NIGERIA NEEDS A TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION COMMISSION: NOT A BILL ON NGO’S
Memorandum to the House of Representatives on the Bill on Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) Regulatory Commission for Supervision, Co-operation and Monitoring of Non-Governmental Organizations, etc
In the confidential memorandum we submitted to Christian Senators on July 25, 2017, the National Christian Elders Forum (NCEF) recommended, among other things that “…there is need for a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to open our eyes because as it is suggested below, we entered British colonialism with our eyes shut and now with our eyes open cannot see that we were colonized by neo-colonialists the jihadist. A full disclosure by individuals, institutions and organizations will heal the wounds of the two-time colonial misery;”
A Truth and Reconciliation Commission has become necessary in view of the speed with which the Government of Nigeria is pursuing what we know as Sharia compliant policies. These include an amendment of the Constitution, Federal appointments in violation of Federal Character Principle, Sukkuk, refusal to be bound by the rule of law and the Constitution and setting up parallel organizations to counter democratic practices amongst others. It is in this light that the NCEF see the Bill on NGOs now before the National Assembly – as an instrument of stealth jihad to hinder rule of law and democracy. The NCEF rejects the Bill because it can negatively impact our democracy. We reject the accusation that as Christians, we are ignorant of the tenets of Islam in present day 21st Century when there exists the Internet and the English translation of the Quran and other Islamic literature as indicated herein. We insist that we are not ignorant as we are prepared to present our “ignorance” before a legally constituted Truth and Reconciliation Commission. A Bill on Truth and Reconciliation is preferable one than on NGOs intended to hinder the progress of democracy and civilization
In this memo, we dealt with Democracy and Sharia and Jihad, what advocates of Jihad in modern times say, including collaboration between Sunni and Shiite Muslims in the promotion of Jihad elsewhere and in Nigeria. We pointed out that Jihad is obligatory, that waging Jihad is a constant state of war that must exist between the Dar-al-Islam and Dar-al-Harb. We postulated that God must be a Nigerian, because both Stealth and Conventional Violent Jihads are being waged simultaneously in the country yet Nigeria has survived and continues to survive.
We traced the friendly relationship between British “man on the spot”, Lugard and the Emirs and the fact that the British approved Negroid Fulanis’ right of conquest of some part of northern Nigeria and drew attention to the fact that Lugard had issues with Christianity notwithstanding the fact that he was the son of an English parson. We pointed out that the British loved the North, its weather and the polo game. In modern times, the Muslim Brotherhood has recast Jihad as not just strictly warfare but also as a revolution an anti-colonialism weapon and anti-modernization phenomenon . Muslim rulers who refuse to adopt Sharia are adjudged as apostate. We defined both the Stealth and Conventional Jihads. We went further to discuss Democracy and Sharia, two prevailing ideologies in conflict in Nigeria, their compatibility and incompatibility.
FIRST LEGISLATIVE ACT AT INDEPENDENCE
The first Legislative Act enacted by the Parliament in 1961, the State Emergency Act of 1961, was a strange way of celebrating Independence. It turned out to be the foundation laid for the emergence of Western Nigeria two years after. In our view, the following examples, among many others, are Jihads perpetuated by the Islamists against our country Nigeria:
- The coup of 1975 is Jihad because no armed forces in the world would overthrow their Commander-in-Chief for the delay in handing over power to “bloody” civilians. The retirement that followed the overthrow was Stealth Jihad wherein over 90% of those retired were Christians and Monsignor Pedro Martin appointed to look into these retirements was, himself, retired. Maitatsine uprisings, the Riots in Kano 1953, 1954, 1982, 1991, 1995, Kaduna in 1987, 2000, Katsina 1991, Bauchi, Tafawa Balewa 1991, 1994, 2000, Portiskum 1994, Plateau 1994, Jos 2001, Borno 1998 etc were all Jihads. Thereafter, Boko Haram, Fulani herdsmen’s attacks became routine events in Northern Nigeria and progressed to the East.
