The Social Teaching of the Church with respect to the Lay Faithful includes “inventing the means for permeating social, political and economic realities with the demands of Christian doctrine of life”.
The NCEF in conformity with this objective has decided to table its findings on the subject of political platform for Christians in Nigeria for general discussion. The urgency for a Political Platform and fallback position for Christians in a country with dual and conflicting ideologies of Liberal Democracy and Islamism [not Islam] cannot be over emphasized.
Commander Ebitu Ukiwe, Vice President Ekwueme and President Jonathan never had a Christian Political platform; they relied on the political platform established by Islamists. Nigeria is thus a one party Islamist state, with all the political parties – [26 of them] established by Islamists that came to power after the overthrow of General Gowon in 1975.
National Christian Elders Forum (NCEF) does not want our Christian political leaders, as few as they are, the Vice President Professor Osinbanjo, Vice President of the Senate Ike Ekweremadu, the Speaker of the House of Representatives Yakubu Dogara, and Christian governors, to suffer the same fate as those earlier mentioned above.
- DEMOCRACY AND ISLAMISM
There is need to understand Islamism [not Islam] and its hostility to Democracy. While Islam is a religion, Islamism is not. Islamism is a set of political ideologies that hold that Islam is not only a religion, but also a political system that must dominate the environment in which Islam is practiced. It is a global domination movement that aims for a worldwide Islamic Caliphate using religion to drive the process. Islamism is the ideology driving Al Qaeda, ISIS, Taliban, Al Shabab, Fulani herdsmen, Boko Haram, and a host of other Islamic terror organizations.
(a) “For Islamists of radical disposition, democracy and Islam are simply incompatible. The reason is that (according to Islamists) Democracy requires Human Legislation, and the very act of making law, places Human Sovereignty above that of God who, alone, is Sovereign. For strict-constructionist believers, there can be neither law nor legislation other than that revealed by God to humans by way of the Prophet Muhammad. To claim otherwise, and suggest that human can craft laws in light to the changed circumstances of the age, is to arrogate a legislative function which is God’s alone”. [Sharia Politics Edited by Robert W. Hefner page 7]
- Democracy and Sharia compliance, though mandatory in moderate Islamists views, resulted in the introduction of The Penal Code of Northern Nigeria, 1960 that met the criteria. It was applicable to all residents in the Region, accepted internationally and, above all, Sharia compliant. This has been jettisoned by the Islamists of Nigeria. As at 6th January, 2016, one Nigerian has been sentenced to death for blasphemy by a Sharia Court in Kano in contravention of Section 38 of the Constitution which provides for Freedom of Thought, Conscience and Religion.
(b) “Many modernists are quick to add that democracy for Muslims is subject to one critical ethical qualification. Even as they affirm that God has allowed humans to craft laws and construct democracy, these authors insist that the legislation that results from these activities must not contradict either of the two types of injunctions that, according to long-established scholarly understandings, lie at the heart of the Sharia. These are, first, the sharia’s “universal” rulings, rather few in number, on matters like murder, theft, fornication, inheritance, and (according to some jurists) Apostasy. All of these rulings are mentioned directly in the Qur’an or intuitions of the Prophet, and, as a result, are thought to be absolutely certain and applicable for all time. The second type of provision democratic legislation must not contradict is anything related to the sharia’s goals or higher objectives”. [Sharia Politics Edited by Robert W. Hefner page 7]
- When Presidents Shagari, Obasanjo, Yar’adua and Jonathan were in power, Nigeria was controlled by non-state actors [the Islamists] also known as the Invisible Government. Today Islamists are in control as state actors (enfranchised). Nigerians thus have two choices.
- Promote and protect the Constitution not withstanding its imperfections or
- Degrade the Constitution and promote Sharia as the alternative source of Legislation.
Christians, in the circumstance, have no other choice than to opt for (a) not (b) which is the stealthy ideology of the Islamists. The two ideologies cannot be promoted successfully in one country as they are incompatible.
- 2 and 3 above cannot be achieved without the collaboration of Christians who were or are in authority (the insiders) and those of us outsiders coming together to establish a platform for the defense of our faith and protection of democracy.
