Nigeria Needs Reconciliation To Gain Unity
Being an extract document, by: Christian Elders Forum (NCEF)
One: Paying to Sustain and Sponsor Religious Beliefs of Nigerians.
- We hold the view that religion is a very powerful force in shaping attitudes and beliefs. The average community in Nigeria trusts their local church or Mosque more than any other institution, and the reason for this is not farfetched. Faith brings solace and perceived security when livelihood and culture are being challenged or threatened.
- The importance of religion cannot be overemphasized; the question, however, remains whether the government of any country should pay for religious belief of its citizens as is presently being done in Nigeria. In the country’s 105 years history, individuals paid to sustain and practice their religious beliefs until 1979 – 65 years after amalgamation, when President Shehu Shagari was overthrown and the military regime of Muhammadu Buhari took over. For this purpose, we refer to the report of the Tribunal of Inquiry on Kano Disturbances, otherwise known as Maitatsine Inquiry.
Alhaji Ibrahim Dasuki the then Secretary-General of Mama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) and Barade of Sokoto at the time, was of the firm view that the “federal and state governments should be involved in religion and must not remain neutral.” Alhaji Abubakar Gumi said that, “government should be involved in all religions recognized by the government.” He added that he would not mind if government should take over (JNI) should such a recommendation be accepted by government. (Page 82)
- From the evidence of Professor Shehu Galadanci, who is the present leader of JNI, the Report said, “while accepting that Nigeria was a democracy and that freedom of religion was guaranteed in the Constitution, Professor Galadanci was of the very strong and settled view that one could not allow anything new in law; that the Prophet Mohammed had established Islam and gone and that Islam had been established once and for all and closed, the provisions of the Constitution notwithstanding.
The issue, as was pointed out by the Tribunal, was not whether the doctrinal content of Islam could permit of any variation and still be regarded as Islam, but whether any person who harbours a different view would be allowed to propagate his different view and win proselytes for his new creed under the Constitution. It has, however, the Tribunal continued, to be conceded that circumstances may exist in which if the person, who harbours the different view, goes to a community, which predominantly professes the faith which he condemns, and especially so in abusive terms, he may be guilty of conduct likely to cause a breach of the peace and must, in the circumstance, be prevented from exciting, and inciting, members of the said community to violence.”
Alhaji Ismaila Idris, another witness, said, “he preached for Izala suggested that Government should take responsibility for all religions and regulate the same. In the Amy where he was, he said, only three religions were recognized: Roman Catholic, Protestant and Islamic Religion. Each of the religions had a Director in Lagos. He further suggested a meeting of Leaders to be supervised by outsiders from Mecca and Medina.”
- The Tribunal in conclusion held as follows: “it was said in conclusion, notably by Professor Galadanci, and strongly supported by Alhaji Abubakar Gumi, that our Governments contributed to the discord amongst the various groups by creating, as it were, a vacuum in its policy formation and thereby the spiritual part of humanity. We quote:- “I thought human beings have three important parts in them; we have the physical, the intellectual and the spiritual.
Now, Government is doing quite a lot to develop and improve the physical wellbeing of the people. Secondly, Government is doing all it can to develop the intellectual abilities of the citizens in this country. We have schools, secondary schools, teacher training colleges, polytechnics and intellectual abilities of the citizens in the country. Unfortunately, nothing has been done about religion. We do not have to declare any State religion before the Government takes this; after all, Religion is an important part of culture.
- In the light, therefore, of the foregoing and the evidence before this Tribunal, in addition to that from witnesses already mentioned, including also the testimony of His Royal Highness, the Emir of Kano, the Ex-Emire of Kano, His Royal Highness Sir Muhammadu Sanusi and His Royal Highness the Sultan of Sokoto, any measures designed to promote peace and harmony, which includes stability, must stem from an acceptance of three basic principles –
(a) That, the affected people or group of people are lovers of religion, which forms an important aspect of their lives. In fact, it is more appropriate to say that it goes to the very root of their existence manifested by the total degree of daily devotion to Islamic education and prayers.
(b) That, in spite of all efforts by Government Authorities, Emires and voluntary religious organizations, lwuch as the JNI, including also the partially-successful endeavour at legislative control attempted in Sokoto State in 1979, the fact remains that discord and conflicts, sometimes complicated by leadership crisis (Alhaji Ibrahim Dasuki); sometimes by factors of affiliation to political parties, certainly since 1979, have continued to feature prominently in inter-religious group relations; and,
(c) That, because instability and threats to public peace and order are a natural consequence of the religious clashes, which the discord breeds, with the potential for escalating into serious disturbances such as we witnessed recently in Kano, the matter should assume the nature of a major concern to all Governments of the Federation.” This was in 1981, twenty months before the Shehu Shagari’s administration that set up the Tribunal was overthrown. What followed thereafter was the unity of Muslims in Nigeria, and Christians became the new enemy styled as “kafris.”