- It is Stealth Jihad to co-opt Christians into the ruling elite by appointments and remuneration especially members of the National and State Assemblies with Jumbo pay and other inducements that elevate them into the status of Neo-colonialists; it is neo-colonialism to retain the two structures of “African” and “European” ranks in present day Nigeria Police Force and also the disparity in the pay structure of members of the Legislature and the ordinary worker under the prevailing minimum wage structure.
- Nigeria’s membership of OIC in 1986, was Stealth Jihad so also was Babangida’s Transition without End that achieved nothing. The NCEF holds the view that the “death” of Abiola and Abacha have the hallmarks of jihad. The 1999 Constitution is valued by Islamists as the compilation of the “spoils of jihad” since amalgamation of 1914.
THE STEALTH JIHAD ON NCEF
The NCEF thereafter recounted its first hand experience of Stealth Jihad with the inauguration of the CAN Trust Fund which was established in Makurdi on 9th July, 2014. The objectives of the CAN Trust Fund include rebuilding Christian infrastructures in some states following the activities of Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen, funding of the CAN Secretariat and the establishment of Christian institutions to transform CAN into an institution.
The first salvo came from a prominent Church Group which stated that the NCEF flier on CAN Trust Fund: “is worrisome and arrived at the following conclusions: (a) that people will think that CAN is “sourcing for funds to build a Christian Army to fight the Muslims”; (b)NCEF “reduced Christians to mere children by assuming that the disunity in CAN is from without whereas the problem is deeply within”, and; (c) That Christian Elders should not “further polarize the Body of Christ in Nigeria.” We were able to overcome this challenge with our response in our publication titled “Weapons win Jihad but it takes Ideas to win the Peace”. The unstated purpose of this opposition from within, which has continued to this day, is to blind Nigeria’s thinkers especially Church leaders in order to aid the doctrinal justification of Sharia. The end result is that Church leaders themselves “by their own hands” will cripple Nigeria’s ability to respond effectively to jihad.
After surmounting a Church group mis-information, the Department of State Security (DSS) struck.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE SECURITY (DSS) IN STEALTH JIHAD
The Laity members of the Board of Trustees of the CAN Trust Fund were invited to the SSS Headquarters and compelled to make “statements under caution” before they were released. In our letter of protest to the DSS, we informed the President of CAN as follows:
- That the Elders took considerable time deliberating on this incident and frowned at the act of impunity by the Intelligence Agency. For most of the Elders, it was a confirmation that the Intelligence Service in Nigeria has aligned itself with the Islamists to truncate Democracy and emasculate Christianity. The Elders resolved that a strongly worded letter condemning the action of the DSS should be written and the President of CAN should sign it. For one, the SSS alias DSS failed to issue an official letter of invitation to the Trustees and also failed to acknowledge the letter written by CAN that it should have channeled its invitation through the President of CAN. The letter also condemned in very strong terms, the demand of the DSS that the Trustees should make statement "under caution" to connote that they had committed a crime.
- That as Christians, we have not heard of any reported case of Islamic insurgents, Fulani herdsmen or other anti-Christian agents being paraded, prosecuted, or convicted by the courts for the repeated murder, rape, arson, wanton destruction of Christian habitations in this country, the fact that the Jihadists have been on rampage and committing these acts notwithstanding.
- That CAN is and will always be disposed to dialogue with DSS on issues relating to the Islamists persecution, activities of the Christian Church in Nigeria and the general peaceful coexistence of the Ethnic Nationalities and Religious Communities in Nigeria.
- That having considered the negative effect of DSS interrogation “under caution” of the distinguished members of the Board of Trustees of the CAN Trust Fund on the Christian Community in Nigeria, it was demanded that a written public apology be tendered to these distinguished Nigerians.
ON DEMOCRACY AND SHARIA
We referred to a memo to the CAN President titled The Precarious Position of the Body of Christ in Nigeria, and that Christians must not and cannot be neutral when there is an opportunity to elect leaders in Nigeria, especially in the face of Islamist challenges. With respect to the two prevailing ideologies Democracy and Sharia in conflict, we hold the view that: “over the years, since amalgamation of 1914, Islamists in Nigeria have established relationship, and wherever possible, penetrated and taken over government, institutions including the Legislative, Executive and Judiciary branches of the Nigerian Government. At Federal, State and Local Government levels, the law enforcement community, the Intelligence, the Military, Penal Institutions, the media, think-tanks and policy groups, academic institutions, etc to dismantle Western systems set up in Nigeria by the British. This fact is further reflected in the appointments made by President Buhari. Islamists engage in this takeover for one reason, to subvert democracy to ensure the triumph of Sharia. Until recently the Islamists have been able to convince some Church leaders that the separation of Church and State is anti-religion. In other words, that a secular state means no God. Fortunately, Nigeria has between 1960 – 1966, tested Democracy freedom and human rights, that have constituted a subliming blockage in the Islamists complete takeover of Nigeria.”
