted in 1926.. In Tunisia some forms of Sharia law were banned.
BUHARI SAYS HIJAB MAY BE BANNED - www.informationng.com
12 Dec 31, 2015 - President Muhammadu Buhari said in the ongoing presidential media chat that if bombings continue in the country, Hijab might be banned. Most of the bombings in the country are carried out by...
5a. NIGERIAN ARMY, WHY ARABIC ON YOUR EMBLEM? https://thewillnigeria.com
Jan 28, 2017 - But most Nigerians have noticed that the emblem of the Nigerian Army carries an Arabic inscription as motto. We do not understand what this logo stands for and we need an explanation. The former ...
5b. REMOVE STRANGE ARABIC/ISLAMIC INSCRIPTIONS ON OUR NAIRA - www.nairaland.com
If you look closely you would see a strange Arabic/Islamic inscriptions on 500,1000 and 200 naira. I do not know why that inscription should be there. I know it was initiated by the North...
NSCIA REJECTS HOUSE OF REPS MOVE TO ESTABLISH CHRISTIAN COURTS https://www.naij.com...
The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) has warned that the move to establish Christian courts in the country should be halted immediately....
Secondly, as opined by the president of NCGF, Prof. Charles Adeyinka Adisa MD, "MURIC erroneously anchored their allegations on Christianity with false premises which included:
- The erroneous belief that the 1999 Constitution we presently operate was crafted by Christians. If anything it was a product of a constitutional conference during a military era headed by a Northern Muslim.
- The mistaken belief that anything non-Muslim in the constitution is definitely Christian as if those who made the constitution lifted the content from the Christian holy book.
- The erroneous belief that Nigeria is made up of only Christians and Muslims. What about the adherents of other faiths?
Furthermore, on the issue raised by MURIC, please note clearly;
1). The allegation that Christians have five (5) to Muslim's three (3). MURIC claimed that the *New year*, Easter Monday, Good Friday, Christmas and *Boxing days* are *exclusively Christian festivals*. In actual fact, New year holiday is not a specific Christian holiday, it is celebrated all over the world. This is a product of the Gregorian calendar which originally was developed by a Catholic monk but is used universally as a civil calendar in most countries of the world with the exception of Afghanistan Iran, and Ethiopia. The Muslims in Nigeria this year actually had 2 days each ceded to their 2 major Islamic festivals making a total of 4 days (Monday and Tuesday, June 26/27 for Eid el Fitr and Friday/Monday, September 1st and 4th for Eid el Kabir). So in actual fact, both Christians and Muslims enjoyed 4 days for their 2 major religious festivals.
It is even doubtful if the boxing day was indeed a Christian holiday as it originated in the UK and celebrated in most countries ruled by the British empire. It was one of the colonial legacies just like the Arabic inscriptions on our military logos and other national monuments. To be candid, most states in Nigeria - especially the North - allow Muslims to spend half-day on Friday at work to be able to congregate in their places of worship for the Jumat services. In fact, most public places, including airports, have provisions for mosques or mini-mosques for Muslims. Muslims also enjoy the privilege of praying 5 times in a day and no law in Nigeria forbids them from taking time off to observe their 5-time daily prayer schedules while at work. *This PRIVILEGE is enjoyed by MUSLIMS ONLY.*
2). Marriages in mosques: The Nigeria Marriage Act allows churches, religious bodies which include mosques, to conduct weddings. Marriage registers can be obtained from the appropriate local authorities for couple and witnesses to sign. The Muslims should avail themselves of the opportunity. There are several Nigerians that go to customary courts or local government authorities without resort to any religious places of worship for their marriage documents.
3). Saturday and Sunday as non-working days. Virtually all countries in West Africa including those with majority Muslim population reserve Saturday and Sunday as non-working days. Predominantly, Islamic countries like Pakistan and Turkey do the same. In fact, most Islamic Middle Eastern countries do not work on Saturdays. Blaming General Gowon for making Saturday a non-working day is at best dubious and contrary to evidence. *In public establishments, Christians are made to work on Sundays, especially in hospitals and security establishments*.
