Press

  • 3 Hisbah guards docked for assault on a journalist in Kano

    Kano_state

    Three Hisbah operatives have been arraigned in court by Kano Police for allegedly assaulting Malam Abdullahi Isah, who is working as a reporter with the Kano-based Radio station, Express Radio.

  • CONFLICT OF IDEOLOGIES AS THE GREATEST OBSTACLE TO PEACE, UNITY AND DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA

    National Christian Elder's Forum

    BEING TEXT OF A PRESS CONFERENCE BY NATIONAL CHRISTIAN ELDERS FORUM (NCEF), AT ABUJA ON THURSDAY MARCH 17, 2016

     

    Ladies and Gentlemen of the Press,

    A few weeks ago, the National Christian Elders Forum (NCEF) issued a statement titled THE NEED TO PRESERVE THE PEACE AND UNITY OF NIGERIA. Of concern to the Christian Elders is the deteriorating state of national security, the free fall state of the economy, the inflammation of religious tension through the misappropriation of state powers, a worrisome foreign policy that is evidently skewed in favor of Islamization, as well as the increasing impunity of the Fulani herdsmen, amongst many other issues.

    The National Christian Elders Forum was established by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) to make statements in defense of Christianity in Nigeria, as well as promote peace and unity among Christians and Nigerians, as a whole. The NCEF is made up of Christian Elders from the six geo-political zones in the country.

    2. NIGERIA: THE BEGINNING

    In retrospect, the amalgamation of 1914 produced a country but not a nation. There was an amalgamation of two Protectorates but there was no integration of the Ethnic Nationalities and this created serious fault lines that still exist today. The unity of the two protectorates was not part of the British Agenda. Rather, Britain sought to maintain a hold on Nigeria through a policy of divide and rule.

    In effect, Nigeria remains a country made up of two races pulling in opposite directions. There is the indigenous African race tilting towards a Westernized ideology and the Arab race, made up of Fulanis, Hausas, and Kanuris in favor of adopting the Arabian culture.

    At independence in 1960, the impression was created that “all” Nigerians opted for Liberal Democracy as the national ideology. As the years progressed, it became clear that some citizens of the Arab stock were more in favor of a system of rule of which an “important ingredient is the application of the Muslim Law”.

    While paying lip service to democracy, many of the political, religious, traditional and military leaders from the Muslim North were insidiously working to undermine democracy and promote Sharia, which is based on Islam and is patterned after the Arabian culture, to which the North has been exposed to for hundreds of years.

    Operating under the Islamic practice of “Taqiyya”, which permits a Muslim to deceive an “infidel” in order to gain the mastery over him, leaders of the Muslim North surreptitiously “smuggled” Nigeria into OIC in 1986 and kept it out of public knowledge for ten years until 1996, when Sultan Dasuki confirmed to the Pope that Nigeria is a member of OIC.

    The Islamization Agenda was solidified in the period 1975 – 1999 under the military rule, of which majority of the military heads of state were Muslims from the North. The Muslim Military leaders favored an Islamic model of ideology because it promoted dictatorship. They set up an “invisible” government which operates behind the scene in the Presidency and constantly undermines liberal democracy while promoting Sharia. The “invisible government” is still active till today.

    The invasion of the nation by Islamic terrorism and smuggling of Sharia into the 1999 Constitution, thereby creating a dual ideology for the nation, are reflections of the activities of the “invisible government”. Boko Haram, membership of Nigeria in OIC, Islam in Africa Organization, the D8 group, as well as compromise of Section 10 of the Constitution on separation of state and religion, are all interwoven conspiracies to abolish Liberal Democracy in Nigeria and declare Sharia as the national ideology and the nation as an Islamic state.

    3. CONFLICT OF IDEOLOGIES

    There is the need to stress that at the root of the insecurity, distrust and mutual suspicion in Nigeria is the conflict between Liberal Democracy and Sharia ideology. Nigeria was established as a nation upon the principles and practice of Liberal Democracy. According to the Willink’s Commission Report of 1958:

    “The whole structure of the proceedings leading to independence is based on the belief that Nigeria meant to follow the road of liberal democracy and parliamentary government and to base part of the structure on the opposite assumption is to invite government to do their worst. But if the road is followed (liberal democracy and parliamentary government), votes will count and in the last resort it is votes that will win fair treatment for minorities”

    Bearing in mind the huge ethnic, cultural, religious, and racial diversities in Nigeria, it was deemed necessary that an all accommodating ideology would be required to ensure justice, equality, and fairness for all the divergent groups in the nation. Unfortunately, a group known as “Islamists” has been working surreptitiously over the years to supplant Liberal Democracy with Sharia as the “source of legislation” in Nigeria, over and above the Constitution.

    The present day state of global Islam makes it imperative for a distinction to be made between Islam and Islamism. While Islam is a religion, Islamism, otherwise called “political Islam”, “is a set of ideologies that holds that Islam is not only a religion but a political system”. As a political system, Islamists insist that Islam is meant to dominate the environment in which it is practiced. In a sharply divergent society like Nigeria, any attempt to implement the principles of Islamism portends great danger for the nation.

    The various Military Governments of Nigeria, starting from the regime of Murtala Muhammed in 1975, did not hide their preference for the imposition of Islamism upon Nigeria. The Military changed the status of Nigeria and commenced attempts to make the nation an Islamic nation first by making it an OIC observer and thereafter to full membership of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC). Later, Nigeria was made a member of the Islamic D8. 

    It is clear to the NCEF that since the amalgamation of 1914, the Islamists have been in control of northern Nigeria, while the majority of Christians were in the South. The military government of General Babangida merely extended Islamism to the South of Nigeria by Nigeria’s full membership in the OIC. Thus, in 1981 the race to make Nigeria an Islamic state was accelerated.

    Evidently, this ideological competition between Liberal Democracy and Islamism has not helped Nigeria concerning development, progress, peace and security and the reason can be found in the conclusions of several thinkers that Liberal Democracy and Sharia are not compatible. For Islamists of a radical disposition, like the influential Egyptian activist Sayyid Qutb, “democracy and Islam are simply incompatible”.

    The British, in their characteristic divide and rule policy, left Nigeria with democracy in the hands of Islamists, knowing full well that democracy and Islamism cannot peacefully co-habit. The challenge facing Nigeria today is how to resolve this apparent contradiction that has created a conflict of ideologies for the nation. If this trend continues, Nigeria is sadly being moved into an arc of conflict and that is why we are calling for a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to be established by law.

    It would appear that the Islamists, (otherwise known as the “invisible government”) who used to rule by proxy in all the previous administrations, are now fully entrenched in Government. Rather than pretend that all is well with the country, Nigeria needs to examine its past critically and reconcile all the ethnic, religious, and other groups in Nigeria. Presently, the Islamists control the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary.

    It is instructive to note that many Arab nations have found Islamism an extreme way of religious expression and have taken steps to ban it. Examples are Egypt and Tunisia. After the Arab Spring revolution, both nations voted Islamists into power and within a few months, staged another revolution to oust them. Even the United Arabs Emirates is on record to have denounced the extremism associated with Islamism when it alerted Britain on the dangers of giving oxygen to what Britain does not understand. It is therefore a cause for concern that in Nigeria, a multi cultural and multi religious nation, Islamism should be thriving.

    As a principle, Islamists “loathe” democracy believing that it is a “man-made” law that must give way for “God made” law, which is Sharia. Islamists, as opposed to Muslims that practice Islam as a religion, will go to every possible length to eradicate democracy in any society so that Sharia can be introduced. Nevertheless, Islamists pay lip service to democracy and claim to promote and support it. Nigerians should understand that such claims by Islamists of supporting democracy are mere pretensions and a display of “TAQIYYA”(deliberate deception) because they work surreptitiously underground to undermine and destroy democracy.