That those Muslims advocating for compatibility of Sharia and Democracy are Muslim thinkers in Pakistan and Indonesia, while the Arabs hold the view that Democracy and Sharia are incompatible.
We also discussed the “Native use of culture matters” which include private members bill now before the House of Representatives and the fact that the Quran is the ‘Constitution’ of Seriki Muslimi. From these facts, it is clear that Muslims in Nigeria know what Christians do not know that:
- Increasingly social scientists turn to cultural factors to explain modernization, political democratization, military strategy, the behavior of ethnic groups, and the alignments and antagonisms among people and countries.
- Perhaps the wisest words on the place of culture in human affairs are those by Daniel Patrick Myniham: "The central conservative truth is that it is culture, not politics that determines the success of a society. The central liberal truth is that politics can change a culture and save it from itself;
- Anthropologists, perhaps most notably Clifford Geertz, have emphasized culture as "thick description" and used it to refer to the entire way of life of a society: its values, practices, symbols, institutions, and human relationships. Hence we define culture in purely subjective terms as the values, attitudes, beliefs, orientations, and underlying assumptions prevalent among people in a society;
- Societies also may change their culture in response to major trauma. Their disastrous experiences in World War II changed Germany and Japan from being the two most militaristic countries in the world to two of the most pacifist. Similarly, Mariano Grondona has suggested that Argentina was making progress towards economic reform, economic stability, and political democracy in the mid-1990s in part as a result of its disastrous experiences with a brutal military dictatorship, military defeat, and super-hyperinflation;
- The explanation of this anomaly was clearly Lee Kwan Yew, who was determined to make Singapore as uncorrupt as possible and succeeded. Here "politics did change a culture and save it from itself”.
And concluded that all denominations in Nigeria must work together to change some of our negative cultural practices.
MANIPULATION OF THE POPULACE
With respect to manipulation of the populace, why Nigerians look helpless in the face of blackmail and falsehood, injustice, intimidation and above all birthright in equality. We refer and commented on two publications:
- The Grand Masters: Africa’s clowns of Democracy by Dan Agbese; and
- The Rise and Fall of Muhammadu Buhari in The Economist online, published in the Daily Trust.
And concluded that the enemy we face is not Boko Haram per se. We must, instead, come to grips with the jihadist imperative that derives from Sharia doctrine itself – and the reality that all who know and actively follow that doctrine are dedicated to jihad for the purpose of imposing Islamic law on this country and all non-Islamic societies worldwide. The enemy at war with Nigeria is not just Boko Haram, and Fulani herdsmen but also a significant percentage of the hundreds of millions of Islamists who are dedicated to the imposition of Sharia on Nigeria by violence or by stealth jihad methods, and the Nigeria governments leadership willfully misconstruing the threat, thus failing woefully in its constitutional responsibility to “support and defend the Constitution” Section 14(1) provides: The Federal Republic of Nigeria shall be a State based on the principles of democracy and social justice; (2) It is hereby, accordingly, declared that: (a) sovereignty belongs to the people of Nigeria from whom government through this Constitution derives all its powers and authority; (b) the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government. Islamists have failed to support and defend the Constitution. Rather their unstated purpose is to blind Nigeria’s strategic thinkers including Church leaders to the existence of doctrinal justification for Islamic terror. The end result is that they themselves including Church leaders, “by their own hand,” will cripple Nigeria’s ability to respond effectively to jihad.
