New Education Curriculum: CAN Objects

INTRODUCTION
This is the report  by CHRISTIAN  ASSOCIATION  OF NIGERIA (CAN ) delegates and NIGERIA CHRISTIAN GRADUATE FELLOWSHIP (NCGF) REPRESENTATIVES to the NATIONAL EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH  AND DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL (NERDC)

The NERDC team was led by the Executive Secretary, Professor Ismail Junaidu in the company of five Directors of the Council including the Director of Book Publishing and Curriculum Development.
The paper presented was by Prof. Charles Adisa and Prof. Funmi Adesanya-Davies. The Delegation was led by Dr. Sam Itina, National President of the NCGF and other members of the delegation were:

(NCGF)

1. Prof . A  Adisa (NCGF)
2. Dr. Mrs Ejiro Iwuoha (NCGF)
3. Pst. Onyenachi Nwaegeruo(NCGF)
4. Dr. Josiah Kantiyok (NCGF)

(CAN)

1. Bishop Jude Arogundade (Catholic Church)  (CAN) - (ABSENT)

2. Prof. Bishop Funmi Adesanya-Davies (Protestant Church) (CAN)

3. Dr. Mrs. Ofoegbu(Catholic Church) (CAN)
4. Rev. Fr. Patrick Balogun (Catholic Church) (CAN)

 

TEAM KEY POINTS PRESENTED AT NERDC WERE:
Following a brief introduction of the NCGF and CAN, obvious lapses in the new curriculum which included the list below were presented:

1. Inciting/Derogatory statements which attack the foundation of Christianity. For example, that Jesus was not the Son of God, Jesus was not crucified and did not resurrect and the supremacy of Quran over the Holy Bible, supremacy of Muhammad over Jesus Christ, etc.
2. Textbooks in print that combine Islamic Religious Knowledge and Christian Religious knowledge in a single textbook thus exposing children to other religion which negates the principles of our constitution.
3. Absence of approved list of textbooks as an appendix in the curriculum/ NERDC website 
4. Watered down content of the various subjects, as a result, creating an omnibus textbook.
5. Making religious studies compulsory without the adequate provision of Teachers in those subjects. The implications are that a Christian student in the core north will be forced to take IRK and ditto a Muslim student in the South. In addition, a student that refuses to take the subject as a result of conflict with his/her religion is short changed of marks for that compulsory subject and may have his educational career truncated.
6. Absence of subjects like History, Geography and Economics in the new curriculum.

 

 

FACTS AND FINDINGS AT NERDC

1. That the five (5) subjects: Religious Studies (CRS/IRS), Civic Education, Social Studies and Security are combined under one umbrella in the Curriculum is sacrosanct.   

2. NERDC asserts that CAN was part and parcel of the stakeholders invited to air her views and input on the development of the New Curriculum. However the NGGF has never been invited and represented and are welcome from now on.

3. It was acknowledged that the Curriculum on Religion and National Values needs to be reviewed as the Christians and Muslims are of the same viewpoints that the New Curriculum is unacceptable.

4. Curriculum for Religion and National Value is assuredly for the three Basics (Lower, Middle and Upper) of the BEC 9-year Program.

i.e 1-3, 4-6, and 7-9. (Thus, there are 3 curriculum booklets)

5. That the design was that Text books for CRS and IRS are to be separated by Publishers as different Text books but they are written together in the same Curriculum Booklet with Civic Education, Social Studies  and Security.    

6. That the status of the Subject Religious Studies is Compulsory is sacrosanct and a pupil must offer either but not both.
7. That NO Publisher's Textbook has been approved by NERDC yet. So ALL BOOKS in the market for now are FAKE and fictitious and should be checkmated immediately.
8. That CAN could bring professionals to Review  the Content of the said present Curriculum  under assessment -  (I volunteered to do the review

with Prof. Charles Adisa and it was approved.)

9. That CAN could participate fully in the production and review of yet to

be accepted /approved Textbooks - I also volunteered.

10. That they will endeavour to list out the finally approved books right

in the Curriculum and we can make recommendations.

11. The Executive Secretary approved the team as partners in progress from hence.
12.  All participants we well pleased at the end of the discussions.