- It is pertinent to reiterate that the Tribunal was set up following religious riots in Kano in which properties and lives were lost. It was clear from the evidence at the Tribunal that Muslims Darika involved were principally Izala, Tijaniyya and the Kadiriyya and, of course, the Maitatsine group. It was agreed, based on the evidence of His Royal Highness Alhaji Abubakar III the Sultan of Sokoto, that Muslims in Nigeria have agreed “(i) on the meaning of Revelation;” (ii) that for anyone to claim prophethood was an act of unbelief; (iii) that all Muslims should abide by the Koran and Hadith, according to the interpretations of the orthodox scholars; (iv) that all Muslims must desist from calling each other unbelievers on matters on which there are differences of interpretation; and (v) that Emirs and Chiefs and all those in authority should not allow unqualified preachers to interpret the Koran, and that those qualified to preach should desist from actions likely to cause confusion and friction.
The Circular considered the agreement “a happy occasion of consensus, which would encourage peaceful co-existence and maintenance of law and order as well as discourage confusions and chaos among the Muslim community.” It concluded by the statement that anybody, who violated the agreements, would be regarded as guilty of causing trouble among the Muslims and should be handed over to the Police and charged for breach of peace.
- Witness (the Sultan) swore that the general theme of the agreement lay in the fact that each Islamic group was entitled to exist, and there should be no move to cancel any, as such attempt at cancellation would cause more trouble than solving it. He pointed out that Prophet Mohammed had stated in the Koran that there is only one path in the Holy Koran and branches but only one is the right one. His Highness stated that there is a prediction that towards the end of the world, there would be all these Divisions.
He said that there is provision in the Constitution for freedom of worship. The trouble, he said, was that some people are patient, while others are not, and that lack of patience emanated from lack of good up-bringing, alcoholic consumption and the taking of drugs. He strongly disagreed with the suggestion of Alhaji Idris that a meeting to be supervised by persons from Mecca and Medina should be convened, stating that we did not need people from Mecca and Medina to come and supervise our meeting in Nigeria.”
- Unfortunately for Christians, this settlement among the Muslims seemed to have left Christians as the only organization available for attacks after the settlement agreement among Muslims Darikas in Nigeria.
The unity of the Sunni and the Shiite was also demonstrated by the Deputy Chairman of the Muslim Students Society a Shiite. In Nigeria in May, 1980, the Report states that, “the Moslem Students’ Society (M.S.S.), a militant students’ organization with headquarters in Lagos, is believed to have been set up, with the active encouragement of GUMI and JNI, to propound extreme religious views in furtherance of the JNI’s objectives. Its executive members, particularly in its branches in Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria, University of Sokoto and Bayero University Kano, are known to be extremists.
The M.S.S. branches in the North have no belief in the Nigerian Constitution, do not recotgnize the existence of the Federal Government, and abhor the sale and consumption of alcohol in the campuses where they exist. M.S.S. extremists also have a firm belief in the ultimate attainment of an Islamic state in the country through an Iranian-type revolution.
- In May, 1979, the militancy of the M.S.S. was amply demonstrated when its members in Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria, attacked non-Moslem student members of the Palm-Wine Drinkards Club (the ‘kegites’) in the university campus in protest against the consumption of alcohol by ‘Kegite-members’ at a party. On 18th May, 1979, the M.S.S. members also staged a violent demonstration on the ABU campus, following the expulsion of eight Executive members of the students’ union, as a result of the attack on the ‘Kegites.’ They were protesting against alleged persecution by the University authorities.
During the rampage that followed, M.S.S. members (dubbed ‘mini Ayatollahs’ – for adopting the Iranian religious leaders’ style of dressing), backed by thugs recruited from outside the campus, attacked and burnt the Vice-Chancellor’s office and lodge, as well as the University’s Senior Staff Club, and damaged cards and other property. The rampaging M.S.S. students later took refuge in the Mosque on the campus, and refused to surrender to the Police, until Abubakar GUMI personally intervened.
- On 29th September, 1980, M.S.S. students in ABU destroyed many alcoholic drinks at a kiosk on the campus. The most militant of the M.S.S. members would appear to be its Deputy Chairman, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, who was expelled from ABU Zaria on 14th December, 1979, for his role in fomenting M.S.S. unrest on the campus. El-Zakzaky was the brain behind a demonstration in Zaria by M.S.S. members on 4th May, 1980, when ten bus-loads of the members drove round the city with the following inscriptions in the buses:- (a) ‘Down with the Nigerian Constitution;’ and (b) ‘Islam only.’