For all the horrific destruction of human life and endeavor thus far perpetrated by Boko Haram, Fulani herdsmen and their allies, both national and sub-national, these atrocities have threatened our way of life especially when we allow them to undermine our morale and erode our faith in ourselves, our abilities and our leadership. If Nigeria permits Boko Haram to instill the terror about which other Sharia-adherents have spoken, then we will have granted Boko Haram and its ilk the power to set the conditions for our acquiescence, appeasement and surrender.
Refusal to name the enemy or describe his ideology accurately is but the first step in the enemy’s program to undermine Nigeria strategic thinking from confronting the real threat or having any hope of developing an effective strategy to defeat it. It is imperative that we, as Nigerians, recognize and openly identify Sharia as the pillar of Islamic terror.
BILL ON NGO’s ACTIVITIES IN NIGERIA
The NCEF is convinced, based on real and circumstantial evidence contained in this memorandum, that the NGO’s Activities Bill, now before the National Assembly is one of the many attempts to truncate the ability of Christian organizations to raise funds for its activities and to hinder democracy. We associate ourselves with the views of Prof. Chidi Odinkalu that “this is the most dangerous piece of legislation that has come for consideration in the National Assembly since the return to Civil Rule in 1999”.
A Truth and Reconciliation Commission being canvassed would provide a platform for those for and against, Islamism, political Islam or Sharia. NCEF is protesting against various jihads committed against Nigerians which include killing of the Abiolas, General Abacha killing of demonstrators in Lagos, co-opting some Christians as junior partners in Government in order to promote and enhance jihad over the years in Nigeria. Amnesty can be granted to some to bring the political parties on board. No moral distinction should be made by the Commission between the violence used to promote jihad and the violence employed to oppose jihad. Instinctively, Christians do not have the equivalent of Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen and a Commission will prevent a revenge group from developing in the future. The Commission will also prevent hate speeches, pogrom or genocide.
Nigeria needs to re-define the basis of its existence as a country in search of nationhood. Those who were killed or suffered as a result of jihad, people like Alfred Rewane, the Abiolas, Tunde Elegbede etc need to be “heard” from their graves. There is therefore no better forum for this than a Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Truth and Reconciliation Commission above all is an instrument for reconciliation and national unity to promote Nigeria from a country to a nation. Nigeria has to be liberated from political Islam a.k.a. Islamism or Sharia. Afterall, weapons win jihad while knowledge win the peace.
God bless Nigeria.
For: National Christian Elders Forum (NCEF)
Solomon Asemota SAN
NIGERIA: NEEDS A TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION COMMISSION: NOT A BILL ON NGO’S
In the Guardian of Saturday, September 23, 2017, the NSCIA accused CAN of Islamophobia, to which an appropriate reply has been sent. It is however true that NCEF is wary of political Islam or Islamism because in Nigeria, a country with more Christians than Muslims, Christians are being regarded as people of the book, who are required to pay Jizya with wiling submission and feel themselves subdued. (Q9.29) What NCEF reject however is to be labeled ignorant. NCEF is not, and no Muslim or Christian should suggest to us, that we do not know the meaning of Islamic Sharia and what Jihad stands for, especially in the present day (21st century) world when there are English language translations of the Quran and other Muslims texts.
The NCEF does not intend to enter into Newspaper controversy with NSCIA but has decided to raise this issue of Jihad in Nigeria with all political parties with a view to countering Muslims command action against Christians they call, People of the Book: “Fight those who believe not in God nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by God and His Apostle, nor acknowledge the Religion of truth, even if they be People of the book [Christians and Jews] until they pay the Jizya with willing submission and feel themselves subdued.” (Q9:29). Thus, Christians and Jews are afforded a third choice not available to polytheists: convert, die or submit to Islam as dhimmis” (See Mark Durie, The Third Choice: Islam, Dhimmitude and Freedom, (Deror Books, 2009) This is a subject which the NCEF believe is better handled by a political party in government because Christians in Nigeria cannot identify any party they would call their own. Christians cannot be left at the mercy of Islamists in Nigeria and CAN is absolutely right to regard Sukuk as “Jihad with money” or Stealth Jihad which it is.