 

RESPONSE OF THE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY
• NERDC will be willing to collaborate with groups like the NCGF (based on their educational endowments)                                                                              • Two different teachers manual for IRS and CRS were made to reflect the separation of the two subjects.
• Religious study is compulsory so as to provide a moral framework for adherence to the teachings of civic education, social studies and security education.
• He disowned the publishers and the books currently in the market but WAS UNABLE TO GIVE US THE NAME OF ANY APPROVED TEXTBOOK MEANT FOR THE SUBJECT- AFTER 8 YEARS OF PUBLICATION OF THIS NEW CURRICULUM.
• He accepted the recommendation of listing the approved books in the appendix of the curriculum as well as on their website
• NERDC will not be able to exercise oversight function on what the schools are using, rather schools should verify from NERDC, the books that have been approved
• NERDC is in the process of achieving a regulatory statue like NAFDAC to enable them prosecute publishers that are in deviance of the standard and principles of the curriculum
• Accepted the need for further public hearing, sensitization and review of the new curriculum.
• He insisted that it is the responsibility of government at various levels to provide Teachers for the subjects, and where this is not observed, parents should sue the government and demand for the requisite teachers.                                                                                                                 • He explained that they have re-introduced History.

 

 

OBSERVATIONS

• Publishers should be supervised so that the textbooks in print are a reflection of the principles and standard of the curriculum.
• List of recommended textbooks should be incorporated as an appendix in the curriculum. In addition, these lists should be freely available on the NERDC website.                                                                                                                 
• Curriculum developers should ensure that the content conforms with the curriculum and our constitutional provision.

• Curriculum developers should be conscious of the religious and cultural sensibility of Nigerians.                                                                                               •Re-introduction of History, geography, economics and accounting back into the curriculum.

 

RECOMMENDATIONS
Now that all the cards are on the table, as a minister and a professional  who had lectured and still lectures in a University of Education in the past thirty years, I wish to recommendation  as follows:


1. ChristianRK Curriculum and IslamicRS should stand alone, as individual subjects on subject listing as it was before.

2. Civic Education, Social Studies  and Security should be combined under one umbrella in the Curriculum as a subject i.e.                                                (Nigerian  National Value).

3. ChristianRK Curriculum and IslamiRS should be made compulsory, only for the religion adherent.

4. NERDC should produce separate curriculum booklets of IRS and CRS as it was before, statuesque ante, as it is done with the Teachers manual.

5.Christian RK Curriculum must be reviewed immediately with inputs from our old CRK Curriculum in the 3 BEC of the 9-years.

6. Islamic RK should be reviewed  by editing off all grievously offensive phrases/frivolous expressions about Christianity in the 3 Basics Education Curriculum because the material is in the public domain and we Christians said nothing about Islam which existed 600 AD after the  death of  Christ in our curriculum.

7. Correction to the Curriculum and the Implementation of the Text Books must conform with the Constitution, National Policy on Education, as well  as the Cultural, Social and Religious  Values  of the Republic

8. All publishers of the FAKE Books should be written for discussions,  that  the dissemination of the Books must stop immediately. The Church should seek court injunction immediately to enforce this.

9. We need to work with such and some other publishers to peacefully resolve the issue if they so desire and to ensure that their reviewed books on CRS would be acceptable to us.

10. NERDC should be advised to always produce separate textbooks for ChristianRK Curriculum and IslamicRS and supervise their publishers to ensure the books are produced separately 

 

12. CAN and NCGF should urgently set up a committee to review the content of the present CRS to reflect the true teachings of Christianity as the current curriculum is inferior to the previous curriculum.

13. It is necessary to adequately mobilize and sensitize the churches to pray about the challenges posed by this curriculum to our faith.

 

14. If the recommendations are not acceptable and implemented by NERDC, CAN and NCGF should consider other actions and litigation.

 

OPTIONAL:
1. We recommend separation  of the two (2) Curriculum in same booklet for the three (3) Primary Basics:  If they refuse the separation in the  Curriculum as in the  text; just like Christian children, Muslim children would also  have access  to the Christian curriculum  and this could be evangelical  as light is not afraid of darkness.