On 20th August, 1980, El-Zakzaky was was reported to be circulating in the Northern States, pamphlets captioned, “Fadakarwa ga Musulmin Nigeria” (Calling on Moslems in Nigeria) in which he condemned the Nigerian Constitution for being anti-Islamic, called for an Islamic revolution, and urged Islamic students to rise against the Federal Government. He also demanded the recognition of the Sharia Law. El-Zakzaky is reported to have visited on several occasions, and he recently returned from Iran, where he was said to have received training in planning and executing students’ unrest.”
The Military Government and Religion
- After the Buhari’s coup of 1983, the military began by paying imams, maintaining Mosques with funds from security vote and paying grants to the traditional rulers as an extension of the Executive with responsibility to pacify the people. This initiative was confined to Muslim imams and later to some Christian leaders, who were ostensibly empowered to oppose, when necessary, the Orthodox Churches – CSN and CCN. Somewhere down the line some Orthodox Church leaders decided that they were entitled to this largesse, and in return functioned as the extended arms of the Executive.
The intelligence services provided funds for this extension, which served the purposes of recruiting (a) friends of the government; and (b) informers, or Mukhabarats, to keep the people in check, docile and pliable. In paying for the religious beliefs of Nigerians, the clergy – Muslims and Christians – were assured of a lucrative career and well-funded pilgrimages. This has also made the promotion of Liberal Democracy difficult and the enforcement of Section 10 of the Constitution impossible.
95(a). The payment to sustain the Religious beliefs of Nigeria began in 1994; in other words, some 21 years ago. Rather than the promoting of national unity, it has divided the country in ideological lines – Liberal Democracy and Sharia. It has stealthily promoted and developed an “invisible” government that is not accountable to the people and disregards for the Constitution. Ministries of Religious Affairs have been established in 12 states and, above all, it has promoted a culture of ignoring provisions of the Constitution.
(b) In the circumstance, the state must stop paying for and sustaining the religious beliefs of Nigerians, which is discriminatory, because only adherents of Islam and Christianity are beneficiaries. Although the two religions represent over 90% of the population, the remaining 10% are not considered in this scheme for religious belief, which is contrary to words and letters of the Constitution. Bias breads disunity.
(c) The remaining of Section 10 of the Constitution, which stated, “the Government of the Federation or of a State shall not adopt any religion as State Religion” can be better observed, and unity of Nigeria better guaranteed when the government stops paying imams, pastors, maintaining mosques and churches, etc. such issues should be left to the Darikas and denominations to handle. This will promote the one and only one ideology that was agreed upon by our founding fathers – Parliamentary Democracy and Rule of Law.
Two. Government within Government
- Before we consider the issue of government within a government, in effect an Islamic (Sharia) invisible government with a visible Nigerian government under the military and democratic dispensation in the country, there is need to discuss how and why Nigeria became a full fledge member of the Organization of Islamic State (OIC) through stealthy jihad.
- We do not know when exactly it was decided by Muslim leadership in Nigeria to declare Nigeria as an Islamic state. One fact is, however, clear – that the forces of Sharia have been at war for over a 100 years and with Nigeria since the conquest of Usman Dan Fodio and, recently, to the policy dictates of the OIC the second largest and territorial entity (after the United Nations) made up of over 56 predominantly Muslim nations and Palestine authority – that Islam has nothing to do with terrorism.
- In the book Soldiers of Fortune, the author summarized the situation thus, “Unknown to Ukiwe, Nigeria had sent a delegation to the OIC and secretly joined it. The delegation was led by the Mines and Power Minister, Alhaji Rilwanu Lukman, and several other prominent Nigerian Muslims, including Ibrahim Dasuki (Secretary-General of the Supreme Council on Islamic Affairs), Abubakar Alhaji (a permanent secretary in the National Planning Ministry), and Abdulkadir Ahmed (CBN Governor).
This decision was taken without a debate before the AFRC or the National Council of Ministers, and without the knowledge of Ukiwe, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Professor Bolaji Akinyemi, or the Information Minister Colonel Anthony Ukpo. All three were Christians.” (Page 107) Just before quote the author wrote, “Beginning from the regime of General Yakubu Gowon, Nigeria had maintained ‘observer’ status with the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC). The OIC was a political, economic and social Organization of Muslim states worldwide. In early 1986, newspapers ran a story claiming that Nigeria’s observer status had been surreptitiously upgraded to full blown membership of the OIC.
When questioned by the press about the matter, the CGS, Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe (an Igbo Christian from the south), stated that membership of the OIC had not been discussed by the AFRC and denied that Nigeria had joined the OIC. Despite being the regime’s official number two, Ukiwe would soon discover that in the Babangida regime there was a government within a government, and he was an outsider.” This government within a government remained a permanent Islamic feature in Nigeria.
