HIGHLIGHTS OF THE PAPER
- Presently, everyone of good conscience in Nigeria is pained at the operation of the spirit of Judas which through treachery has steadily degraded Democracy in the country.
- The antithesis of Democracy is Sharia ideology. While Democracy accommodates divergent groups in the country, Sharia is discriminatory and caters only to the interest and well being of a section of the country.
- Democracy is easily promoted when Christians uphold democratic values. Unfortunately, the current leadership of the Church has confirmed by its various actions that it is Islamist collaborator and more sympathetic towards Sharia rather than Democracy.
- Consequently, Christians no longer possess moral or spiritual legal ground to defend free and fair election because Sharia supporters inside the Church ensure that Church election is neither free nor fair. In effect, Democracy is compromised in Nigeria from within the Church.
- If Christians wish to regain spiritual and moral right to promote Democracy in Nigeria, their agitation should commence from within the Church.
- It has been suggested that CSMN should constitute a Christian Judicial Panel to interpret the Constitution of the Christian Association in view of the recent undemocratic “election” inside the Church. It is concluded that if there is no electoral integrity inside the Church, electoral integrity cannot be found in the country.
- In view of the other points enumerated in the paper below, Christians are enjoined not to destroy Democracy in Nigeria.
Christians Must Not Destroy Democracy From Within
I have, as a lay faithful, refrained from quotations from the Bible to prove a point because I believe that the Church groups I have been dealing with are best placed to refer to and interpret the Holy Bible especially the New Testament.
As Christians, we have Christ (good) in us and Judas (betrayal) yearning to overcome us and it is left to us as humans to choose Christ (good) and with the correct guidance to reject Judas (betrayal). We need the grace of God to recover from the diseases and the symptoms of treachery. We also need the grace of God through reconciliation to return to Christ not Judas. Judas is the treacherous attempt to turn Nigeria from a Democracy to a Sharia country as a result of her membership of the OIC. Unfortunately, the three arms Government, the Legislature, Executive and Judiciary are dominated by Sharia compliant Muslims and Christians. This explains the sham Democracy being practiced by the dominant political parties in Nigeria. The attempt to replace thumbs with bullets, the murders of innocent Nigerians and the sham elections of 2019 are all symptoms of the disease caused by the ideology of Sharia or Islamism.
In the concluding paragraphs of my paper titled A Case for One Nigeria, One System, presented to the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) in Benin City on October 25, 2019, (available at www.csmnigeria.org), I wrote:
- Christians do not have an Army or a Police Force of their own but Muslims do. Buhari has become an elected dictator – who dispenses Constitution with strains, when he said that the Rule of Law is subject to security and that the courts should uphold this contention. In the circumstance, Christians have to advocate for themselves because if they don’t, no one will do it for them. It is time that Christian “South” began to trumpet its contribution to the national coffers since Amalgamation of 1914 especially in oil and gas. Christians must prevent war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. Christians do not want the Sudan experience that resulted in its breakup into two countries. Nigeria must therefore not be carved out in the image of Sudan.
- Christian Heads of State and Governors since and after Aguiyi-Ironsi in 1966 (both Northerners and Southerners) believed that they were able to ascend the high office at the behest of the Fulani Ethnic Nationality as the successor to the British. In the circumstance, there is the need to emphasize that Nigerian Negro Christians have a superior right to these positions as indigenous Nigerians over and above those Arab Negroids who through indirect rule, have been made to colonize Nigeria as proxy of the British.
- As a lay faithful, I know that the Church is One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic and, that Democracy is the secularized residue of Church doctrine, of the people of God, and in our social thoughts the choice of the political regime and the appointment of rulers are left to the free decision of the citizens." This choice cannot be left to the lay faithful, especially when the choice is between Democracy and Sharia. Silence in the circumstance, is not golden, because Sharia principle is that “God makes the rightful leaders win” which suggests that humans have no free will, which is the bedrock of Christianity.
The consequence of a, b and c above is that the Nigerian military high jacked democracy when Christians failed to appreciate correctly, Islamists’ propensity for violence as instrument of conversion.