    4. ISSUES OF CONCERN

    In the build up to the 2015 elections, majority of Nigerians expressed great hope that there would be CHANGE in the nation. However, ten months after the new government was sworn into office, credible apprehension can be expressed given the policy direction of the new administration. We hope that the buildup to these policies do not result in full blown Sharia which President Muhammadu Buhari had promised Muslims in Nigeria.

    A number of worrisome issues readily come to mind:

    a)      The apparent disregard for the Constitution, by Mr. President in many instances. For example, N900 billion was released in bailout package for states without Appropriation, the government was run for five months without a Cabinet, international commitment are being made without recourse to the National Assembly. All these are acts violating the Constitution.

    b)     Including Nigeria in the Saudi Arabia Military Coalition of “Muslim/Arab” nations would appear that the Foreign Policy thrust of the present administration is to make Nigeria a satellite state of Saudi Arabia. The strengthening of the nation’s democracy and security for all should remain the greatest priority of Government. This we see to have been negated by the President’s fiat/unilateral decision to enlist Nigeria in the 34 nations Muslim/Arab coalition. Given the emotive and sensitive nature of this unilateral Executive decision, it should have been handled by Mr. President in line with our democratic culture through popular discussion and participation by the citizenry, or at the very least, through the National Assembly.

    c)      Attempt to fund deficit in the 2016 Budget through issuance of Sukkuk loan which is a “Sharia compliant loan.” Nigeria is not a Sharia compliant nation.

    d)     The consideration of establishing “free visa” arrangement with Islamic D8 nations. These countries are: Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Pakistan, Turkey, and of course, Nigeria.

    e)      The apparent Islamization of key security positions in the country.

    f)       The apparent disdain and contempt of Mr. President for Christians in Nigeria as demonstrated during his interview on Al – Jazeera on the objection of Christians to Nigeria’s involvement in the Saudi led Military Coalition to fight ISIS.

    We wish to remind Mr. President that he was brought to power through the votes of Nigerians, Christians inclusive. Mr. President should kindly remember that the over 50% non-Muslims in Nigeria did not vote for the nation to transmute into a Sharia compliant nation. Mr. President assured Nigerians that he is “a convert” to democracy but we are disturbed by the direction of his administration.

    We are aware that there are presently Islamists in Government prepared to execute the Islamization Agenda. Any nation in which Islamists believe that they are sufficiently strong to exercise influence rarely experience peaceful cohabitation amongst the divergent groups within it. This is the current situation in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, and the Sudan. Islamism thrives on injustice, inequality and unfairness. We urge Nigerians to remain circumspect so that the Islamists do not drag the nation down the path of destruction.

    5. KADUNA STATE RELIGIOUS BILL

    We wish to express tremendous shock at the proposed Kaduna State Religious Bill. The proposed Bill contravenes Section 38 (1) of the 1999 Constitution. We should remind the Government of Kaduna State that religion is personal and no one has the right to legislate on how individuals worship. We call on the Kaduna State Governor to retrace his steps from this ill-advised venture.

    ABDUCTION AND FORCEFUL MARRIAGE OF UNDERAGED CHRISTIAN GIRLS

    We are saddened by recent exposure in the country of serial cases of forceful abduction of underage, forceful marriage, marriage without parental consent of the Christian girls and their forceful conversion to Islam. We condemn in totality this act of violation of the Human Rights of these girls and it is a degradation of our national values.

    We are also amazed that the Senate failed to pass the Gender and Equal Opportunity Bill into law. We strongly recommend that this Bill should be re-introduced and passed into law urgently.

    6. RAMPAGE OF FULANI HERDSMEN

    We are dismayed by the inaction of the Federal Government to the carnage and destruction caused by the Fulani herdsmen against legitimate native land owners and farmers, across the country. The most recent case occurred in Agatu area of Benue State in February 2016. According to media report by eye witnesses, over 300 Nigerians were allegedly massacred by the herdsmen and many communities were devastated in the attacks. It is most shocking that till today, there has been no prosecution of any of these marauders. For years, the Fulani herdsmen have been murdering innocent Nigerians with impunity. The murderous escapades of the Fulani herdsmen has gained international notoriety to the extent that the group is now considered, internationally, as the fourth most dangerous terror organization in the world. It is sad to note that Boko Haram, which is presently regarded as the world number one most dangerous terror organization and the Fulani herdsmen, considered the fourth are both operating in Nigeria. Meanwhile, the response of Government to the menace of the Fulani herdsmen has to date, been tepid and indifferent.

    7. GRAZING RESERVE

    One reason adduced to justify the perennial attacks of the Fulani herdsmen is the argument that they seek grazing fields for their cattle and as a result engage in conflicts with farmers. It was therefore proposed that ancestral lands of other ethnic groups should be allocated to them as grazing fields.

    However, the most sensible and economically wise approach would be to build ranches for the herdsmen in their states of origin. This makes more sense and it is the internationally approved best practice under the circumstances. Other nations of the world consume beef yet, nomads do not drive herds of cattle all over the nation in the 21st century.

    The Grazing Reserve proposal is seen as a deceptive manner of appropriating the lands of indigenous ethnic groups for the Fulani herdsmen to spread their tentacles of terror all over the nation. The proposal should be dropped and the state governments of the herdsmen should build ranches for them in their states of origin.

    8. INCONSISTENT POLICIES

    We find it curious that the Federal Government of Nigeria that has pledged total support for a two state solution to the Israel – Palestinian conflict, as well as support for the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), is not addressing the demand of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) for a state of their own. To date, the leader of IPOB, Mr. Nnamdi Kanu is still under detention while there are frequent killings of the protesting members of the Movement. The latest in the series of attacks on the IPOB occurred on 9th February, 2016 when over twenty two members of the Movement were killed by soldiers during a prayer meeting in Aba.

    It is difficult to rationalize why a government that is clamping down on agitations for self determination by an ethnic group within Nigeria, could be supporting such agitations in foreign countries. We recommend to the Government that as it is considering the case of SADR and the Palestinians, it should in like manner open dialogue with IPOB. The solution to the Biafra agitation is dialogue. While we discountenance any secessionist move, the solution to the Biafran agitation is dialogue.

    9. RECOMMENDATIONS

    a)      Government should urgently convene a Council of State meeting to enable past presidents assess developments in the nation and give mature counsel.

    b)    A Truth and Reconciliation Commission should be set up to reconcile all Nigerians. It would appear that the Islamists, who ruled Nigeria for many years from the background, using various administrations as proxies, are now fully entrenched in the Government. The terms of reference of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission should include:
    i.              To distinguish the differences between Islam and Islamism and identify Nigerians that promoted Islamism in Nigeria.
    ii.            The role that Islamism played in promoting corruption and impunity, which includes cultism, a phenomenon that was developed in Nigeria in the last 30 years.
    iii.           Identify the role played by the armed forces, the police, and the intelligence agencies in the promotion of cultism, corruption and other vices that have since devastated Nigeria.
    iv.           To grant reprieve and pardon to any person, organization or group which confess to criminal, illegal and immoral act in the past.

    v.            To deal with the issues of genocide and/or marginalization perpetrated against certain ethnic minorities and promote reconciliation and healing to all those affected.

    c)      Every form of negotiation to involve Nigeria in issuing Sukkuk should be discontinued. Sukkuk is a “Sharia Compliant Loan” which does not serve the interest of all Nigeria because the nation is not a Sharia compliant nation. In addition, Sukkuk would jeopardize the sovereignty of Nigeria because under Sukkuk, both the lender and the debtor will own the asset which is based on land. It therefore implies that if Nigeria should eventually succumb to the acceptance of the Sukkuk loan, both the Arabs and Nigerians will own Nigeria.