Sharia and Jihad
What is meant by “jihad”? Is it merely a personal struggle to be the best possible Muslim, as we are told by our Muslim brothers in Nigeria. Or does it mean holy war, the pursuit of a global Islamic state (caliphate) that rules in accordance with Sharia as it is being practiced in Nigeria by (1) the Intelligence arm of government; (2) Boko Haram; and (3) Fulani herdsmen. Sharia scholars typically cite as authority for jihad any of the 164 verses from the Quran that specifically refer to jihad against non-Muslims in terms that include military expeditions, fighting enemies, or distributing the spoils of war. “Fighting is prescribed for you” (Q 2:216); “Slay them wherever you find them” (Q 4:89); and “Fight the idolaters utterly” (Q 9:36). Among the most categorical of such Quranic entries and the most often cited as authoritative by the Sharia scholars is the “Verse of the Sword”: ”So when the sacred months have passed, then fight and slay the pagans wherever you find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem of war; but if they repent and establish regular prayers, and practice regular charity, then leave their way free to them; for surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.” (Q 9:5) These are not hate speeches but words of the Quran and, more importantly, actions of the present government in “collaboration” with Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen.
There are, moreover, a number of recognized compilations that systematize and codify Islamic law. They spell out the duty of jihad as holy war, which all Muslims (including the Sharia states) in Nigeria, must advance in one or more carefully delineated ways. Jihad means to wage war against non-Muslims, and is etymologically derived from the word mujahada, signifying warfare to establish the religion. It is pertinent to point out that there are passages in the Old Testament with similar exultation but has since become obsolete.
This, no doubt, is one of the many passages of the Quran that encouraged the British to ensure that Jihad continued after amalgamation in 1914, through the handing over of power in 1960 to those from whom they earlier took power. Udoh Udoma wrote “on the issue of title to land: ‘Sir Frederick Lugard, in 1902 declared that: the Fulani hold their suzerainty by right of recent conquest ... and I can myself see no injustice in the transfer of the suzerainty thus acquired to the British Government by the same right of conquest. This suzerainty involves the ultimate title to all land, the right to appoint Emirs and all officers of state, the right of legislation and of taxation.” [History and the Law of the Constitution of Nigeria, pgs. 48 - 49] The “man on the spot” Lugard had serious issues with Christianity although he was born the son of a Pastor in India. Some alleged that he was a non-practicing Christian who believed that he understood Islam considered suitable for black Africans. He often referred to Christians as “so called Christians”. Kwasi Kwarteng wrote: “the social difference between the three regions had actually become wider during the period of British rule, in the two or three decades before the independence of Nigeria in 1960. The roots of tribal nationalism lay to ‘a great extent in the uneven educational development of the country’. The Western Yorubas had enjoyed earlier contact with European missionaries. They were literate and had converted to Christianity, and now they had acquired a large degree of control over the businesses, the professions and the civil service. The Eastern Igbos had started their own process of development in the 1930s and 1940s to eliminate what they perceived to be the economic and social gap between themselves and the Yorubas. In the North, the Emirs, the feudal lords and their retainers still maintained an iron grip on power and restricted Western educational opportunities, which they believed were corrupting influences for their people” [Ghosts of Empire Kwasi Kwarteng pgs. 301-302]
The English loved the North; the climate is hot and dry as opposed to the steamy and malarial South; life is slow and graceful, if you happen to be an Englishman or an Emir’. The snobbery and class-consciousness that underpinned so much of British life in the early twentieth century found the idea of feudal rulers familiar and charming. The bias towards the North was a trait that the Foreign Office itself acknowledged in 1970: ‘it was an article of faith in Eastern Nigeria, and had been for decades, that the British were hopelessly biased in favour of the feudal Emirs of the North; there was some basis for this, since the North retained the highest proportion of British officials, many of them coming from the Sudan with a romantic passion for Islam and for polo-playing aristocrats. In the polo-playing North of the country, pageantry, royalty and invented traditions were combined in the institution of the durbars, imported from India. [Ghosts of Empire Kwasi Kwarteng pgs. 301-302] Surely, pageantry and Durbar can continue, but to establish 250 traditional rulers (not leaders) the first batch in Abia State in 2002, is definitely unprogressive and a vain attempt to catch up with the nobility so much admired in the North.