There is need to further examine this phenomenon, especially as Ukiwe “was actually commissioned into the navy before all of them, but lost seniority after fighting for Biafra and being absorbed back into the federal Nigerian Navy after the civil war. He was one of the longest serving military officers in the AFRC (he had been in military service even longer than Babangida and Abacha). However, as he did not have a political support-base in the AFRC, the defenceless Ukiwe was retired in October, 1986, in an unprecedented move. Ukiwe’s removal was the first time in over two decades of military rule that a Nigerian military leader had sacked his deputy.” (Page 109) The dominance of Islam over Christianity became obvious.
- From the above, it became very clear that two of the many important and Constitutional issues raised at the Aniagolu’s Tribunal include (a) that, government should be involved and finance the religious beliefs of Nigerians, (b) the recognition and application of Islamic Law in Nigeria. Somewhere along the line in one political development, but demands were accepted by successive Military Regimes that followed and implemented in various ways through stealth Jihads and military Decrees.
First, security votes were increased and governors paid the salaries of Muslim clerics and for the maintenance of Mosques, especially in Northern Nigeria. This largesse was later extended to Southern Muslims, and Christians in the North and South. The position was entrenched by Obasanjo, when he directed that 5% allocation to Local Government should be paid to traditional rulers to meet their expenses. This directive found its way into our statute and law books on revenue allocation.
- On the question of Islamic law, the military stealthy entrenched Sharia law as an alternate ideology in Nigeria in competition with Liberal Democracy, and provided institutions for this purpose, after having decreed that Nigeria is an Islamic country by elevating Nigerian’s observer status under Gowon, to full membership under Babangida.
- In one of our meetings with Church leaders in Lagos, we were informed that General Buhari was against Nigeria’s full membership of Nigeria in the OIC. This, of course, is not correct as contained in the publication of the Newswatch magazine of February 24, 1986, part of which reads, “in 1984, the Buhari government decide to jog where angels feared to thread. It initiated moves, according to well-placed sources, to amend the Constitution and incorporate the Sharia as a federal law. The governors of the 10 northern states at the time were reportedly instructed to prepare memoranda and lead the fight for the institution of Islamic law.
At the first meeting, a memorandum to that effect was presented by Major-General Muhammadu Jega, then governor of Gongola State, now retired. The 10 governors could not reach agreement, and they decided to seek the advice of their various chief judges. Most of the judges spoke against the idea. Both Sani Sami, who was then governor of Bauchi State, but is now provost marshal of the army, and Group Captain Salaudeen Latinwo, who was mentioned in the coup plot of last December, were specifically mentioned as having strongly opposed the move. The meeting was inconclusive.
- After the first meeting, there was a lull in the sharia drive. Aminu Katsina, secretary of the Law Review Commission, then wrote to governors in the north, who were Moslems, warming them that if they did not do something about sharia, they would “answer to God.” By that time, of course, Christians had got wind of the matter. A delegation of bishops then went to Buhari, seeking to place their aversion to sharia before him. Buhari refused to listen to their objection.
Another meeting of the 10 governors of the northern states was held in April last year to re-examine the sharia issue. Although the governors, again, failed to reach agreement and, therefore, took no formal decision. Those among them, who supported sharia, nevertheless took a memorandum in support of sharia to Lagos. It was all that Buhari needed. He immediately instructed Chike Offodile, his attorney-general and minister of justice, according to sources, to draft a constitutional amendment incorporating the sharia. Offodile was reported to have expressed strong reservation, which was over-ruled.
- The constitutional amendment was said to have been drafted by one Dr. Aina, a legal draughtsman, at the federal ministry of justice. When Newswatch contacted him, a hostile Aina said he was not in the habit of talking to journalists. When he was told of the specific mission of the reporter, he directed the reporter to the attorney-general’s office and then clamped shut. “I don’t know you,” he said; “I have never seen you, I won’t speak with you.” Aina quickly showed the reporter out of his office. The draft amendment was supposed to be presented to the Judicial Advisory Committee (JAC), which would then formally recommend it to the Supreme Military Council (SMC) of the Buhari era. Before these steps were taken, the coup makers came calling on August 27, 1985, removed Buhari from power, and unwittingly put the brakes on the sharia move.
