FEATURE ARTICLE

E O EkeMonday, May 23, 2016
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A BILL TO EXTEND SHARIA LAW ALL OVER NIGERIA,
QUIETLY SCALES SECOND READING IN HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

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'FULL SCALE SHARIA LAW IN OUR LEGAL SYSTEM?

was shocked to watch the live proceedings of the House of Representatives as covered by NTA2 and saw that the bill calling for the criminal aspects of Islamic Sharia law to be implemented in our legal system in Nigeria at the Federal and states passed the second reading today! I was even more shocked because even though there were many Christians in the House no one raised an objection! The Speaker of the House, Hon Yakubu Dogara, who presided over the proceedings said that what this meant was that it would now move to committee level where it will be discussed fully before the House would decide on it finally, but it is curious that not even one voice of dissent was aired against it! I waited till 9pm to hear what NTA Network news would report about it, but there was a blackout of reportage about it! Of course, other issues discussed and decided in the House today were reported but not this one! The bill to amend the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to make provision for the full implementation of Sharia Criminal law at the Federal and states legal system has passed the second reading in the House of Representatives and no one is telling Nigerians what is happening! For all we know, when a bill passes the second reading unchallenged in parliament it is almost as good as passed!

Long before the 2nd Republic, Muslim leaders in Nigeria have always agitated for the full implementation of Sharia in Nigeria. Nobody has forgotten the hot debates that took place in the Constituent Assembly of 1978 about the place of Sharia in the 1979 Constitution. Christian members kicked against the full implementation of full Sharia because non-Muslims would fall victim of this law. In the end, a compromise was reached that the Sharia Personal Law be allowed, not the criminal aspects. It was the same thing that happened in 1988 Constituent Assembly that produced the 1989 Constitution, which never took off. In fact, in the 1988 Constituent Assembly, General Ibrahim Babangida, then Nigeriaís self- styled military President, had to stop all debates relating to Sharia and other sensitive issues when he saw how inflammable the debates were becoming, and retained the status quo. The 1999 Constitution drew much from both the 1979 and 1989 Constitutions and retained Sharia Personal law. Now, Muslims, under PMB, have surreptitiously attempted to amend the Constitution to insert the full implementation of Sharia without carrying Nigerians along! Muslim leaders have always argued that Sharia law is meant for Muslims only. But Christians have always refused to buy the argument because in practice, non- Muslims have often been dragged before Sharia courts and have been adjudicated by a legal system repugnant to their faith. Several documented cases abound to prove this! Besides, Christians have always argued why the government that is supposed to be neutral to all religions should uphold the religious laws of one religion with public funds to the harm of the adherents of other faiths!

My book, Sharia In Nigeria: A Christian Perspective (Challenge Publications, 1988), documents the issues succinctly clear! These are some of the issues that make some of us to take with a pinch of salt the claims that PMB means well for this country! Our job is to bring these issues to the fore to create awareness of what is happening. Whatever happens afterwards is beyond our power. Itís up to you all! Broadcast this information'.

There is no doubt that the determination of Muslim extremists in north Nigeria, to foist Sharia laws all over Nigeria has taken another step towards their sinister objective, by the second reading and passing of this bill.

The fact that the bill scaled its second reading without a single opposition is intriguing, considering the furore the same issue has raised in the past. One wonders whose interest southern and Christian members of the National Assembly are serving.

The bill seeks to make all aspects of Sharia law part of the Nigerian constitution and implemented in the whole of Nigeria. This will ensure that the benefit of Sharia laws, viz. : cutting off of the hands of thieves, stoning adulterers, and blasphemers, public flogging of offenders, legalisation of child marriages and ensuring all women wear Nicab, banning alcohol, making Islam the official religion, giving men right to marry up to four wives without permission etc., available to all Nigerians. Not a bad thing, if you do not believe in individual liberty, humane treatment of offenders, equality, tolerance of differences, plurality of views about the transcendent, enlightenment and fundamental human rights.

No doubt the bill will usher in a new phase in the history and evolution of Nigeria as a country. The implication and the threat this sectarian minded, obnoxious and provocative bill pose to the continued existence of Nigeria as one country cannot be over emphasised.