Advocates of Jihad
Moving to modern times, Abu al-A'laMawdudi (1903-79), the Indian-born (and later, Pakistani) thinker, paved the way for Muslim Brotherhood ideologues to recast modern jihad in the fiery language of revolution and anti-colonialism of the times and not just strictly warfare to expand Islamic legal and political dominance – whether against oppressive colonialist forces or Muslim rulers (“the near enemy”) who were judged apostates because of their failure to uphold Sharia. Nigeria is in this category and the present administration seems to be working very hard to remove her near enemy status to a Sharia state status. The NCEF is of the view that the coup of 1983 against President Shehu Shagari a Muslim was because he was adjudged then to be the near enemy - Sharia. A leader - not a near enemy succeeded him.
Jihad in the path of Allah we are told, is a mainstay of the religion of Islam and a great religious duty, as the Prophet (PBUH) said: “The most important thing is Islam, and it is supported by prayer, and its apex is jihad in the path of Allah.” “Against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including seeds of war, to strike terror into the hearts of the enemies of God and your enemies, and others besides.” Q. 8:60. It was this pan-Islamic perspective that brought the Iranian regime and its terror proxy, Hezbollah, to work with Osama bin-Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri and an incipient al Qaeda in Sudan in the early 1990s in an operational alliance to conduct a unified jihad against the West. It is a statement of fact that Sheikh Gumi and many other Muslim scholars in Nigeria were trained in Sudan. That Sunni-Shi’a alliance, formed under the aegis of the Sudanese Islamic figure, Hasan al-Turabi, solidified and intensified throughout the 1990s, with joint attacks against Khobar Towers (1996), two American embassies in East Africa (1998), the USS Cole (2000) and the attacks of September 11, 2001.
In Nigeria, the Shiite, Suni coalition was demonstrated in the students’ riots at ABU in 1980. Part of the Report of Tribunal of Inquiry on Kano Disturbances, reads: “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, 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.” [Pgs. 88 – 89] The Pan-Islamic prospective has since been terminated and, today, El-Zakzaky is in jail without trial and his “caliphate” razed to the ground. We are told that there is no basis in doctrinal Islam for concluding that jihad means anything other than waging holy war for the implementation of Shariah and the establishment of the caliphate throughout the world. Indeed, a scholarly consensus on the definition of jihad was achieved over a thousand years ago as Allah commanded it and Mohammed confirmed it. In both direct and indirect divine revelation, the meaning of jihad as holy war was made clear.
Jihad is Obligatory
It is important also to note that participating in jihad by all Muslims is compliancy, which is founded in Quranic verse 2:216: “Prescribed for you is fighting, though it be hateful to you.” The holy war is a religious duty, because of the universalism of the Muslim mission and [the obligation to] convert everybody to Islam either by persuasion or by force.” Islam is “under obligation to gain power over other nations” which explains why Islamists everywhere are pretending to be democrats to gain power only to turn round to subvert the Constitution and Democracy that brought them to power. There are indications that these were the objectives of the military regimes between 1975 to 1999 and the allegation that the 1999 Constitution was intended as spoils of jihad such as substituting 389 ethnic nationalities with over 700 local governments thus ensuring that Chapter II is non-justiciable. Other factors deployed for this purpose include the distributary nature of Revenue, where those who contribute nothing get more by virtue of being successors to the British – neo-colonialists and, of course, Sharia as an alternative to Democracy in the same Constitution, thus creating a country (Nigeria) and two systems, Democracy and Sharia as an example of modern day Stealth Jihad. These are facts and not hate speeches.
A constant state of war that must exist between the Dar al-Islam and the Dar al-Harb Sharia contains the protocols to be followed in waging jihad. Fight in the name of Allah and in the “path of Allah.” Combat those who disbelieve in Allah. Do not cheat or commit treachery, nor should you mutilate anyone or kill children. Whenever you meet your polytheist enemies, invite them [first] to adopt Islam. If they do so, accept it, and let them alone. . . .If they refuse, then call upon them to pay the jizya [poll tax imposed on Dhimmis]; if they do, accept it and leave them alone. The army may launch the attack by night or by day and it is permissible to burn [the enemy] fortifications with fire or to inundate them with water. It is very unfortunate that in Nigeria both stealth and conventional jihads are being waged simultaneously against non-Islamists. It is a miracle that Nigeria still survives as a country. No wonder the popular saying that “God is a Nigerian”.