- The object of OLC was published by the same paper under what the OIC stands for and continued. The objects, as stated in the charter, are:
* “To promote Islamic solidarity among member states;
* “To consolidate co-operation among member states in the economic, social, cultural, scientific and other vital fields of activities and to carry out consultations among member states in international organizations;
* “To endeavor to eliminate racial segregation, discrimination, and to eradicate colonialism in all its forms;
* “To take necessary measures to support international peace and security founded on justice;
* “To co-ordinate efforts for the safeguard of the holy places and support of the struggle of the people of Palestine and help them to regain their rights and liberate their land;
* “To strengthen the struggle of all Muslim peoples with a view to safeguarding their dignity, independence and national rights;
* “To create a suitable atmosphere for the promotion of co-operation and understand among member states and other countries.”
- Equally important, however, are the principles of the organization. These include:
* “total equality between states;
* “respect of the right of self-determination and non-interference in the domestic affairs of member states;
* “respect of the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of each member state;
* “settlement of any conflict that may arise by peaceful means such as negotiation, mediation, reconciliation or arbitration; and
* “abstention from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity, national unity or political independence of any member state.”
Arab influence on Nigeria
- It may be a fair criticism to suggest that, had the Sardauna of Sokoto put as much energy and vigour in his pursuit of Arab and Muslim unity into Nigerian unity by accepting as the leader of Northern People’s Congress (NPC) that was alleged to have won the general elections in 1959 to be the Prime Minister rather than a Northern Region Premier, Nigeria today would have been a united country with one destiny and one people, he developed for the Northern Region. Rather, he decided to unite the Arab and Muslim world with the formation of World Muslim League, which was formed in 1962.
Sheikh Abubakar Gumi, in his autobiography, Where I Stand wrote, “At the same time, the Sardauna paid attention to the issue of Islam in other parts of the world. He was particularly worried about the disagreement among Muslims in the Middle East. The Arab world was openly divided, with more than half a dozen countries virtually at war with one another.
This had the unfortunate effect of constantly dividing Muslims, who had never been united under any meaningful umbrella in contemporary times, anyway. Ahmadu Bello felt there was the need for this type of unity, and the best way to bring it about was through personal diplomatic initiatives. He, therefore, arranged to visit as many Muslim countries as he possibly could, in order to speak to their leaders about his intentions.
- He invited me to accompany him on the visits. The first country we went to was our immediate neighbour to the north, Niger Republic. There, we held discussions with President Hamani Diorl, a very close friend of the Sardauna. After that we flew to Guinea where we met Ahmad Sekou Toure for two days. Next, we visited Senegal. Although the President was not a Muslim, most of the citizens were, and we felt the people would benefit immensely from our visit. We also visited the Gambia and spoke to President Jawara. From there we went to Morocco, Algeria, Libya, Tunisia, Yemen, Iraq, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. In all these places we held valuable discussions with the leaders.
- The result was that a preliminary meeting of Muslim leaders was called in Saudi Arabia to coincide with the Hajj exercises. This meeting was held at the Royal Palace, Jeddah, on 29th May, 1961, and was presided over by the Saudi Arabian Minister of Foreign Affairs. Because it was tentative, there was hardly any defined agenda. However, a few points were outlined for discussion, including the need for temporal and spiritual cooperation among Muslims according to the teachings of the Holy Qur’an and the Prophet’s traditions; the need for support for Muslims fighting against imperialist forces in Algeria and Palestine; and the setting up of an Islamic University in Medina.
Preparations for the next meeting of the leaders were also discussed. The Sardauna was the first to speak at the meeting. He dwelt at length on the need for Muslims to reconcile their political differences and come together for the sake of Islam and for their common good. I also spoke, as well as other delegates from Malaysia, Senegal, Cameroun and other places. The preliminary meeting was succeeded immediately by another, which was presided over by His Majesty, King Saud of Saudi Arabia. Again, the Sardauna spoke first after the King’s opening address, repeating most of the important points he made at the earlier meeting. He ended by formally inviting the King to visit Northern Nigeria.” (Page 102-103)
- It is also within the concept of government-within-the-government that the import of the statement credited to former Inspector-General of Police and Chairman ACF, which the Sunday Vanguard of May 31, 2015, in which the newspaper appropriately captioned “Our plot that sent Jonathan home” can be better appreciated; part of which reads, “I told you then of the agreement in 1999 that brought in General Olusegun Obasanjo to power. The agreement was that it would be eight years each between the South and the North.” It can be inferred that the agreement was between Obasanjo as a presidential candidate, and the government-within-the-government. It was also contested in the media that Jonathan also entered into such agreement outside the Constitution.
The Chairman of ACF continued, “these two reasons (for insecurity and the agitation that power should return to the North) compelled us and we met all Northern NGOs and resolved that this time around, we had to struggle to get the leadership back to the North,” when this statement is read side-by-side with what Alhaji Yakasi said, that the North was asked by some religious leaders and university teachers that they must not vote for an infidel, show clearly that one of the NGOs referred to is Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI), suggesting that the real owners of the parties APC and PDP is the invisible government that has “powers” over and above the Constitution – with the added advantage of “invisibility” and, therefore, not accountable to the people. This is ‘Taqiyya’ democracy. We hope and pray that in future Nigeria will have only parties that are accountable devoid of Taqiyya.