It shows that those who gave Nigeria Sharia laws in the north, Boko Haram, Grazing ground bill, armed Fulani militia and ensured that all important positions in Nigeria today are occupied by Muslims are very determined to turn Nigeria into an Islamic nation in the image of Saudi Arabia, where most of them go for their spiritual inspiration. I admire their tenacity,relentlessness, strategic thinking and determined to achieve their aim. It reminds me of one of the things Jesus said, the children of this world, in their generation, are wiser than the children of light.

This development is another evidence of the escalation of effort to turn Nigeria into an Islamic, since the election of Muhammadu Buhari, an arch Islamist, who vowed that he would not rest, until the whole of Nigeria is under sharia. He seems to be keeping his word.

Since his election, president Mohammadu Buhari has pursed a sectarian agenda like the push to appropriate vast acres of land all over the country for the exclusive use of Fulanis, refusal to disarm Fulani herdsmen , plan to introduce Islamic indoctrination of children as part of religious education all over Nigeria and increasing militarisation of south Nigeria, extrajudicial killings of Christians and ethnic cleansing of Christian communities. Just to mention a few.

All these are going on, against the back ground of a selective war against corruption, which spears members of his political party and those who misappropriated state state fund to sponsor his presidential application form fee and paid for his electioneering campaign.

The president has also brutally cracked down on Shia Muslims in a massacre that constitutes crime against humanity. His actions so far, has further widened the ethnic and religious divide and led to increasing agitation for independent state of Biafra in the south East. It would not be far fetched to conclude that the primary aim of the president of Nigeria, is not the welfare of all Nigerians, but to turn Nigeria into Islamic state.

Nigerian from south who are predominately Christians, have shown remarkable, understanding and tolerance, which now borders on either naivety or ignorance.

Many of them have been what Muslims describe as useful idiots, as they either kept silent or aided the grand plan to turn Nigeria into an Islamic state and ensure that all its resources are in the hands of the Muslim north.

It is curious that not a single legislator from the south has protested the sustained and systematic attempt to turn Nigeria into an Islamic state contrary to the provisions of the constitution. None of them protested the introduction of Sharia in the north even though it is unconstitutional.

The Christians and other non-Muslims have been example in tolerance to ensure that all coexist peacefully. However, Muslim extremist, as fanatics, who have no respect for their opponents and do not know where and when to stop, have continued to put unbearable strain on the things that hold Nigeria together as a country, as they push to recreate Nigeria in the image of intolerant Islam.

These extremists and their Boko Haram and Fulani terrorists have continued Their two prong strategy to turn Nigeria into an Islamic state.

The president of Nigeria, Mohammadu Buhari has no mandate from the people of Nigeria to turn Nigeria into an Islamic state. This is not in his party manifesto and it is happening because for no other reason other than, the president's religious convictions and because the OIC wants it to happen. Buhari seems determined to bring to Nigeria, what Islam did to Lebanon.

Buhari, has confirmed what many of us know all along, that he is a religious fanatic, who has no true respect for other religions and has contempt for the religious beliefs of others. After his election, he held a security meeting attended by only Muslim heads and excluded the Vice President who is a Christian.

Since his election, more Nigerians have been killed by the military than has been the case since the end of the civil war. In less than one year, his tenure has recorded the highest number of death of Nigerian in peace time. This should worry rational human beings.

Before his election, he threatened that the blood of baboons would flow. Sadly what us flowing in Nigeria today is the blood of baboon but the blood of Christians and Shia Muslims.

Buhari's leadership is evolving into a callous and insensitive leadership, which has an Islamic agenda.

Christians and all lovers of Liberty need to study carefully what is happening in both north and South Sudan today to understand what president Buhari has in store for Nigeria. This will be the fate of Nigeria, unless Buhari is stopped or persuaded to give up his sinister Islamic agenda.

There is a north Sudan under Sharia, which is fermenting trouble in the south because of oil. It is already happening. North Nigeria is united under sharia, the south is ethnically divided.

I plead with the world, to persuade Nigerian president to give up his Islamic agenda for Nigeria.

Islamisation of Nigeria will only bring the same disaster it had brought to all countries, where extremist Muslims have imposed Islam on others against their will. A dark cloud has gathered over Nigeria.

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