Al-Shaybani’s injunction about the requirement to issue the call to Islam (dawa) before launching an attack (jihad) against the infidel is very instructive. This legal requirement remains valid and relevant today. It was applied by Boko Haram in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa. The choice given to People of the Book (Christians and Jews) who are not compelled to convert but must submit to Islam, pay the jizya, and live under Muslim domination as dhimmis is also instructive. This part of the jihad has been accomplished in Nigeria. Since lawful warfare is essentially jihad and aim is that the religion is Allah’s entirely and Allah’s word is uppermost, therefore all Muslims, those who stand in the way of this aim must be tackled. As for those who cannot offer resistance or cannot fight, such as women, children, monks, old people, the blind, handicapped and their likes, they shall not be killed unless they actually fight with words. It is a process of head or tail non-Islamists are the losers
Civilization or Stealth Jihad
11. Conventional jihad in the form of violent acts, often referred to by some as “kinetic” jihad, dominates the attention and activities of those responsible for national security. But the more dangerous threat, especially in the long run, is what the Muslim Brotherhood calls “civilization jihad or stealth jihad” – a form of jihad considered an integral, even dominant element of jihad that is as obligatory for Sharia’s adherents as the violent kind - Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen. Non-violent jihad is a kind of assault that does not kill but intends to subjugate. In the case of Nigeria, the jihad has all security and intelligence apparatus of government subverting along lines specifically tailored to today’s liberal, multicultural-minded non-Muslim populations in ways that are genuinely difficult to recognize, oppose or counter. The objective of the Stealth Jihad is the same as the violent jihad where non-Muslim Nigerians would be subdued under Dar al-Islam. Sharia-Compliant Finance: is a form of stealth jihad. Stealth and Conventional since Amalgamation of 1914 including flattery and (Taqiyya) deceit, lying/Taqiyya. It is permissible for a Muslim to lie especially to non-Muslim to safeguard himself personally or to protect Islam. It will be recalled that for 10 years 1986 – 1996, Muslim leaders including Babangida, said that Nigeria had not become full member of the OIC. Taqiyya, without a doubt.
The following effusive and grandiose salutations by different Muslim leaders in addressing British colonial officers are examples of Taqqiya.
Shehu of Borno: Letter from the slave of God…to our good helper, our prop, the solver of our difficulties, the one who carries our heavy burdens, Governor Lugard with salutations more scented than the musk perfume and sweeter than honey. May God prolong your life, the keeper of those who keep others.
Emir of Bida: Sent…salutations and good will shining bright as do the planets and constant as their light as the return of morn and eve, oh! My Chief, my Leader, we ask God to prolong your life in prosperity and health. My present to you is a sword in a silver scabbard and two gowns.
Emir of Yola: To the Deputy of the King of England, the Governor, who holds all our country in his hand and rules it all. A thousand salutations and fealty and homage repeated.
Emir of Jama: I and my people, all of us, will not refrain from praying for you morning and evening…I told my people to rejoice at your safe return. We rode our horses and raced. I read your letter morning and evening and it makes me very happy.
Emir of Nupe: Many beautiful salutations, a clean love…my present to you are two turkeys, 1 package of plantains and 1 of limes. [The Tale of June 12: Omo Omoruyi, pgs. 298-299] These are flattery bordering on Taqiyya. Lugard was determined to reward the Emirs for their loyalty to the British Government. He wrote on Efficiency and Loyalty of Native Administrations: Northern Province: “the loyalty throughout the War of the Moslem ruler (who could appreciate something of the magnitude of the struggle) has been remarkable, and there is reason to believe that it is no mere profession, but arises from a genuine conviction. [Lugard and the Amalgamation of Nigeria pg. 71] The above facts explain the love between the man on the spot (Lugard) and the Emirs of the North.