- This also explains why independent candidacy was removed from the 1999 Constitution, that was available under the 1979 Constitution, which also explains why and how the invisible government became owners of the two parties, and can direct where Nigeria should go, through their agents and Mukfabarat. This is inhumanity to man before our eyes.
Judiciary within Judiciary
- For over nine months, the courts in River State remained closed because of the dispute between Governor Amaechi and the Federal Institution (AJC) that appoints judges throughout Nigeria. The courts of Edo State have been closed for over six months, because of the impunity of the Comrade Governor, who has now been adopted by the government-within-the-government that promotes sharia. His refusal to grant the state Judiciary financial autonomy is intended to weaken democracy.
- At special sittings of the High Courts, we see the Chief Judge and President Customary Court of Appeal or the Grand Khadi Sharia Court of Appeal, struggling for prominence, even though the Chief Judge presides. We see three Customary Court of Appeal Judges in the State sitting to hear one appeal, while the High Court Judges of the State are over-worked. Do we really need these Customary and Sharia Courts at appeal stage? The answer is “No.”
Returning to River State; the dispute arose because a High Court Judge was appointed President of the Customary Court of Appeal, and when the post of Chief Judge became vacant, the Governor recommended him for appointment as Chief Judge. The AJC said “No,” and appointed the most senior Judge in the High Court line, as acting Chief Judge, and the Governor said “No,” and the staff of the Judiciary in the State went on strike in support of the Governor; all courts were closed for about one year. The problem was resolved when a new governor was elected.
The problem is that Nigeria is supposed to be a federation, and appointment of State Judges should be the sole responsibility of the State. Customary and Sharia Courts, which in years past had to take the repugnancy tests, now compete with court composed of professional lawyers of international recognition. These courts are manifestations of Nigeria’s dual ideologies with sharia creeping to overtake constitutional democracy. It is unfortunate that lawyers are more concerned with who swore in the Governor of River State rather than the more important issue of who and why were the courts shut for ten months, thus making one arm of the three arms of government non-functional.
- The above explains vividly why, with the enormous resources available to us, we are lagging behind Brazil, Singapore, Malaysia, and Hong Kong – countries that have one ideology, not two. But here we have one visible, the other invisible; with the invisible trying to undo the other, since 1975!
Three: Muslim World League today is situated at
- Holy Makkah – im al Joud, P.O. Box 537-537, Zip Code 21955, Saudi Arabia, Phone:966-02-5600919, Fax:966-02-5601319/966-02-561267; Email: email@example.com, URL: http://www.themwl.org/Profile/default.aspx?l=en. MWL is a Saudi-based Islamic NGO that advances Wahhabi extremism. It has a long history of ties to, and financial support for, Islamic extremists, terrorist operatives, and terrorist organizations.
- The Muslim World League (MWL) is a non-governmental organization that was founded in 1962 by members of the Saudi government – most notably then-Prince (later King) Faisal bin ‘Abd al-Aziz – to help globalize Wahhabism, the extremist form of Islam practiced in Saudi Arabia. Still controlled and funded by the Saudi government, the Mecca-based MWL today has 36 satellite offices on 5 continents (including offices in New York, the District of Columbia, and London, as well as 10 “external centers” in Europe and 10 “external offices” in Africa and the Middle East). The League’s Charter states that MWL strives to:
* discharge our obligation towards God, by conveying and proclaiming His Message all over the world;
* reaffirm our belief that there shall be no peace in the world without the application of the principles of Islam;
* invite all communities to vie with one another for the common good and happiness of mankind, establish social justice and a better human society;
* call upon God to bear witness that we do not intend to undermine, dominate or practice hegemony over anyone else;
* unite the ranks of the Muslims, and remove all divisive forces from the midst of the Muslim communities around the world;
* remove obstacles in the way of establishing the Muslim world union;
* support all advocates of charitable deeds;
* reject all the pretenses of ancient as well as contemporary Jahiliah (attitudes of the pre-Islamic era); and
* always reaffirm the fact that Islam has no place for either regionalism or racism.