    d)    To put an end to the murderous attacks of Fulani herdsmen, ranches should be established in the states of origin of the herdsmen. The Grazing Reserve proposal is seen as a deceptive manner of appropriating the lands of indigenous ethnic groups for the Fulani herdsmen to spread their tentacles of terror all over the nation.

    e)      The ownership of Nigeria can rightly be claimed by the Ethnic Nationalities. We call on the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to complement the stand of the National Assembly on the Constitution and implement the Report of the National Conference as regards the Executive and Policy recommendations. The National Conference Report guarantees the introduction of true Federalism which is required to build a strong, united, and prosperous nation.

    f)       In view of the security challenges facing the nation, it is highly advisable that each ethnic group should develop Community Policing to protect its people and its land. The security agencies have not been effective in providing security, particularly for vulnerable communities in the nation.

    g)     For reasons shrouded in mystery, the government stopped the teaching of History as a subject in schools. From the experience of Black Africans in Sudan, Islamists employ this sly method to eradicate the history of the indigenous ethnic groups whose land the Arabs covet and wish to takeover. According to George Orwell, “The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.”A people without history, is a people without a future. We therefore demand that the teaching of History as a subject in schools should be reintroduced forthwith.

     

    God bless Nigeria

    Yours faithfully,

    Solomon Asemota, SAN

    Chairman

    For and on behalf of the National Christian Elders Forum

  • MUSA DIKWA IS NOT A CHRISTIAN – PATRIOTIC CHRISTIAN YOUTHS

    not_christian

     

    PRESS STATEMENT BY THE PATRIOTIC CHRISTIAN YOUTHS OF NIGERIA ON PASTOR MUSA KALLAMU ALI DIKWA’S FABRICATIONS OF ONE MILLION NAIRA BRIBE AND THE FALSE ALLEGATION OF SEVEN BILLION NAIRA GIFT TO CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (CAN).

    The attention of the Patriotic Christian Youths of Nigeria has been drawn to news reports of PastorMusa Kallamu Dikwa’s claim that the CAN leadership attempted to bribe him with One Million Naira to cover the alleged Seven Billion naira campaign gift. Under normal circumstances, we would not have responded to this allegation knowing that Musa Dikwa and his sponsors are attention seekers and would love to distract from the real issues facing the Church and Nigeria. 

  • Nigeria: A Macabre Dance of Death

    procession

    PRESS STATEMENT BY CAN

    The National leadership and the entire members of Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, have received with rude shock and disbelief the report of yet another religious hatred motivated gruesome murder of a dedicated 42-year-old Christian mother of seven children, Mrs. Eunice Elisha, who on Saturday 9th July, 2016, was brutally killed while doing Christian evangelism.

    Mrs. Eunice Elisha was murdered in Kubwa area of Abuja, FCT, in the early hours of the day. Her neck was slashed and she was also stabbed in the stomach. About a month ago in Kano, Mrs. Bridget Agbaheme, a 74 year old Christian was murdered at Wambai market due to an altercation with a Muslim man who came to the front of her shop to perform ablution. Her offence was that she objected to the Islamic washing rite in front of her shop.

    Just last week a clergyman of the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) Reverend Zakariya was killed by attackers suspected to be Fulani Herdsmen in Obi LGA of Nasarawa state. They attacked him on his farm, cut off his arms and legs, then they chopped his head with a machete. Another fresh but sad news reaching us is that of the Fulani herdsmen militia that is back on rampage killing 81 people in multiple attacks in Logo and Ukum local government areas of Benue state in central Nigeria.

    In recent times, there have been multiple cases of attacks by Fulani herdsmen on various Christian communities, all over the nation. In the South East and in the South-South zones, there have been gruesome attacks on IPOB members and on Christian communities in the Niger Delta. All these are in addition to the relentless attacks of Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen in the Middle Belt and southern Borno.

    The Christian Association of Nigeria commiserates with the families affected by these mindless orgies of death and destruction as well as with the entire Christian community in Nigeria. We pray that God in His mercy shall comfort and strengthen the families of all the Nigerians affected in these unwarranted murders unleashed upon the nation by religious extremists.

    The recurring decimal of violence and murder of innocent Nigerian citizens on the basis of religious intolerance demands specific and relevant response from all concerned citizens in the country more so when the government in power seems to have adopted an attitude of lukewarm response to the evils being perpetrated in Nigeria in the name of religion.

    The discrimination against non-Muslims in Nigeria under the Buhari Administration is assuming a dangerous dimension that should not be left to the vagaries of time and circumstance to resolve.

    You will agree with me that with these happenings and the lukewarm attitude by the authorities concern toward putting an end to it, Nigeria is dancing a macabre dance of death, both for the nation and for its citizens. It is time to stop the beat and let common sense guide the nation out of the present quagmire. A stitch in time saves nine.

    Before the situation escalates into an unmanageable national crisis, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) is calling on the authorities both at the states and federal to do everything possible to bring the perpetrators to justice if the confidence of Christians on this government must be maintained.

    The unprovoked attacks on Christians and the authority’s inaction is becoming unbearable and may not be tolerated anymore, inasmuch as we will continue to call on Christians to remain tolerant and law abiding, it is becoming inevitable to also call on them to buckle up and be ready to defend themselves against these incessant unprovoked and mindless attacks.

    Signed…
    Rev. Dr. Musa Asake
    General Secretary, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN)
    10th July, 2016

  • PRESS CONFERENCE BY COALITION OF CHRISTIAN GROUPS IN NIGERIA

    National Christian Elder's Forum

    1.          NATIONAL CHRISTIAN ELDERS FORUM (NCEF)

    2.          NIGERIAN CHRISTIAN GRADUATE FELLOWSHIP (NCGF)

    3.          THINK TANK FOR THE BODY OF CHRIST

    4.          CHRISTIAN LAWYERS FELLOWSHIP OF NIGERIA (CLASFON)

    5.          ASSOCIATION OF CHRISTIAN SCHOOLS IN NIGERIA (ACSIN)

    6.          STUDENTS CHRISTIAN MOVEMENT (SCM)

    7.          CHRISTIAN PROFESSIONALS FORUM (CPF)

    8.          INTERCESSORS FOR NIGERIA (IFN)

    9.          INTERNATIONAL PROPHETIC MINISTERIAL ASSOCIATION (IPMA) (Inc. Worldwide College of Bishops & Ministers, Africa, UK & USA)

    10.        INTERCESSORS WITHOUT WALLS (IWW)

    11.        WAILING WOMEN INTERNATIONAL

    12.        FULL GOSPEL BUSINESSMEN FELLOWSHIP

    13.        NIGERIAN FELLOWSHIP OF CHRISTIAN STUDENTS (NIFES)

    14.        UNIVERSITY JOINT CAMPUS CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP (UJCM)

    HELD AT THE JUBILLE HOUSE OF NATIONAL CHRISTIAN CENTRE, ABUJA ON FRIDAY 3RD JUNE, 2016 AT 10.00 A.M.