2. CRS/IRS OPTIONAL/ COMPULSORY: Making CRS/IRS a Compulsory Subject is advantageous, but it must be separately compulsory as the religion of the pupil, parent or guardian that is Christians must offer CRK and Muslims IRS. We should remember it was also compulsory in the Old Curriculum.

On behalf of the team, I hereby express our gratitude to CAN for affording us this rare opportunity to serve in our Lord's Vineyard.

Our God reigns!  Jesus is Lord!! Praise the  Lord!!! Amen.   


Amb. (Bishop Prof.)  Mercy Funmi Adesanya-Davies

PUNCH Newspaper Fabricated Lies Against President Of CAN

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.”

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

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

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LET PEACE REIGN

State of the Church and the Nation

The National Christian Elders Forum at its meeting in Jos, Plateau State, on Monday 29th November, 2015, expressed concern over the state of the Nigerian Church and the nation. The Elders observe that critical indices in the nation point to the need that all stakeholders in Nigeria should take stock and review the evolving situation in the country.

Amongst others, the National Christian Elders Forum observes as follows:

  1. There seems to be general apathy and indifference amongst Christians concerning glaring issues threatening Christianity and democracy in the nation. It would appear that the Church is suffering from self inflicted ignorance about critical issues cropping up in the nation. The Christian Elders recommend that should be an intentional program of awareness and enlightenment amongst Christians on critical issues of the moment that affect both the Church and democracy in Nigeria.
  2. The Christian Elders strongly recommend that the Nigerian Church has no option but to unite and vigorously pursue a course of collective self-preservation. The current state of disunity in the Church weakens its ability to resist a well orchestrated Islamist invasion in the country. The Christian Elders caution the Church, particularly those in Church leadership, from undertaking a presumptive dismissal of this admonition. “A stitch in time saves nine.”
  3. The Christian Elders wonder why in a divergent and pluralistic society, such as Nigeria, all the critical security institutions in the nation are headed by people from one section of the country. The Minister of Defense, the Director-General of Department of State Security (DSS), the National Security Adviser (NSA), and the Minister of Interior, are all from one section of the country and are adherents of the same religion. The Christian Elders decry the violation of the Federal Character principle in sensitive Federal appointments by the current administration. This discriminatory anomaly should be reversed without delay.
  4. The Christian Elders also observe with much concern the impression that is created in the Judiciary that only persons from a section of the country are qualified to be the Chief Justice of the Federation. That the Nigerian Judiciary has been garrisoned by a section of the country and a religion is no longer in doubt, however, the dismantling of this anomaly is expedient. Nigeria can only survive and thrive on a tripod of Justice, Equality, and Fairness.
  5. As the nation celebrated its Centenary, representatives of the various groups in the nation met at a National Conference in 2014 to review the state of the nation and chart a corrective course for the future. It is worrisome that a government would be elected into office and it would totally reject the implementation of the Report. Bearing in mind that critical solutions required by the nation are contained in the National Conference report, the National Christian Elders Forum call on the government to implement the Report of the National Conference and urge all Nigerians to raise a clarion call in this regard. It is in the best interest of Nigeria and all Nigerians that the Report of the National Conference is implemented in full.
  6. While the National Christian Elders Forum frowns at, and discountenances any move towards secession by any group in the nation, it firmly believes that the grievances of the agitators for Biafra Republic should be examined and the people should be given a fair hearing. It was noted that since the return to democracy in 1999, there has been no such widespread agitation until now.
  7. The Christian Elders appreciates the role of the media in the society and urges the media to accord topical issues in the nation a balanced report. The criminal attacks on Christian minority groups in northern parts of the nation should not be treated in manners that could be interpreted to imply media conspiracy. From the scale and consistency of the attacks, a well orchestrated act of genocide is taking place in northern Nigeria.
  8. The National Christian Elders Forum enjoins all Christians in the nation to adhere to the Biblical injunction of “follow peace with all men”. While Christians are urged to remain peace loving and shun any act of provocation, it has become necessary to advise Christian communities to evolve means of “self defense” to ensure self-preservation. The impunity and lawlessness with which religious extremists seek to exterminate Christians should be checked, more so, since the security agents seem helpless to apprehend these “unknown gunmen”.

National Christian Elders Forum (NCEF)

Jos

November 2015

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