- To advance these various aims, MWL “employs all means that are not at variance with the Sharia (Islamic Law).” Such methods include:
* calling on individuals, communities and state entities to abide by the rules of the Sharia;
* coordinating the activities of Islamic activists in the world;
* enhancing the methods of Islamic propagation in conformity with the Holy Qur’an and the Sunnah;
* raising the standard and productivity of Muslims in the fields of media, education, Da’wah [invitation to the faith] and culture;
* organizing seminars and refresher courses;
* taking advantage of the Hajj seasons to bring Muslim intellectuals together, and encourage the exchange of views among them;
* supervising the activities of the Fiqh [Islamic Jurisprudence] Council (which interprets Islamic Law, establishes principles of jurisprudence, and disseminates fatawa, or religious edicts, upholding a strict Wahhabi fundamentalist interpretation of Islam);
* supporting efforts to promote and raise the standard of the Arabic language;
* establishing Islamic bureau and centers to further Islamic purposes;
* providing people affected by war and natural disasters with emergency relief; and
* helping activate the role and the maintenance of Mosques.
Terrorist and Extremist Ties
- MWL has a long history of ties to, and financial support for, Islamic extremists, terrorist operatives, and terrorist organizations, including Hamas, the Abu Sayaf Group, al-Ittihaad al-Islami, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Jemaat-al-Islamiyya, and al Qaeda. Moreover, a number of MWL’s subsidiaries, particularly the IIRO, have been involved in terrorist financing.
- In 1979, then-King Abdulaziz University president Abdullah Omar Naseef – an Islamic extremist with a significant history of ties to al Qaeda – founded the Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs (IMMA), which, according to former Assistant United States Attorney, Andrew McCarthy, seeks to “grow an unassimilated, aggressive population of Islamic supremacists who will gradually but dramatically alter the character the West,” and to “infiltrate Sharia principles in our law, our institutions, and our public policy.” In 1983 (four years after establishing IMMA), Naseef became MWL’s secretary-general.
Efforts to Outlaw Criticism of Islam
- MWL is an observer member of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, an inter-governmental coalition dedicated to outlawing, everywhere in the world, any and all criticism of Islamic peoples, practices, legal codes, and governments, and considers any and all negative portrayals (whether real, perceived or alleged) of Islam as “Islamophobia.”
- In January 2006, MWL secretary-general, Abdullah Al-Turki, stated that Muslims around the world were offended by a derisive series of cartoons lampooning the Prophet Mohammed that had recently appeared in Danish and Norwegian newspapers (sparking protest riots in numerous places across the globe). In a letter to United Nations secretary-general Kofi Annan, Al-Turki pressed Annan to enact laws barring negative portrayals of Islam by the media thenceforth, and to immediately and directly demand that the Danish and Norwegian governments apologize to Muslims everywhere for the offending cartoons. Al-Turki also exhorted the international community to adopt a clear law criminalizing individuals and institutions that disrespect religions.
Platform for Anti-Semitism
- In recent years, MWL has tried to promote itself as a leader in interfaith dialogue, organizing a major international conference dedicated to that theme in 2008 and pledging to uphold similar events thereafter. To advance this image, the League has aggressively publicized its own outreach efforts to Jews and Christians, while placing heavy emphasis on Islam’s tolerant aspects. Nevertheless, MWL has often provided a platform for hateful, inflammatory rhetoric directed against Jews and the state of Israel.
- In November 2000, MWL’s constitutional council issued a statement “stressing the importance of applying shari’a in all Muslim countries;” urging all Muslim countries to incorporate Islamic education in all academic curricula and to endow shari’a chairs “at universities worldwide;” and advocating “support of the Palestinian jihad” against Israel and its “Jewish war criminals.”
- The above illustrates the founding of the league, in which the premier of Northern Nigeria and leader of Northern People’s Congress played a very important part in its establishment yet was not so recognized and nothing, unfortunately, is said of him these days. The attitude of Northern Muslims seems to conform with the aims and objectives of the league stealthy and uncompromising even today.
The interest of Arab is paramount, with a Nigerian invisible and Islamic government within the Nigerian government that dictates issues when Christians are presidents of Nigeria. Obasanjo and Jonathan are living examples with a government that is subservient to the invisible Islamic government-within-the-government. When this government-within-the-government decided that this weak Christian president should go, it made necessary arrangement for the Christian president to go because it is the mint that prints the two sides of the political coin. The mould is patented by the Arab descendant Nigerians in the country.
- Consequences of Taqiyya include paying and sustaining for religious beliefs of Nigerians, setting up government-within-a-government and organization of Islamic Conferences and Arab Influence in Nigeria promoted by the World Muslim League is responsible for an ideology that is promoting stealthily over and above the Constitution founded on Liberal Democracy and agreed upon by the founding fathers.