     

    The Christian Elders Forum (CEF) present; all Heads of Blocs of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN); Other Arms of Christian Bodies; Arch Bishops, Bishops, General overseers, Reverends, Pastors, Brothers and Sisters in the Lord, Gentlemen of the Press, Ladies, Gentlemen and Fellow Nigerians;

     

    INTRODUCTION

    We are all here gathered today in one accord to address some significantly remarkable issues about our nation, Nigeria. You will all agree that this is an epoch event as it is one of its kind and it is in order to prevent instability in the Country, occasioned by the tension generated by certain events of recent times which is putting to a test our collective resolve as a democratic and secular State. To the Christian community, all we observed is an Islamization  process and we stand to be corrected looking at the issues listed below. Such issues that we intend to address and protest are as follows in stickers forms:

     

    HIGHLIGHTS  OF ISSUES:
    REMOTE: I, AS A CHRISTIAN
    • IStandforNigeriaConstitutionNotSharia.
    • IStandforNigerianIntelligenceServiceNOTasNorthernInstitution.
    • IStandforReconciliationCommission ForAllNigerians.
    • IStandForAproposedAgeForFemaleMarriageAndNumbersOf Children.
    • IStandForNATIONALConference2014Reportor.
    • IStandforNigeriaAsSecularDemocraticStatewithNoPolitical-Islam.
    • IStandforAppointmentsOfChristiansFromTheNorthAlso.

     

    IMMEDIATE: I, AS A CHRISTIAN
    • IStandAgainstKadunaReligiousBillByEl-RufaiAndOthers.
    • IStandAgainstNigeriaMembershipOfAny IslamicCoalition.
    • IStandAgainstCentralBankofNigeriaGrantOfJaizBankIslamic BankingInThe36States.
    • IStandAgainstShariaLawsInOurLegalSystem.
    • IStandAgainstGrazingRightsRoutesReserves(3Rs)ButONLY GrazingRanches.
    • IStandAgainstBasicEducationCurriculumOfCRSmergedWithIRSasReligionAndNationalValue.
    • IStandagainstAttacksOfIndegenous ChristiansHomestead.
    • IStandAgainstSkewedAppointment of NorthernersByThe President.
    • IStandAgainstEatingOfCowMeatUntilTheAbuseByFulaniHerdsMenAreCurtailed.
    FIGHT AGAINST CORRUPTION AND THE RULE OF LAW

    We fully support the current all out war against Corruption. We believe  that this monster should be firmly dealt with –and it is the responsibility of ALL NIGERIANS. Our church leader’s role in speaking with their members and demanding godly restitution is very much in order.

    However, we are concerned that the RULE of Law in this process should be adhered to. We are concerned at the deliberate disregards of courts orders on the Fundamental Human rights of Nigerian Citizens. Unfortunately, the wheel of Justice which is known to grind slowly-grinds more slowly in Nigeria. Nevertheless, we live in a democracy. The protection of this hard fought democracy is for the benefit of all. Perceived selective action in this fight against corruption is sending out very wrong signals. We call on the Government and the Law courts to ensure that those currently invited by our Anti-corruption agencies have their bail rights fully protected and ensured.

     

    THE FORTHCOMING CAN ELECTIONS: CONFIDENCE IN THE ELECTORAL PROCESS.

    We note the emergence of various groups purported to be parts of CAN and attempting to infer there is a division within CAN  and cast aspersions on the CAN Electoral process–even as we approach the elections of our new leadership. We are not unaware of the likelihood of sponsored persons and groups organizations that perceive CAN in negative light and wish, for the personal and group self-interest to create non-existence confusion and divisions.

    As with all organizations who have their internal structures and process, CAN structures are well in place. We do wish to unequivocally state that we have implicit confidence in our Electoral process to stay with the process and ensure a duly elected CAN leadership. Under God, we shall have our chosen leadership.

    We call on well meaning Nigerians to please join and pray for the elections and advice against undue interferences by external bodies and demonic forces of wickedness.

     

    INFRINGEMENT OF SHARIA ON THE CONSTITUTION

    In recognition of Nigeria’s multi-religious and democratic Status, section 10 of the 1999 Constitution prohibits the adoption by the Federal or State government of any State religion. Therefore;

    -      The adoption and implementation of the Shariah law and principles by some States in Nigeria is a clear and blatant violation of section 10 of the Constitution;

    -      The deployment of the resources and institutions of the State for the promotion of Shariah is unconscionable and violation of the Constitution and offence against the sensibilities of the diverse Nigerian people.

    -      The current trend whereby States deploy public revenue to fund activities, functions and programs of Islam are discriminatory and a clear adoption of the Shariah as State religion to the detriment of non-Muslims. It is unjust and a violation of the ideals of sections 16(1) (a)(b) and 17 (1) (2) (a) (3) (a) Y(b) of the 1999 Constitution which provides equal status and opportunity for every citizen.   

    -      The selective and discriminatory economic empowerment of Muslim clerics by some States in the North, in particular Kano state, by their placement on the government payroll is a clear violation of the ideals of democracy and social justice as entrenched in section 14(1) of the 1999 Constitution.

    -      The proposed Kaduna Religious law violates the Freedom of association, expression, Conscience and Right of worship as entrenched in section 15(3) (d), 38, 39 and 40 of the 1999 Nigerian constitution.

    There are adequate provisions in the Penal Code to curtail religious extremism, criminality and terrorism. The escalation of religious extremism, criminality and terrorism is due to the failure of leadership to enforce extant laws due to religious bigotry and discriminatory tendencies and sympathy for religious persecution, extremism and terrorism.

    -      The proposed Kaduna Religious law is an attempt to adopt and institutionalize preferred religion by the State and religious practices acceptable to the government for the time being.

    Section 2 of the 1999 Constitution forbids the control and management of the Nigerian State by any person or group except in accordance with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution. Therefore,

    -      The lopsided appointment and constitution of the Federal government and some States which is rampart with the appointment of persons of particular religious faith and ethnic nationality constitute abuse of power; and breach of sections 15(1)(2)(4)(5) of the 1999 Constitution;

    -      The composition of defence institutions and internal security agencies with persons of particular ethnicity and religion is in breach of the Federal character principles in section 14(3) of the Constitution and induces a state of apprehension and insecurity.

    -      The predominance of persons from a particular section of the country does not foster the much needed sense of national unity.

    The inexplicable selective deployment and use of the armed forces to protect the economic rights of some citizens such as armed offensive against cattle rustling while ignoring the unabated threats of Fulani cattle herdsmen against the lives and economic interests of majority Nigerian people, constitutes abuse of power; and unacceptable desecration and erosion of cherished national value of respect for life above materialism.

    We view the selective and discriminatory use of the armed forces and security agencies of the State against unarmed citizens as attempts at stimulating and escalating crises to justify fascism. Therefore,

    Enjoin governors and elected public officers to rise to the demand of leadership to protect the lives, and the economic interests and rights of their people.

    The national assembly is therefore invited to conduct a public hearing and inquest to audit the above appointments.    

    Nigeria is a republican State with a democratic Constitution and institutions. Therefore;

    -      The Bill proposing amendment to Section 262(1) of the 1999 Constitution to expand the existing jurisdiction of the Shariah Court of appeal and the State by including criminal matters is insensitive and inconsistent with democratic and republican ideals of the Constitution and the Nigerian State.

    The proposed amendment is a desecration of the sanctity of the FCT as a symbol of national unity, which should be preserved.      

    -      Nigeria’s membership of religious organizations, association, particularly the Organization of Islamic Cooperating countries and the coalition of Islamic nations against ISIS, is insensitive, against our best national security interest and democratic and democratic norms. 

    To maintain the Unity, faith, Peace and corporate progress of Nigeria, we demand that the Shariah should be expunged from the Constitution and Shariah based public institutions, agencies and practices in the States should be abolished.

    In this respect we demand the return to status quo as per the republican Constitution of 1963.   