SUBVERSION OF DEMOCRACY FROM THE CHURCH
In the book titled Soldiers of Fortune: Nigerian Politics from Buhari to Babangida 1983 – 1993, inferences can be drawn successfully to suggest:
- That the military regimes established by deliberate policy, a group of Pastors and Christians that are “Sharia compliant”. Also, University and Secondary Schools students were introduced to cultism. This group of Pastors and students, over the years, are now in positions of authority and seem determined to accommodate jihad - stealth and conventional, as necessary instrument for conversion to Islam and that Christians should be concerned about this awful state of affairs, in addition to Boko Haram, Fulani herdsmen and banditry. Today these sets of Christians are the mouth piece of Islamism.
- At the inception of Christianity in Nigeria, the rivalry between Catholics and Protestants, between British and the Irish were imported into Nigeria in addition to local complex towards indigenous Churches. As a result, the foundation for Christian unity intended to be achieved with the establishment of CAN North in 1965 and CAN National in 1976 have proved unsuccessful because Christians in Nigeria have failed to appreciate the danger that Islamism posed over the years. Islamism is determined to reverse the Negroid Nigerians acceptance of Christianity, Western culture and way of life and to make Nigeria a modern day Sharia Islamic State with a Sultanate.
- There is need for Christians in Nigeria surrounded by Islamists to understand the meaning of some of the more important tenets of Islam - jihad (stealth and conventional), Abrogation, Apostasy, Gender Inequality, Hudud Punishments, Islamic Supremacy, Lying/Taqiyya, Slander/Blasphemy, Zakat etc, and in particular that Democracy and Sharia are incompatible and that when an Islamist says he believes in Democracy, it is stealth jihad or Taqiyya (lying). Man-made laws including the Constitution of Nigeria are taboos under Sharia, which CSMN set out to understand. This lack of understanding and greed are responsible for Christians becoming puns to Islamist politicians and soldiers responsible for turning Nigeria from a Democratic to an Islamic State.
- The above reasons necessitated the need for the establishment of the Christian Social Movement of Nigeria (CSMN) in 2001 to protect Democracy and the Christian way of life. To the embarrassment of Christians, Rev. Samson Olasupo Ayokunle, incumbent CAN President authorized a press statement in PUNCH Newspaper on 13 and 14 August, 2018 which stated that CAN is “not connected” with CSMN and warned Nigerian Christians not to support it when in fact CSMN was registered in the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) by the five Church groups that make up CAN and it was inaugurated by the then Vice President of CAN on behalf of the then President of CAN. This was improper and embarrassing and placed in its proper perspective it was stealth jihad against Christians by the leader of the only Christian umbrella Association in Nigeria.
- The immediate past CAN President, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, approved a Strategy Document prepared by a Christian technocrat, under the guidance of NCEF to build structures that would strengthen and protect Christianity in Nigeria and provide the necessary unity. This Strategy Document was accepted by the then CAN President and approved by NEC in 2015 for implementation. NCEF handed this document over to Rev. Ayokunle on 2nd August, 2016. Since then, Rev. Ayokunle did nothing about implementing the Strategy Document neither did he produce an alternative program of action for the Church. CSMN intends to retrieve and implement it for the Common Good of all including Muslims and Animists. Rev. Ayokunle’s conduct is yet another proof of stealth jihad by a Christian leader.
- In the past three years, the incumbent CAN President ensured that Christians in Nigeria must continue, cap in hand, to beg Islamists and politicians for funds to run CAN. CAN Trust Fund was established to support Christians, promote Democracy and Good Governance in the collective interest of all citizens so that CAN as a Christian Association should not rely on Government “Security Votes” established to finance the destruction of Democracy and Rule of Law and replace same with Sharia. The CAN Trust Fund is the initiative of an individual to whom NEC of CAN gave the mandate on 9th July 2014, during its meeting in Makurdi, Benue State. CAN officials were included in the Board of Trustees to guarantee accountability and transparency but not to take it over. In fact, the mandate had been given before Rev. Ayokunle was made the CAN President and the Trust Fund had commenced operations. Unfortunately, Rev. Ayokunle overreached himself and usurped its functions. Today CAN Trust Fund is moribund. In the past three years, Christianity in Nigeria lost over N100 billion due to deliberate sabotage of the CAN Trust Fund by Rev. Samson Olasupo Ayokunle. The CAN Trust Fund should be retrieved from Rev. Ayokunle and handed back to its rightful Board of Trustees. The sabotage of the CAN Trust Fund is stealth jihad by Rev. Ayokunle to ensure that CAN remains poor and ineffective.