- ISLAMISM IN THE POLITICAL SCENE
General Gowon was alleged to have been overthrown in a coup because of his delay in handing over power to civilians. With the benefit of hindsight the National Christian Elders Forum (NCEF) has come to the conclusion that this argument was “Taqqiya” (Muslims license to lie) to promote Islamism. Anybody who believes that soldiers overthrow their Commander-In-Chief because he failed to hand over power to civilians will believe anything. Gowon was overthrown to pave way for Islamism.
In December 1983, the Islamists struck again – This time against a moderate Muslim as President Shagari was overthrown in order to pave way for the solidification of the Islamic project that began with the overthrow of Gowon.
- Between 1983 and 1999 – 16 years, the following political developments took place in the country to strengthen Islamism.
- The purge of Christians in the Public Service and Corporation that were made, intensified, and perfected. Today, 2016, the purge is re-introduced with respect to security to make space for the Islamists agenda that seek to establish Allah’s law in the land – the need to work towards establishing the Islamic State and global co-operation in accordance with the provision of the Islamic Sharia.
- The Security and Intelligence services in the country were organized to promote Islamism, an ideology developed by the Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt in 1923 that was very much admired by the Nigeria Army. [Ref. Beckoned to Serve, Shehu Shagari]. The admirers of Islamist ideology included the National Intelligence Agency [NIA], Defense Intelligence Agency [DIA], State Security Service [SSS] now Department of State Security [DSS]. These Services, like the KGB that promoted Communism and the State Security Council of South Africa that de facto promoted Apartheid and governed South Africa for a time. The Intelligence Service of Nigeria did the same thus Nigeria had two parallel governments one visible, Shagari, Obasanjo, Musa Yar’adua and Jonathan; the other invisible. The Intelligence Service of the Islamist acted as De facto Invisible Government that ruled Nigeria when Musa Yar’adua was in coma.
- FEATURES OF ISLAMISTS GOVERNMENTS VISIBLE AND INVISIBLE
- Initiated the most ambitious, imaginative, complex and expensive Transition from Authoritarian rule to Islamism.
- Islamism failed to establish a new political culture, failed to control corruption sabotaged institutional accountability, failed to mitigate Ethnic, Regional and Religious Conflicts and Cleavages.
- Failed miserably to reform and revitalize the Economy. Babangida’s Transition without end was Taqqiya on the people of Nigeria.
- (i) Security services promoted and developed Political Parties and Cults, and recently herdsmen and pseudo security outfits not authorized by the Constitution. These include Civil Defense Corps and Vigilante Group of Nigeria.
- Two political parties were established by the Islamists and this has been increased to 26, the Islamists control all, directly and indirectly through Operatives.
- Development of Security Vote to finance invisible and parallel governments, established in competition with Liberal Democracy so that Democracy would fail in Nigeria.
Islamism has failed in the Middle East, today Egypt has banned the Islamic Brotherhood as a Civil Organization. The Conservative Saudi Arabia now allows women to be voted for. Iran is in conversation with the great Satan America. The Brotherhood’s creed of “God is one objective; the Koran is our law, the Prophet is our leader; Jihad is our way; and death for the sake of Allah is the highest of our aspiration” is now being rejected by some Arab countries.
- PRESIDENT BUHARI’S ADMINISTRATION
- Some discerning Nigerians especially Christians have begun to wonder if Buhari’s second coming is not like the South African National Party victory [enfranchised] in 1948 that, for four decades promoted Apartheid. It seems a repeat performance of the desire to personalize power which he has done for seven months, and our hope is that these will not be a prelude to Oppression, Repression and Terror as happened during his first coming.
- Security then was used as an instrument to silence Civil Leaders, Professional Organizations, and Labor Union etc. Now, it is corruption. This explains why the present war on Corruption is one sided – those in support of Jonathan are prosecuted while those that supported Jonathan’s opponent, but are corrupt are elevated.
- Impress on the Islamists in Nigeria that Islamism is failing in the Middle East [some say has failed].
- There is need for a Conference to discuss the impracticability of two contradictory ideologies in one country. One that promotes the past and the other that promotes modernization. Most Nigerians want the good things of life here on Earth and now we need to promote social cohesion based on democracy and Human rights.
- Christians must appreciate the need to have a Party of their own as the issues concerning Ideology and Politics can only be solved ideologically and politically fortified with prayers.
GOD BLESS NIGERIA
Solomon Asemota, SAN
National Christian Elders Forum (NCEF)