The National Christian Elders Forum (NCEF) is a Group of Christian Elders from the six geo-political zones of Nigeria. Average age in the Forum is 70 years and the members have served Nigeria in various high ranking capacities before and after Independence. The Christian Elders have only one passion and that is to preserve Christianity and leave behind a better Nigeria for coming generations.
Albert Einstein said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results”.
For the past twenty years, Nigerians have been voting the same group of people, crisscrossing from one party to the other, into power. The result has been insecurity, insurgency, terrorism, poverty, unemployment, disunity, lawlessness, impunity, bloodshed, broken down infrastructure, and a fall of over 1,600% in the value of the Naira. (N21.89 in 1999; N360 in 2018)
Your recent article “Nigeria’s herders threatened by farmers” was a classic on journalistic sophistry and victim-blaming.
Just to ferret out a few facts from a farrago of falsehoods, no one is taking land that has been “used by herders for centuries.” The Fulani Herdsmen by their own admission and historical fact invaded northern Nigeria in a jihad in 1804. The lands in question have always belonged to indigenous farming tribes many of whom successfully resisted the Islamic jihadi invaders and remained pagan until the ultimately became Christian when the British colonialist came in.
To claim that the herders always grazed here and ignore the preexistence of the indigenous communities raises a question - if there were only herders in these lands, what were the people eating or were there no people there? Farmers logically existed before herders. This is no “chicken or egg first” conundrum.
We are Hausas and we are Christians! We have the Mind of Christ. The Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead lives inside of us. We don't have the Spirit of fear in us, but rather, of Power, of Love and of Sound Mind. We are not ashamed of the Testimony of the Our Lord Jesus Christ. We are not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the Power of God unto Salvation.
The National Christian Elders’ Forum (NCEF) has argued since its inauguration in 2015, that the problem in Nigeria is the incursion of Sharia into our Democracy – Democracy versus “Invisible” Sharia. We drew attention to the statement of the Sultan of Sokoto (Sarkin Muslumi) of Nigeria who was alleged to have said in Harvard University that the Quran is his Constitution. He has, till now, not denied this statement. DOWNLOAD PDF
We need to look at our 1999 Constitution compare same with some tenets of Sharia such as supremacy of Islam, gender inequality, jihad (both conventional and stealth), to appreciate the truism that Democracy and Sharia are incompatible. This explains why the Islamic world refuses to endorse the UN Charter on Human Rights. Nigeria’s endorsement was through the British government when we were a British colony and adopted existing laws at independence. In fact, Nigeria became the first country in the world to include Human Rights in her Constitution. Thanks to Sir Henry Willink QC and three others who, in July 3o, 1958, based its recommendation on the fact that
“the whole structure of the proceedings leading to independence is based on the belief that Nigeria means to follow the road of liberal democracy and parliamentary government; to base parts of the structure on the opposite assumption is to invite governments to do their worst. But if that road is followed, votes will count and, in the last resort, it is the votes that will win fair treatment for minorities.” [Report of the Commission appointed to enquire into the fears of Minorities and the means of allaying them, pg. 89]
Sharia is one of the reasons why votes do not count and Democracy difficult to practice in Nigeria, such as right to vote without the corresponding right to be voted for.
On Fundamental Rights, Willink wrote:
“Although almost all the witnesses who came before us were insistent that nothing but a separate state could meet their problems, one group asked only for provision in the Constitution guaranteeing certain fundamental rights. These were the Christian bodies who appeared before us both in Lagos, on behalf of their organizations throughout Nigeria, and, again, in the Northern Region. Some other witnesses said they would welcome such provisions in the Constitution but were afraid that they would not be sufficient.
Provisions of this kind in the Constitution are difficult to enforce and sometimes difficult to interpret. Nevertheless, we think they should be inserted. Their presence defines beliefs widespread among democratic countries and provides a standard to which appeal may be made by those whose rights are infringed. A Government determined to abandon democratic courses will find ways of violating them but they are of great value in preventing a steady deterioration in standards of freedom and the unobtrusive encroachment of a Government on individual rights. We have therefore considered what provisions might suitably be inserted in the Constitution and have given particular attention to the Convention on Human Rights to which, we understand, Her Majesty’s Government has adhered on behalf of the Nigerian Government. Where the matter which we think needs expression has already been provided for in the Convention on Human Rights, we simply place below, the relevant provision in that Convention, but we do not necessarily recommend the exact wording of the Convention and it may be that constitutional lawyers will wish to draft in different terms.
We recommend that provision should be made in the Constitution for the following Fundamental Rights.” [Emphasis supplied] [Report of the Commission appointed to enquire into the fears of Minorities and the means of allaying them, pg. 97]
However, when President Buhari decided in the gathering of Common Law lawyers that Human Rights should be subject to security challenges created by jihadists – (Shekau said Boko Haram is on a jihad) in order to provide an excuse to downgrade Human Rights, constitutes stealth jihad on the part of the Presidency.