- The National Christian Elders Forum (NCEF) has demanded a written apology from Rev. Ayokunle for locking the National Christian Center on Monday 19th November, 2018 and preventing the NCEF since then from holding its regular meetings. NCEF was inaugurated by the former CAN President inside the Cathedral of the National Christian Center, Abuja and has been holding its meetings there. Seeing that the Cathedral was locked, NCEF decided to hold its meeting sitting outside on the veranda following the unsavory action of Rev. Ayokunle. Not satisfied, Rev. Ayokunle invited the Police, led by CSP Usman Abinni to evict and arrest the Christian Elders from the Christian Centre, the heritage of all Christians in Nigeria. However, when the Police officers arrived and saw the caliber of people in NCEF, they apologized profusely and left, visibly embarrassed. Some of the people Rev. Ayokunle denied access into the Centre were instrumental to its construction. This is stealth jihad against Christians with the CAN President as one of its many instruments.
- Nigeria Inter Religious Council (NIREC) is supposed to be a platform for religious harmony but unfortunately, only the two major religions of Christianity and Islam are invited and financed by the Presidency. Other religions including our Nigerian traditional religions are shut out at its meeting, the Sultanate dominate and CAN representatives who become mere chorus “boys” echoing the wishes of the Sultan. Government involvement in religion is in breach of the tenets of amalgamation and Constitution “every man is free to worship God as he chooses” in addition, it is a violation of Section 10 of the Constitution.
WHAT IS DESTROYING DEMOCRACY IN NIGERIA?
We decided to narrate some of the incidents above in an attempt to showcase the loopholes which adversaries of Democracy are exploiting to compromise Government of the majority in favor of Government of the minority. Democracy is “residue of Church doctrine” while Sharia is residue of Islamism. The crisis in Nigeria is the contest for supremacy between Democracy and Sharia.
Ironically, Sharia is gaining the upper hand because the Church that is supposed to promote Democracy is promoting Sharia through the Islamist collaborators amongst the leadership of Christians. The National Christian Elders Forum (NCEF) produced a detailed report of how the Islamist collaborators in CAN ensured that Christian consensus to produce a Christian President during the 2019 election was frustrated. It was not surprising therefore that immediately after the questionable 2019 election in which President Buhari was declared the winner, Rev. Samson Olasupo Ayokunle rushed to congratulate him thereby using the collective clout of Christians in Nigeria to legitimize the flawed election. If this is not stealth jihad in the Church, we await to be educated on what constitutes stealth jihad.
To worsen matter, the Church itself no longer practices Democracy. As witnessed during the last election in CAN, four articles in the Constitution of the Association were violated to “re-elect” Rev. Samson Olasupo Ayokunle. Someone had suggested that CSMN should constitute a Christian Judicial Panel to interpret the Constitution of CAN in relation to the purported “re-election” of Rev. Ayokunle. If Christians destroy Democracy within the Church, why would anyone be surprised that Democracy is stultified in the country?
CSMN posits that if Christians want Democracy to survive in Nigeria, they have to ensure that it succeeds in the Church. Only then, would they possess spiritual and moral right to demand the promotion of Democracy in Nigeria. If Christians cannot summon the moral and spiritual courage to demand righteous election in the Church, then there would be no basis to expect that Islamists would promote Democracy for the country.
It is very clear from the above facts that with Islamist Boko Haram and ambitious Fulani herdsmen in our midst, Christians need to establish institutions that would ensure that Christianity remains a major religion in the “Democratic” Republic of Nigeria because Democracy is protected. To survive in the face of Islamism, there is need for a more strategic, inclusive and preventive approach. The whole society must be involved, more so, when we have a section of the country, the North-East, under the control of Islamists.
Christians must appreciate the danger which Islamism poses to ordinary Christians. And with the collaboration of some Christians especially those in authority, Pastors, politicians and technocrats in that order, Christians in Nigeria have no chance of surviving the jihad of the Islamists and this makes Advocacy not only necessary but also important and urgent, especially when Christians in Nigeria do not have a political party to protect Democracy.
Christians in Nigeria are yearning for a rallying point and they look up to Christian organizations for leadership. And as has been shown herein, CSMN, which was established as the socio-political arm of the Church, is eminently qualified to play this role. “Once bitten, twice shy”, as a non-violent advocacy is necessary and is appropriate in the circumstance.
Yours in Christ,
Solomon Asemota, SAN
A lay faithful
Chairman, Board of Governors
Christian Social Movement of Nigeria (CSMN)
Chairman, National Christian Elders Forum (NCEF)
25th November, 2019