4). and 5). Wearing of Muslim regalia in official functions and national identification documents: Non-Muslims equally have their regalia. What if Mr Lagbaja, the famous Musician decides to wear his famed mask for a national identification document or any of the Masquerade in Nigeria? Will this be appropriate? This is very ridiculous. We can wear whatever we want in our private functions, but official duties have their rules of engagement and we cannot bend the rules to satisfy every whim and caprice. In addition, wearing religious regalia actually exposes the security agents to profiling and attacks by those who want to target people based on their looks, faith or religion. With the increasing wave of terrorism worldwide, no sensible government would allow people to hide under headgear, eyeglasses, turban, face mask or any form of clothing that will hide the identification of a would be criminal or terrorist. Standards for passport photographs are always set by international embassies and Christians are equally compelled to comply.
6). Establishment of Sharia court in the West: This view of yours is not only divisive but puerile. The Yoruba people in the Western part of Nigeria are the most religiously accommodating ethnic group in Nigeria and we bond together as one - irrespective of religion. Bringing Sharia court, or Christian ecclesiastical court or a judicial process based on traditional religion does not solve our deep social and developmental problems. Why can't MURIC ask the twelve (12) Sharia states in the North to open up Okija shrines, Ifa courts and Christian ecclesiastical courts?
What MURIC failed to admit is that the Nigerian State is skewed towards the Muslims and this is evidenced by the following facts:
- In the 1999 Constitution, Shariah was mentioned 73 times, Grand Khadi 54 times, Islam 28 times, Muslims 10 times and there is no single mention of Christ, Christian, Christianity or Church.
- Most Northern states have a deliberate policy to frustrate and stifle Christianity in appointments, granting of a lease for religious places of worship, non-employment of Christian religious studies teachers in public schools.
- Sharia states in the North actively and brazenly promote Islam at the expense of other faiths by paying salaries to Islamic clerics, sponsorship etc.
- Christians in Nigeria are the most endangered group in the whole world with the combined activities of Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen.
- In almost every case of religiously motivated violence and murders in Nigeria, people who profess Islamic faith have been fingered as the prime suspects, sponsors or the direct assailants.
- Top appointments in the security, education, oil industry and many critical sectors of Nigeria public service are skewed towards Muslims especially by this current administration in violation of the constitution we operate.
- Many state governments are yet to return Christian schools and institutions they took away from churches and Christian organizations.
- Forceful conversion, kidnapping, abduction and marriage of underaged Christian girls (minors) by Muslims This is done sometimes with the active connivance of Muslim traditional/religious institutions.”
Thirdly, we will advise the group to note, that Christians are already so tired of animosity and continuous islamisation of the Nigerian nation, both as a sneaking-in and as a major agenda. What would you say and how would you explain these issues, for instance? In a recent suit and I quote:
"In the suit, the plaintiffs are asking the court to determine whether five-point alleged infractions of the Nigeria constitution does not amount to a violation of the constitution and an attempt to Islamize Nigeria. They listed the five grounds to include;
a)“whether Nigeria’s continuous membership of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, OIC, is not a violation of provisions of section 10 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended);
b)“Whether Nigeria’s membership of the Islamic Military Alliance to Fight against Terrorism does not derogate from the provisions of section 10 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) which proclaims Nigeria as a secular state;
c)“Whether Nigeria’s continuous membership of Development ‘8’ otherwise called (Eight Developing Islamic Countries) is not a clear violation of the provisions of Section 10 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) Nigeria being a secular State;
Then, d) “Whether Nigeria’s continuous membership of Islamic Development Bank is not a clear violation of provisions of Section 10 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) Nigeria being a secular state;
- e) “Whether Islamic Bond otherwise known as SUKUK of funds from Islamic Development Bank can validly be used to fund the 2016 budget deficit by the Government of Nigeria having regards to the secularity of the Nigerian State.”
They are praying the court to nullify or declare the cessation of Nigeria’s membership of Organization of Islamic Conference, OIC, Islamic Military Alliance to Fight Terrorism, Development or Developing Islamic Countries and Islamic Development Bank. They also want the court to restrain the defendants particularly the President and Attorney General from further enlisting Nigeria into membership of any organisation meant solely for Islamic countries or any organisation bearing any religious connotation." This case is still ongoing.