    INTELLIGENCE SERVICES

    We are disturbed by the virtual northern Islamization of the key security units in the country. Under the present administration, the signal we are receiving is that it is only Muslims from the North that are capable of managing security units in Nigeria. Not only is this policy direction a total negation of the Federal Character principle in appointments into Federal offices, it also promotes the possibility of a section of the country using the instruments of the state to oppress, suppress, and intimidate other parts of the nation. The Federal Character principle was introduced as check and balance to ensure that there is mutual safety and respect amongst all the divergent groups in the country. It is very unfortunate that the Buhari Administration has demonstrated outright disrespect for this erstwhile sacrosanct national value.

    Today, the following appointments have been made in key security units in the nation:

    Director General, Department of States Services                  -                       Muslim North

    Minister of Defense                                                                -                       Muslim North

    Minister of Internal Affairs                                                     -                       Muslim North

    National Security Adviser                                                       -                       Muslim North

    Economic and Financial Crimes Commission                         -                       Muslim North

    One is bound to ask, with these lopsided appointments, in favour of the Muslim North, are the intelligence services Nigerian institutions or Northern Islamic institutions? We are certain that if previous administrations headed by Christians from the South had attempted this type of flagrant insensitive appointments, the Muslim North would have cried foul. The ethnic domination of the security and intelligence services in the nation should be corrected.

    We demand an immediate reversal of this obnoxious pattern of Muslim North domination of the intelligence services. It cannot be in the best interest of Nigeria. We call on Mr. President to respect the fragile balance of the Nigerian polity and cease causing tension and uneasy in the nation through insensitive and discriminatory appointments. We also call on the National Assembly to pay attention to this flagrant abuse of the Federal Character Principle because it can easily encourage ethnic cleansing and genocide.

    To confirm this apprehension, there is currently an atmosphere of palpable fear in the nation. Dr. Frederick Fasheun commented recently that President Buhari is “governing Nigeria by intimidation”. The President should resist the temptation of using executive power to bully Nigerians. The nation is slowly turning into a Police State through the domination of the security units by the clansmen of the President. Nigerians are “free-born” therefore; every form of arrangement that could be manipulated to oppress and intimidate Nigerians should be dismantled forthwith.

     

    TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION COMMISSION

    On 8th April, 2015, Max Siollun of the New York Times wrote, “Nigeria today requires a reconstructive surgeon, not a bulldozer”. This international assessment of the Nigerian state is correct. With a chequered history of coup and counter coup, mutual suspicion and distrust amongst the federating units, a banditry political class and lately religious tension occasioned by religious extremists, Nigeria requires a leader that would reconcile all the divergent groups within the nation and, with sensitivity and wisdom, providing healing and build trust.

    Rather than build bridges, the Buhari Administration is consistently reinforcing walls of division and disunity in the nation. Never before in the history of Nigeria has the nation been so sharply divided along tribal, ethnic, religious, and cultural lines. Wounds that are slowly healing in the nation have been brutally ripped opened by the present administration.

    The only panacea to the disunity, distrust, and mutual suspicion in the country is the “truth”. Nigeria is ripe for a Truth and Reconciliation Commission. As we are now being confronted with the pursuit of National Unity and wellbeing of all Nigerian citizens, peace requires reconciliation between the people of Nigeria and the reconstruction of Society. In order to build the bridge among all Nigerians, we must establish complete picture as possible of injustices committed in the past. Settling old scores between the Dasuki’s and Buhari in isolation of other rulers and coup plotters cannot be regarded as a good solution while ignoring the untold sufferings which resulted from these injustices. While this is going on, our President Buhari should concentrate on rulership while a Commission is set up to handle Truth and Reconciliation in all its ramifications is put in place.

    IMPLEMENTATION OF THE 2014 NATIONAL CONFERENCE REPORT

    The National Conference was duly constituted and inaugurated by a duly elected government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. It was funded by the hard earned tax payers’ money of Nigerians for the five months it was convened and headed by a well-respected jurist, Hon. Justice Idris Legbo Kutigi. The composition of the National Conference was made up of well-meaning citizens of this country.

    It is therefore impossible for any individual, or group of individuals or any government to wish away or pretend that the CONFAB 2014 never took place. The recent statement of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to jettison this document to the “archives” is very unfortunate and worrisome. The Honourable Nigerians that constituted the membership of the 2014 National Conference are responsible and valuable citizens of Nigeria, therefore they should not be treated as such by jettisoning their well-thought out recommendations which according to the Conference honourable chairman were all ‘adopted by consensus and not once did we have to vote or come to division’.

    We strongly advocate that a report that made far reaching decisions on the need to restructure Nigeria and ensure that true Federalism is practiced in the nation should be accorded top priority for implementation in the overall quest for the peace, unity and progress of this great country – which we all desire. We call on our President to re-consider his position and direct relevant agencies to commence implementation.

    IMPROPER HANDLING OF NIGER DELTA MILITANTS, IPOB AND OTHER MILITANT GROUPS

    The rise of new militant groups is not in the best of a country struggling with security and economy. The Niger Delta Avengers formed since 3rd Feb. 2016  has been making its presence known by attacks on oil and gas facilities. The initial decision of Mr. President to treat the NDA militants as the Boko Haram insurgents has, to an extent, provided the tonic for the renewed wave of hostilities by the NDA.

    The recent attacks and  killings of IPOB members within a church environment while praying, vis a vis the ominous silence of the government following series of herdsmen attacks across the country send out negative signals of selective responses to perceived perpetrators of violent attacks on the Nigerian people.

    The history of militancy and insurgency in Nigeria clearly shows that using force other than dialogue is not the best approach in handling such. We therefore call on the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria under President Muhammadu Buhari to use dialogue as an approach to handle the NDA, IPOB and other militant groups.

    The silence of government and her agents over the killing of IPOB members by security agents and that of Christians in predominantly Christian communities across the country is totally unacceptable and runs contrary to government perceived interest on national unity.

    GRAZING RESERVES

    The Grazing Reserve for cattle husbandry which is a private enterprise as is curiously being promoted and sponsored by the Federal and some State governments without its full implication in view of the provisions section 42 (1) (b) of the 1999 Constitution, (as amended) to the effect that a citizen of Nigeria or any ethnic group or community shall not be accorded either expressly or otherwise any privilege or advantage that is not accorded to other citizens, groups or communities. Moreover, setting up of a National Commission to acquire and deprive communities of their choice land for the private enterprise of a preferred ethnic group is contrary to the provisions of section 26 of the Land Act to the effect that any transaction or any instrument which purports to confer on or vest in any person any interest or right over land other than in accordance with the provisions of the Land Use Act is null and void. Also, section 6 (1) (b) of the Land Use Act empowers only the Local Government “to grant customary right of `occupancy to any person or organization for the sue of land for grazing purposes and such other purposes ancillary to agricultural purpose as may be customary in the Local Government Area concerned”

    To forestall the anticipated, dangerous and devastating outcome of the proposed Grazing Reserve Plan we recommend ranching which is the modern and up-to-date-technique of animal husbandry which is practiced in other developing countries such as Saudi Arabia, Botswana, Argentina etc. We believe that the creation of ranches will solve the lingering herdsmen/ farmers crisis in the country which has resulted in the wanton destruction of human lives, properties and sacking of villages.

    Dear Nigerians, please tell your legislators, traditional rulers and other stakeholders that you are opposed to the issue and bills of Grazing Rights, Routes and Reserves.

    FULANI HERDSMEN ATTACKS ON INDIGENOUS HOMESTEADS AND CHRISTINA COMMUNITIES

    The unchecked killings and wanton destruction of communal life from the ranges of Middle belt down to the South is a time bomb waiting to explode. There is hardly any day that passes without a report in the news media of the heinous activities of these ubiquitous herdsmen. The Vanguard Newspaper of 26th April, 2016 reported “Blood bath in Enugu as Fulani Herdsmen kill 40.” The Vanguard of 27th April 2016, also reported “Activities of Herdsmen, Threat to Nigeria’s Unity says Emir of Ilorin”. We therefore recommend that the Federal Government, should as a matter of utmost urgency and in the interest of National Security:

    1.       Totally disarm the rampaging and murderous herdsmen.

    2.      Put a stop to all their acts of terrorism including kidnapping, raping, killing and destruction of properties all in the name of grazing their cattle.