Fortunately, we have an educated civil populace and the fact that our founding fathers all agreed at independence in 1960, that Democracy will be the future of our country not Sharia. Sharia proponents have made Democracy very difficult to practice in Nigeria and have decided to qualify our Democracy with the word “nascent” Democracy, to make room for Sharia inspires provisos under the 1999 Constitution. Our Constitution (man-made law) is supreme in addition to being man-made law which gives us “life more abundantly” is preferable to other man-made laws or laws made in “heaven” for man, especially when we, Christians, know that
“Human society can be neither well-ordered nor prosperous unless it has some people invested with legitimate authority to preserve its institutions and to devote themselves as far as it necessary to work and care for the good of all. By ‘authority’, one means the quality by virtue of which persons or institutions make laws and give orders to men, and expect obedience from them. Every human community needs an authority to govern it. The foundation of such authority lies in human nature. It is necessary for the unity of the state. Its role is to ensure as far as possible the common good of the society. The authority required by the moral order derives from God: ‘Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore, he who resists the authorities, resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.’ The duty of obedience requires all to give due honor to authority, and to treat those who are charged to exercise it with respect, and, insofar as it is deserved, with gratitude and good-will. --- If authority belongs to the order established by God, ‘the choice of the political regime and the appointment of rulers are left to the free decision of the citizens. The diversity of political regimes is morally acceptable, provided they serve the legitimate good of the communities that adopt them. Regimes whose nature is contrary to the natural law, to the public order and to the fundamental rights of persons cannot achieve the common good of the nations on which they have been imposed.” [Emphasis supplied] [Catechism of the Catholic Church, Articles 1897 – 1901]
Nigerians must all continue to defend Democracy that has proved the best of all systems invented by human.
Bravo Democrats in Nigeria
Solomon Asemota, SAN
COMMUNIQUÉ FROM THE MEETING OF CHRISTIAN SOCIAL MOVEMENT OF NIGERIA (CSMN) HELD ON TUESDAY, AUGUST 28, 2018, AT DAUGHTERS OF DIVINE LOVE RETREAT AND CONFERENCE CENTRE, ABUJA
The Christian Social Movement of Nigeria (CSMN) organized a Conference tagged “THINK DEMOCRACY” on Tuesday, 28th August, 2018, at the Daughters of Divine Love Retreat and Conference Centre (DRACC), Lugbe, Abuja, to evaluate developments in the country and the challenges confronting governance in Nigeria. In collaboration with CSMN were the following Democratic groups:
Attacks on Nigerian Villages Leave Seven Dead and Many Displaced
08/30/2018 Washington, D.C. – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that Fulani militants raided several villages in the Barkin Ladi Local Government Area of Plateau State, Nigeria on August 28. As a result, seven people were killed, including three children and a pastor. These individuals were Rev. Adamu Gyang Wurim (pastor of COCIN LCC Shonong), his wife and three children, Mr. Pam Dusu, and Aaron Yakubu.
What could be more painful to one’s life as a parent than to see his or her struggle to educate and help his or her daughter to find a livelihood shattered overnight? What exactly is happening to our Northern Nigeria especially in regards to the incessant and tactical abduction of the Christian Girls from schools in different parts of Northern Nigeria? A painful experience from Chibok to Dapchi and now in Zaria. What exactly do they want especially the future of our Christian Girls to look like? Why is the future of our Christian Girls seemingly to be posing a threat to some people who could not contend it than to resort to molesting them all the time?
KILLINGS: LET THE TRUTH BE TOLD
REJOINDER TO PRESS RELEASE BY THE NIGERIAN SUPREME COUNCIL FOR ISLAMIC AFFAIRS (NSCIA) ON JULY 5, 2018.
THE NATIONAL CHRISTIAN ELDERS’ FORUM (NCEF) PERSPECTIVE OF THE TRUTH
On 5th July, 2018, the Nigerian Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) published an article titled LET THE TRUTH BE TOLD. In our candid estimation, rather than tell the truth, the article is the exact opposite of the truth. It might have been more proper to have titled it “Let the Taqiyya be told”. It is distressing that radical Islam (Islamism) having caused much harm to the Christian community in Nigeria, is adding insult to injury, in this age of information and enlightenment, by attempting to distort narratives with flagrant abuse of the truth.
OPEN DOORS USA
Throughout Sub-Saharan Africa, the regions of West Africa, East Africa and Central Africa have become a stage for religious, ethnic, and political conflict, including ongoing violence and attacks from Islamic extremist groups, such as Boko Haraman extremist group that is located primarily in Northern Nigeria, al-Shabaab in East Africa and Muslim FulaniThe Fulani are a large ethnic group in West Africa.