The Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government has once again been accused of plots to islamise Nigeria through the backdoor, using the Sukuk Islamic bond as handle. The Christian Association of Nigeria is making the allegation.
CAN’s latest allegation on plots by Buhari’s administration to islamise the country was contained in a statement it made available to newsmen on Tuesday in Abuja through its general secretary, Rev. Musa Asake.
The Christian body has, therefore, called on the Federal Government to without delay abrogate the laws and framework behind the bond. It vowed that it was going to seek legal redress should government fail to do that.
“The Christian Association of Nigeria has been protesting against this aberration since the Osun State Government, under Governor Rafiu Aregbesola, embarked on this violation of the constitution. Rather than stand in the defence of the constitution, it is disappointing to note that the Federal Government is pursuing what is an outright confirmation of an Islamisation agenda.
“The recent floating of Sukkuk Bond by the government is not only sectional but illegal and a violation of the constitution. Every law that has been promulgated to back the Sukuk issuance and promote an Islamic banking system in Nigeria is ultra vires, illegal, null and void,” part of the statement read.
Noting that Nigeria had never at anytime held a referendum or convened a constituent assembly that passed a resolution declaring the country an Islamic state, CAN warned that “the manipulations and scheming to smuggle the country into a full blown Islamic state should stop.”
Recalling that the manipulations became apparent with the “smuggling of Nigeria into the Organisation of Islamic Conference in 1986 by the Ibrahim Babangida military junta,” Asake argued that, according to International Monetary Fund (IMF), the issuance of Sukuk by non-Islamic countries was a breach of the religious neutrality of the government of such states.
“The FG must dismantle all legal and institutional framework established to promote Islamic financing in Nigeria. We affirm that the territorial integrity of Nigeria is undermined through the issuance of Sukuk in the country. We hope that the government shall desist from its policies of unbridled religious sectionalism,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has denied the allegation. He explained that “Sukuk is not an attempt to Islamise Nigeria in any form. On the contrary, it is an attempt at financial inclusiveness. The difference between Sukuk Bond and other bonds is that if you invest in Sukuk bond, you earn no interest.
“So, the scheme appeals to many people who don’t believe that money should gather interest. They, however, engage in profit sharing in the sense that if the government makes a profit from the bond, they give the investor a part of it but if the government makes no profit, the investor is not entitled to anything.”
There have been recurring allegations of how the present Federal Government has been plotting to islamise the country. A coalition of 14 Christian groups had sometime ago also alleged desperate plans by the Presidency to turn the country to an Islamic state, “through the backdoor.”
They had then argued that the bill in the House of Representatives proposing amendment to Section 262(1) of the 1999 constitution with a view to expanding the existing jurisdiction of the Sharia Court of Appeal and the state by including criminal matters was insensitive and inconsistent with democratic and republican ideals of the constitution and the Nigerian state.
More recently, allegation of replacement of Christian Religious Knowledge (CRK) in the curriculum of Nigerians schools was strongly opposed by CAN who also alleged it was a plot to islamise the country.
By Ebere Ndukwu …
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