    3.      Identify the owners of this cattle and employers of these herdsmen and hold them responsible for all their terrorist activities unleashed on non-Muslim indigenous communities and prosecute offenders with their accomplices, in accordance with the law.

    4.      Undertake to pay all damages, compensation claims and reparations to all victims of herdsmen terrorism.

    We believe that it is the duty of all Nigeria to say No to any religion of hate, extremism, terrorism, killing of human beings and intolerance.

    VIOLATION OF PRINCIPLE OF FEDERAL CHARACTER IN FEDERAL APPOINTMENTS

    We, the Church in Nigeria are worried over wanton violation of the principle of federal character in the appointments of key positions in the government by the present administration. We are worried because we know that justice and fairness are germane to progress and development and their lack could breed anarchy in the polity.

    Section 171 subsection 5 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 19999 as amended stipulates that the president in exercising his powers of appointment under this section shall have regard to the federal character of Nigeria and the need to promote national unity. A cursory look into list of appointments by this administration shows utter disregard for issues that promote national unity. How can one explain a situation whereby out of 48 key positions in a country of six geopolitical zones one has 25 which is more than 50% of the entire appointments, while another has only one.

    This is more worrisome considering the touted slogan of the government is war against corruption. Yet no government, even the one considered as the most corrupt in the last 37 years has violated this principle as the present government with all impunity. And if this is not corruption what else could be?

    A rundown of the appointments shows that Northwest where mr president come from got 25, Northeast got 9, South south got6, Southwest and North central got 4 respectively, while Southeast is made to lick the sand with one appointee. We call on government in the interst of peace and unity and for fairness and justice to review her appointments to conform to the stipulations of the constitution as the only way to justify her corruption crusade. Government cannot be building on one hand and be scattering on the other by sowing seeds of discord.

    NEW EDUCATIONAL CURRICULUM: 9-YEAR BASIC EDUCATIOON

    The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has painstakingly studied the content of the current educational curriculum as it concerns Christian religious studies (CRS)  as it is merged with Islamic religious studies (IRS) as on omnibus subject called Religion and National values and have observed key lapses in the curriculum.

    These include:

    (1) Inciting and derogatory statements which attack the foundation of the Christian faith. For example, that Jesus is not the Son of God and that he was not crucified.

    (2) Production of single textbook in print which combine Christian religious studies and Islamic religious studies, thus exposing the children to other religion which negates the principle of our constitution.

    (3) Making religious studies compulsory to all without adequate provision of teachers in those subjects, with implication that a Christian student in the core Islam dominated state in the far north will be forced to take Islamic religious studies if he must obtain his certificate; ditto a Muslim student in the Christian dominated state in the south.

    We have also noted the explanations of the management of the National Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC). We believe that these explanations and defenses fly in the face of reason and reality. We, therefore insist that the two subjects should be separated and each made to stand alone. Again, it is our view that religious studies should be made compulsory, only according to the religion of the parent, guardian and the child.

    Furthermore, because of the obvious irreconcilable deficiencies  in the curriculum, particularly, its flagrant violation of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Child Right Act of 2003, the curriculum should be withdrawn immediately and a new one formulated after due consultation with relevant stakeholders in the education industry.

    Finally, the National Education Research and Development Council should withdraw all the text books in circulation whose contents have in conjunction with the curriculum insulted the Christian faith and the publishers should be reprimanded. At the same time we demand an apology from the NERDC for gross dereliction of duty and insensitivity in matter that is capable of affecting the peace and unity of the nation.

     

    NORTH EAST RECONSTRUCTION AGENDA OF THE FEDERAL GOVT

    We applaud the Federal Government’s initiatives in this regard. We believe it is the moral and Godly duty of all Nigerians to be involved with both the Reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts of their fellow brothers and Sisters alone in the North East. We however note that repeated media footages and reports showing only Muslims as being majorly affected and supported while conveniently forgetting that the primary attacks were Christian communities and organizations (churches and business)-in the Boko Haram  self-declared war and search for an independent caliphate.

    Through the CAN Trust Fund and as our contribution to support this well thought-out initiatives, we shall be mobilizing and putting in place a 500-person volunteer work force of professionals/young people (medics, educators, trauma counselors, builders etc) drawn from all the CAN blocs to provide service. We shall, through our developmental agencies act as ONE for the preservation of our National Unity by God’s grace.

     
    RECOMMENDATIONS                                                                            

    The Christians' bottom line recommendations and conclusions on the burning issue of Sharia is to the end that:

    1. WE BELIEVE IN NIGERIA NOT IN SHARIA:

    As a result  of  deep reflections on this SHARIA BILL, we are no more comfortable and do not want Sharia Law upheld again in ANY STATES of the Nation and entire Federation, not even in the North as this has impacted negatively on the Christian  Community. The idea is unconstitutional for the ONENESS OF NIGERIA and our peaceful  co-existence.  We are a SECULAR STATE and this is SURE NOT an Islamic Nation. For instance - In which way HAS THE SHARIA LAW SO FAR HELPED TO CURB THE BOKOHARAM insurgencies, we still depend solely on our Nigeria Soldiers and Security.  The only way to protect the Christians as claimed by the author of the SHRIA BILL is to expunge all forms of Sharia in Nigeria.

    2. WE BELIEVE IN NIGERIA NOT IN POLITICAL-ISLAM:

    A need to expunge Islamism and Sharia from Nigeria Constitution will be acceptable. This is because USES OF SHARIA BY COUNTRIES ARE USUAALLY TOWARDS A FULL ISLAMIC CALIPHATE AND ISLAMIZATION includes:

    • Sharia playing role in the Judicial system
    • Sharia applies to Muslim's personal law
    • Sharia applies in full, including criminal law
    • Regional variations in the application of Sharia
    • Total application of Sharia to a State or nation,

    Rather than amend Sharia laws by scope and juridiction, we opine that the Nigerian penal code and the criminal code should reflect all the supposed ‘good’ the application of Sharia would guarantee.

     
    3. WE BELIEVE IN THE NIGERIAN CONSTITUTION:

    This is because we as Nigerians already have our National Provisions for Civil  and  Criminal Acts in our Nigerian Constitution. If it is no more ONE NIGERIA, as Christians, we deserve the right to be informed! WE ARE NIGERIANS AND NOT MUSLIMS AS A NATION.  WE CHRISTIANS SAY NO TO POLITICAL-ISLAM. We are so much fed up with the bloodshed by BOKOHARAMS AND THE FULANIZATION / ISLAMIZATION PROCESS. We cannot afford the infiltration of fundamental Islamists as SHI’ITES, ISIS, ISIL, Ishabaab, Al-Kedah, etc., in our Nation all in the name of SHARIA. There are no Christian Courts, Laws and Legal institutions in the Nation.  In fact, we all can see and it is evident, that this is just not paying us all off as Nigerians.

    4. THE AMENDMENT OF CONSTITUTION TO HELP CHRISTIANS:

    We therefore propose, assert and insist that wherever any forms of provisions exist for any Religion only in the Nigeria's entire Constitution; this should be amended and hence forth REMOVED OR there should be a SLASH (/) alongside the Christian Religion.