With the Fulanis as partners with the British in the administration of Nigeria as a colony, the Premier of the North was given considerable latitude in the use of government funds for proselytizing whereas the, leaders of the East – Nnamadi Azikiwe, and that of the West – Obafemi Awolowo, were subjected to Commissions of Inquiry and found guilty; no such inquiry was directed to the Sokoto prince, the Premier of the Northern Nigeria. The Emir of Kano, Sanusi, was found guilty and removed from office for competing with the Premier of the North. The British respected and cherished the partnership they had with the Sokoto caliphate.
- Sir Olaniwun Ajayi in his book, Nigeria: Political Power Imbalance, (page 70) wrote: “Sir Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, who later became Nigeria’s First Prime Minister and his colleague in NPC, who was the First Premier of Northern Region, Sir Alhaii Ahmadu Bello, are on record to have said that Nigeria was an estate of their grandfather, whilst the Prime Minister stated that Nigeria was not one country. The words of each of them were as follows:
‘Since 1914, the British Government has been trying to make Nigeria into one country, but the Nigerian people themselves are historically different in their background, in their religious beliefs and customs, and do not show themselves any sign of willingness to unite … Nigerian unity is only a British intention for the country.’
Sir Ahmadu Bello said:
‘The new nation called Nigeria should be an estate of our great grandfather, Uthman dan Fodio. We must ruthlessly prevent a change of power. We use the minorities in the North as willing tools and the South as conquered territory, and never allow them to have control over their future.’
- This explains why, in 1966, the North was determined to secede but was advised by the British not to be stupid in that political power was in their hands and oil has produced easy income for the North and the South, in that order and, lastly, that the North is landlocked. This was why Murtala Muhammed backed down and General Gowon was made Head of State over and above more senior officers from the South.
- Before we discuss consequences, there is need to recall a statement of apology from a General in reserved list of the Nigerian Army was reported that “Almost 50 years after the assassination of the first and only Prime Minister of Nigeria, Sir Abubakar Tafawa-Balewa, in the February 15, 1966 coup, former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, yesterday, (16/5/2015) apologized to his immediate family, the Tafawa Balewa community, Bauchi State and Nigerians for the act on behalf of the Nigerian Army. He also apologized for the military interventions that truncated democracy in Nigeria.
There were two coups against democratically-elected governments in Nigeria by the military since the country’s Independence in 1960. The first was executed on January 15, 1966, when the Tafawa-Balewa administration was terminated by the military, while the second coup was executed on January 1, 1983, when the government of former President Shehu Shagari was also terminated by the military. General Gowon, who was in Bogoro Local Government Area that was carved out of
Tafawa-Balewa Local Government Area in Bauchi State, to commission the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) Study Centre, yesterday, said it was wrong of the military to have made an incursion into Nigerian politics, adding that it was not part of the training of the military to dabble into politics. He, therefore, regretted and offered apologies to Nigerians for such past deeds of the Nigerian military.
Gowon described the assassination of Sir Tafawa-Balewa as unfortunate and unethical, even as he insisted it was not in the training of Nigerian soldiers to kill civilians in government, adding that it was regrettable that soldiers assassinated Tafawa-Balewa unjustly. … While expressing regret, he said, “I sincerely apologize on behalf of Nigerian soldiers for the killing of the late Sir Tafawa-Balewa, and I have great respect for him, who was killed by us (soldiers).
The former military Head of State stated further that: “It was unfortunate that we, the Nigerian soldiers, had to interfere with democracy, and even truncated democracy. Accept our apologies on behalf of Nigerian soldiers. I thank the late Sir Tafawa-Balewa for the entire work he had done for Nigeria, and wherever he may be today, I pray God Almighty to grant his soul eternal rest.” [The Newswatch Time, Sunday, May 17, 2015]
- Although this apology is coming over 50 years after the event, Christian Elders are waiting for other former heads of state and military men to equally apologize to the nation, not for the misdeed of others but for their own digressions. Those responsible for the revenge coup, pogrom, various military coups and the overthrow of the Nigerian Constitution and the promotion of Sharia as a source of legislation in Nigeria, which resulted in the degradation of the Constitution and which amounts to treasonable felony as the Constitution under Section 2 provides: “the Federal Republic of Nigeria shall not be governed, nor shall any persons or group of persons take control of the Government of Nigeria or any part thereof, except in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution.”
- A Truth and Reconciliation Commission is a good forum to discuss the direction Nigeria should take. For us Christians Liberal Democracy is preferred. However, we can be educated by Sharia proponents at the Commission of the good side of Sharia openly, not stealthy. A pro-Christian party is necessary and inevitable, as Christians are now left to applaud stealth Democracy.
The concept is that authority required by the moral order derives from God Almighty. 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 authority resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgement (Romans 13:1-2; Peter 2:13-17). If authority belongs to the order established by God, the choice of the political regime and the appointment are left to the free decision of the citizens; which makes it comparative that Christians must participate in politics.