Finally, the kind of things we actually should be bringing to bear now is for instance, what was recently written on David Kenenna's wall online: TEN (10) POSITIVE THINGS RESTRUCTURING NIGERIA WILL LIKELY BRING TO NIGERIA AS FOREIGN DIPLOMAT REVEALS: If Nigeria gets restructured into six regions or provinces: Northern Province: Middle Belt Province; Oduduwa Province; Eastern Province; Niger Delta Province (Atlantic); Central Government at FCT. Ten (10) positive things that would happen within five (5) years (primarily due to inter-province competition):
- The first province to experience economic explosion would obviously be the Western Province. The Oduduwua Masterplan will be revealed. There would be trans-regional internet fibre connection/rail/subways/highways/power grids etc. Yoruba will become the second official language. They are relatively united. They have oil. They own academia. They have mega-corporations. The WP would be the first to have stable 24/7 power supply! Foreign money will flood the province. More Forbes recognized billionaires will arise. Some of them will be internet billionaires. Lagos will be relieved a little from overpopulation as railway lines from other states will make living elsewhere and working in Lagos a breeze.
- The Northern Province will have stronger Islamic laws. Sharia will be entrenched and this will make the NP become the least corrupt province. The middle east (Arab) nations will move to partner with them, bringing major development. Jaiz bank and Unity Bank will become megabanks. Arabic and Hausa will compete with English for dominance in schools. This province will generate more solar power than any other province. After the west, this province will be the 2nd to have 24/7 electricity. They will start exporting food as a major revenue generator.
- The Middle Belt Province will have a Development Conference. The focus will be given to Solid minerals development/exports, tourism development and food production/exports. This will become a food hub in West Africa. They will export more food than any other province. Mega mining and food corporations will arise. This province will have foreign inflows through tourism development greater than any other province. It will host the most beautiful places to live in Nigeria as well as improve further in their education.
- The Eastern Province will transform into the Auto Industry Hub of Africa. Indigenous manufacturing of vehicles that will start competing with foreign vehicles will commence in earnest. This will grow to manufacture of aeroplanes, helicopters, tractors, cranes, heavy-duty construction equipment etc. Forbes recognised billionaires living in the East will arise. The Biafra agitation will fizzle out since the formation of the EP will be seen as a Biafra success in another form. There would be so much development that villages (as we currently know them) will quickly cease to exist. This province will be the first to semi-urbanize all their rural areas as all the Igbos living abroad will rush back to take advantage of the changes.
- Niger Delta Province (Atlantic) will take the Uyo blueprint and run with it. An abundance of oil wealth and opening up of major seaports at Rivers state and Uyo will enable this region to revamp their infrastructure quickly. There will be more monorails here than anywhere else. This will be the 3rd province to achieve 24/7 electricity generation in Nigeria (mainly from gas turbine technology). All the states in the Niger Delta Province (Atlantic) will be richer with no militancy.
- With provincial indigenous security forces in control, kidnapping, Armed robbery, Boko Haram, Fulani herdsmen and the Niger Delta militancy attacks will all fizzle out. Nigeria will become the most secure and peaceful African nation; thus attracting more foreigners.
- Each Province will have their own airline professionally managed. And with better roads/rail, air and land transport costs will crash.
- With the rapid development occurring all over, Nigeria’s GDP will shoot up. Obtaining visas to travel out will become easy as more people will want to come in than go out. A worldwide immigration into Nigeria will commence, as Nigerians living abroad will be struggling with foreigners to enter the country. ''Nigeria will become the most desirable Nation to live in".
- The central government at the FCT will become smaller and less powerful. There will be a mini-exodus from Abuja to the provinces as the action is now elsewhere. The outskirts of Abuja will no longer be heavily overpopulated. Abuja will become awesome again.
- The tenth positive thing that would happen will quickly happen and there would be positive ideas everywhere. The overall president will relax and be happy, as the Provinces leaders work hard.
Note that in this restructuring move, he that boycotts Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN)’s opinion, shall not boycott the Nigerian Supreme Council for Ecclesiastical Affairs (NSCEA) for the peace and justice of Nigeria. It is our submission and recommendation that religion and other divisive issues should be eliminated from our constitution and we should operate a completely secular system that protects everyone irrespective of creed, faith or ethnic affiliation. Remember, our founding fathers fought for a liberated democratic country under a constitution not the establishment of a religious state. The infusion sought by MURIC into the restructuring conversation is a rude attempt to hurt rather than heal our fragile frame. Nigeria by our constitution is neither a Christian nor a Muslim country. The narrative premised on the myth that all things not bearing the colours of Islam in our society must be definitely Christian is erroneous and calculated to manipulate and mislead the uninformed. Nigeria deserves better.
Long live the federal republic of Nigeria as we restructure the nation!
Bishop Prof. Funmi Adesanya-Davies
For Nigerian Supreme Council for Ecclesiastical Affairs (NSCEA).