    5. SHARIA LEGAL SYSTEM SHOULD NOT BE  NATIONALISED IN OUR CONSTITUTION:


    It is of notable importance, that as of 2014, there were reported to be around 85 "Sharia courts" in the UK,[154][155] operated by two rival services -Islamic Sharia Council and the newer, smaller, less strict Muslim Arbitration Tribunal.[154][156] The councils/tribunals provide arbitration that is VOLUNTARY but NOT LEGALLY  BINDING, are "officially mandated" and set up outside the court system.[156][157].
    In Germany, it applies to people with nationalities from countries using Sharia law. Its application is limited by the other public. [159]. (Online Free Wikipedia.) This is what is needed in Nigeria as a Secular/ Democratic State.

    6.      ISLAMIC BANKING IS UNACCEPTABLE
    Islamic banking is unacceptable to us in all ramifications in the 36 states of the nation.

    7. WE DO NOT BELIEVE IN THE PRO-SHARIA BILL:

    As regards the Controversial Pro-Sharia Bill of Constitutional Amendment Proposal BY HON ABDULLAHI BALARABE SALOME:

    “A bill for an Act to alter Sections 262 and 277 of the  Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999,

    to increase the jurisdiction of the Sharia Court of Appeal

    of the Federal Capital Territory and Sharia Court of Appeal

    of a State by including Criminal Matters of Hudud and Qisas’’

    This to us is aimed at expanding the Islamic legal system across a Secular Nigeria State by the back door method using our law makers indirectly and the entire Christian Body is NOT IN ANYWAY INTERESTED, we say NO and it is as such dismissed because:
    1.) NO PLACE IN HIS BILL (ATTACHED) DID HE MENTION SHARIA COMPLIANTSTATES.
    2.) WHY MUST HE EXPAND THE SHARIA JURISDICTION TO CRIMINAL LAW WHEN THE NIGERIAN CONSTITUTION HAS ADEQUATE PROVISIONS FOR CRIMINAL ACTS AND IS SUPREME TO THE SHARIA?
    3.) HOW DOES HE PROTECT CHRISTIANS AND NON MUSLIMS WHEN HIS OBNOXIOUS BILL ACTUALLY REMOVES, IN HIS WORD 'DELETE' THE PROTECTION FOR NON MUSLIMS IN SECTIONS 262 AND 277 OF 1999/CONSTITUTION!
    4.) HE CLAIMED HIS BIGOTED RELIGIOUS BILL IS ONE OF THE CHANGE AGENDA OF APC. SALAME AND APC IF HIS BIGOTED BILL TRULY REPRESENTS APC AGENDA, APC AGENDA OWE NIGERIA A PUBLIC APOLOGY.

    CONCLUSION                                                                                    

    To conclude finally, the supremacy of the Nigerian Constitution should always be defended by all, regardless of divergence of interest as we collectively seek solution to our national problems. This is to the end that we can truly say that our nation is consolidating the gains of democracy by it yielding acceptable dividends to us all. Thank you all for your rapt attention. May the Almighty God bless you all and may He bless the federal republic of Nigeria in Jesus Mighty name. Amen.

    Long live the federal republic of Nigeria!                                                                 

    Long live the federal republic of Nigeria!!                                                            

     Long live the federal republic of Nigeria!!! Amen.

    God bless you.

    3rd June, 2016

  • Press Release: Federal Government extends Public Holiday

    nigerian_flag

    PRESS RELEASE

    By

    COALITION OF CHRISTIAN GROUPS

    FEDERAL GOVERNMENT REVERSES EID-EL-FITRI PUBLIC HOLIDAY

    As Nigerians, we congratulate the Muslims in the nation on their successful completion of the Ramadan fast in 2016. However, we are disturbed by the apparent shoddiness and confusion the Federal Government brought into the declaration of the Public Holiday rounding up the Muslim religious exercise.

    The Federal Government had earlier declared Tuesday 5th and Wednesday 6th July as Public Holiday only to reverse itself and declare Wednesday 6th and Thursday 7th July 2016 as Public Holiday. If this was done before Tuesday was observed as Public Holiday, it would have been tolerable but declaring Thursday 7th as Public Holiday in addition to Tuesday and Wednesday is a mark of institutional unseriousness. The implication now is that three days would be work free in the week.

    We are equally appalled that the Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau based the decision to declare Thursday as Public Holiday on “the directive by the President General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, the Sultan of Sokoto, to the effect that the Ramadan fast continues today (Tuesday) as a result of the non-sighting of the moon”. We are not aware that Nigeria has transmuted into a religious theocratic state in which the leader of a religious group issues “directive” to the Federal Government. If the President General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs confirmed Wednesday and Thursday as Public Holiday for the Ramadan fasting, then who advised the Federal Government to declare Tuesday a Public Holiday?

    As innocuous as some people may want to present this development, it is a dangerous signal confirming the worrisome direction of the party that promised Nigerians CHANGE from the lawlessness and impunity that seem to characterize this nation. Since the inception of the Buhari administration, it has left no one in doubt of its discriminatory leaning towards Islam as the preferred religion in Nigeria, in violation of Section 10 of the Constitution. The Buhari Administration needs to be reminded again that Nigeria is not an Islamic Theocratic State that receives “directive” from a Sultan. Nigeria is a democratic and secular nation and preferential treatment should not be accorded any section of the nation but all should be treated equally.

    If indeed a mistake was made in declaring Tuesday a Public Holiday that does not warrant declaring Thursday a Public Holiday. Both the Federal Government and leaders of Islam should have maintained the statutory two days Public Holiday and learnt a lesson on how to not to repeat the mistake in future. It is very embarrassing the tardiness and shoddiness that the Buhari Administration has brought into governance in Nigeria. Decent and respectable people are ashamed at the flagrant acts of discrimination, nepotism, and impunity of the APC led government.

    We wish to state clearly that declaring Thursday an additional Public Holiday is not only wrong but an insensitive approach to the management of the economy. The economic well being of the nation should not be sacrificed on the altar of religious fervor.

    Nevertheless, having illegally appropriated an additional day as Public Holiday during the Eid-el-Fitri, the Federal Government and leaders of Islam should be prepared to repay the nation the extra day during the next Eid-el-Kabir in which we expect only one day should be approved as Public Holiday. Nigeria should not be turned into a lawless nation. The APC led government should call itself to order.

    COALTION OF CHRISTIAN GROUPS

    1.                    NATIONAL CHRISTIAN ELDERS FORUM (NCEF)

    2.                  NIGERIAN CHRISTIAN GRADUATE FELLOWSHIP (NCGF)

    3.                   THINK TANK FOR THE BODY OF CHRIST

    4.                  CHRISTIAN LAWYERS FELLOWSHIP OF NIGERIA (CLASFON)

    5.                  ASSOCIATION OF CHRISTIAN SCHOOLS IN NIGERIA (ACSIN)

    6.                  STUDENTS CHRISTIAN MOVEMENT (SCM)

    7.                  CHRISTIAN PROFESSIONALS FORUM (CPF)

    8.                  MINISTERS PRAYER NETWORK

    9.                  INTERNATIONAL CHRISTIAN EMBASSY JERUSALEM (ICEJ)

    10.               NEMA

    11.                 INTERNATIONAL PROPHETIC MINISTERIAL ASSOCIATION (IPMA) (Inc. Worldwide College of Bishops & Ministers, Africa, UK & USA)

    12.                INTERCESSORS WITHOUT WALLS (IWW)

    13.                WAILING WOMEN INTERNATIONAL

    14.               FULL GOSPEL BUSINESSMEN FELLOWSHIP

    15.                NIGERIAN FELLOWSHIP OF CHRISTIAN STUDENTS (NIFES)

    16.               UNIVERSITY JOINT CAMPUS CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP (UJCM)

    8TH JULY, 2016

  • Press Release: Is the Federal Government Abdicating its Responsibility?

    National Christian Elder's Forum

    PRESS RELEASE

    By:
    Coalition of Christian Groups


     IS THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT ABDICATING ITS RESPONSIBILITY?

    Following the controversy that surrounded the extension of the Eid el-Fitri Public Holiday by the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III in July 2016, we are amazed that there has been an escalation of the impropriety. According to Vanguard Newspaper Report of 3rd. September, 2016, “Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, has announced Monday, Sept. 12 as the Eid-El-Kabir Day, ….” This is contained in a Statement signed by Prof. Sambo Junaidu, Chairman, Advisory Committee on Religious Affairs, Sultanate Council of Sokoto (http://www.vanguardngr.com/2016/09/sultan-announces-monday-sept-12-eid-el-kabir-day/)

  • Press Release: Is the President Pleased with the Persecution of Christians?

    boko_haram

    I have waited since Sunday, July 10, 2016, when the news broke, of the gruesome murder of Mrs Eunice Elisha, an assistant pastor of The Redeemed Christian Church of God, Abuja, for the comment and reaction of the President, Maj Gen Muhammadu Buhari, retd., to no avail. The President's silence is ominous, worrisome, unfortunate and disappointing. And after listening to the Commissioner of Police of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, on Channels television, coupled with the pictorial report of the visitation of the wife of the Vice-President, Mrs Dolapo Osinbajo, to the family of the deceased, it became clearer to me, that the President is deliberately keeping silent, on this cold blooded murder.

    In section 14 of the 1999 Constitution, it is stated that "the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government". All Citizens of Nigeria should therefore feel safe in any part of the country that they choose to reside in, irrespective of their faith.

    Section 10 of the 1999 Constitution states clearly that "the government of the federation or of a State shall not adopt any religion as State religion", signifying clearly, that Nigeria, by law and by the choice of our people, is a secular state.

    By section 38(1) of the same Constitution, "every person shall be entitled to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, including freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom (either alone or in community with others, and in public or in private), to manifest and propagate his religion or belief in worship, teaching, practice and observance."

    It is this section 38(1) that Mrs Eunice Elisha, was relying upon to manifest, propagate and practice her religion, through evangelism, in public. She could therefore not have constituted a threat or a nuisance, to any person or any other religion, especially in Abuja, which is declared and designated by law, as the federal capital territory of Nigeria.

    On the same day that life was snuffed out of Mrs Elisha, it was also reported that Fulani herdsmen invaded a community in Benue State and killed over 81 persons. Still, the President has kept mute. The stage-managed killings by the Fulani herdsmen, who are Muslims, have been targeted at predominantly Christian settlements.
    The worrisome dimension of the President's silence, is more frightening because majority of the people that the President has openly complained did not vote for him in the 2015 presidential elections, are mostly in the South-South and in the South East, who are mostly Christians, in their majority. The States that have been free of any form of attack by Fulani Muslim herdsmen, in the South West, are Lagos, Ogun, Oyo and Osun, all of which are either headed by Muslim governors or controlled by Muslim party leaders.

    In Ondo State, where a Christian governor holds sway, chief Olu Falae, has been attacked twice, by Muslim Fulani herdsmen, right in his own farm. In Ekiti State, where a Christian governor holds sway, Muslim Fulani herdsmen, have also attacked farmers, but for the prompt intervention of the governor.

    Interestingly, neither the ruling APC nor the opposition PDP, has uttered a word, on the heinous and barbaric murder of Mrs Elisha and indeed the invasion of other Christian communities. They have been busy, as has been customary with politicians, fighting dirty, for the control of our national treasury, through political power.

    Neither the Islamic nor the Christian religion preaches violence and bloodshed, but fundamentalists and fanatics of these different religions are unleashed on our people by our leaders, when it is convenient for them to achieve a sinister motive. From all indications therefore, it would seem convenient, for the President to keep sitting upon the blood and death of innocent Christians, who are considered to form the bulk of the critics of his government presently and also in the opposition, politically.

    In times past, we have learnt to respect the faith and beliefs of all fellow Nigerians, in demonstration of a single, United and indivisible Nigeria. But that national unity seem to be in apparent peril, under this administration.
    Presently, it is alleged that Christian Religious Knowledge, has been removed from the educational curriculum of all the Northern States. It is alleged that there is a pending Bill in the National Assembly, to codify Islamic law as part of the criminal jurisprudence of Nigeria, with universal application in all the states of the federation. The Grazing Bill pending in the National Assembly is targeted at the acquisition of the customary land of the Southern Christian States, for the use and occupation of Muslim Fulani herdsmen. It is alleged that most critical appointments of the present administration have been dominated by Muslims. There are indeed other serious concerns, voiced against the Buhari regime, in relation to religion.

    Ordinarily, we should have no concern about the faith or belief of any leader, if and when aberrations, such as happened to Mrs Elisha in Abuja occur, the leader is quick to speak and act, in genuine condemnation and detestation of same. But our President has been silent, and indeed uncomfortably silent, in all of these attacks.

    The President is very well aware of the effect of faith and religion, on our national life. Thus in 2011 when he sought to rule Nigeria, General Buhari picked Pastor Tunde Bakare, a vocal Christian, as his running mate. And in order to garner more votes in 2015, General Buhari chose Pastor Yemi Osinbajo, a provincial pastor in The Redeemed Christian Church of God, and close confidant of Pastor Enoch Adeboye, leader of the biggest Pentecostal church in Nigeria, as his running mate.


    It is therefore a great disservice to the loyalty of Osinbajo and indeed all his supporters, for the President to openly ignore the barbaric and cold blooded murder of Mrs Elisha, who is also a pastor in the same church of his Vice-President, which occurred right in the domain of the President, in Abuja. No statement, no visitation, no condemnation. It is indeed ominous, especially in an administration that rules through body language.

    It is bad enough for the people to be complaining that their leader is clueless about how to run his government, it is painful enough when a leader openly reneges upon his campaign promises, to the detriment of his own integrity, it is hurting enough when a leader runs the economy aground and is implementing anti-people policies, that impose hardship and suffering on the people; but it becomes saddening, when the leader is openly insensitive to bloodshed and violence, perpetrated on the strength of the faith of that leader. General Buhari must speak loudly and act decisively, against any form of religious intolerance, if that is the only dividend, that they will get, for their votes and support for him.

    It is on the strength of all the above that I call on the President to urgently visit the family of the Elishas, that the President should personally visit and console with facilities of the communities that have so far been decimated, devastated and wrecked by Fulani herdsmen, in demonstration of the unity and secularity of Nigeria.

    Nigerians love themselves and would love to dwell in a country united in faith and religious practices. I therefore urge the President not to destroy that unity and togetherness, with his seeming preference for religious fanaticism. If previous administrations have done this for their selfish and ulterior purposes, it behoves on the present government of change, to depart from this inglorious and divisive practice.

    Thank you.

    Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa.

    Press Release from Mr Ebun Olu Adegboruwa.

  • PUNCH Newspaper Fabricated Lies Against President Of CAN

    Pastor_A._Oritsejafor

    The National Secretariat of CAN has issued a rebuttal of an interview which PUNCH Newspaper falsely claimed it had with the President of Christian Association of Nigeria, his Eminence, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor. In refuting the malicious publication titled “I’m shocked when I read negative things about Jonathan – Oritsejafor” by PUNCH Newspaper on 10th April, 2016, the General Secretary of CAN, Rev. Dr. Musa Asake, wrote to Church leaders that “the President of CAN did NOT make the statement credited to him as he did not grant the interview in question. The PUNCH journalist, Nosa Akenzua, is under strict obligation to explain how he came about the interview that he credited to the President of CAN.”

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