First Act of Independent Nigeria
The first Act was passed by the House of Representative a few months after Independence and signed by our Native Governor-General in 1961. It is only the contemplation of a jihad that can explain why a people still rejoicing after securing independence, would so soon contemplate emergency powers. The contrived declaration of State of Emergency in 1962, when two members of the Western House of Assembly of a particular religion mounted the table, shouting “fire on the mountain run, run, run" was nothing but jihad. This led to the installation of Chief Akintola as Premier of Western Nigeria after a rigged election. The coup of January 1966 was staged by Christian ethnic groups which failed - so were subsequent coups: Okar, “Obasanjo”, “Diya” all failed mainly because these were ethnic groups, Ndigbo, Minorities, Yoruba all trying to overthrow the “North” (Muslim North), the successors to the British in Nigeria. It is also Stealth Jihad that made Christians in the North to join Muslims to stage the July 1966 coup that led to the Civil War, which was fought mainly by the Christian North and South against mainly Christians of the East (Nd’igbo). The coup of 1975 is Jihad because no armed forces in the world would overthrow their Commander in Chief for delay in handing over power to “bloody” civilians. Retirement that followed the overthrow was Stealth Jihad, wherein over 90% of those retired were Christians Monsignor Martin appointed to look into these retirements was himself retired. Maitatsine uprising was jihad. The Riots in Kano 1953, 1954, 1982, 1991, 1995, Kaduna in 1987, 2000, Katsina 1991, Bauchi, Tafawa Balewa 1991, 1994, 2000, Portikum 1994, Plateau 1994, Jos 2001, Borno 1998 etc were all Jihad. Thereafter, Boko Haram. Religious Riots became routine events in Northern Nigeria that progressed to the East. It is Stealth Jihad for a Muslim President to ignore the fact that there are more Christians than Muslims in Nigeria, the requirement of Federal character under the Constitution to appoint mainly Muslims as heads of the various arms of the Armed Forces, the Police and paramilitary organizations - Civil Defence, Customs, Immigration, etc. The President has and continues to stage Stealth Jihad against the people of Nigeria. It is Stealth Jihad to abduct over 200 Christian girls, humiliate them by raping them yet refuse to release them especially the over 100 of them still in custody.
It is Stealth Jihad to co-opt Christians into the ruling elite by appointments, remuneration especially members of the National and State Assemblies with Jumbo pay and other inducement that elevate them into the status of Neo-colonialists, replacing expatriates in various Government Reservations, set up by Lugard in order to develop a new status of noble men and women.
Nigeria’s membership of OIC in 1986, was Stealth Jihad so also was Babangida’s ‘transition without end’. NCEF holds the view that the “death” of Abiola and Abacha have the hallmarks of jihad. The 1999 Constitution is valued as the compilation of the spoils of jihad since amalgamation of 1914, in that the North remained the same while the South has to pay for the land locked disadvantage of the North and revenue distribution in favour of one Region.
First Hand Experience of Stealth Jihad: National Christian Elders’ Forum (NCEF)
We reproduce below, excerpts of the Minutes of the meeting of NCEF of Wednesday, February 15, 2017 which reads: “The Chairman called on Gen. Dogonyaro to brief the meeting on his experience with the SSS. Gen. Dogonyaro informed the meeting that he visited the SSS in the company of another military General and met with the Director of Operations, Mr. Bassey, and the Assistant Director of Operations, Mr. Yussuf. He also met with the Director General of the SSS, Mr. Daura. The Intelligence Officers wanted to know why the CAN’s video was produced with the claim that it could incite people to violence. Gen. Dogonyaro refuted their claim and insisted the video was produced to raise support for Christian victims of insurgency. The SSS officials wanted General Dogonyaro to provide a written statement but he declined on the ground that the SSS did not issue him a written invitation. After Gen. Dogonyaro, the SSS met with Justice Anigbogu, Mrs. Demuren, and Mr. Lemo. They were accompanied by the Legal Director of CAN, Barrister Samuel Kwamkur. The objective was also to verify why the CAN’s video was produced. The Elders protested when the SSS asked them to make a statement "under caution". After some consideration, they agreed to do so, under the circumstances that this constitutes harassment and intimidation by the SSS. Interestingly, the SSS was interested in how the video could be stopped from circulating. The Trustees informed them that they were not in control of the Social Media. The Elders took considerable time deliberating on this incident and frowned at the act of impunity by the Intelligence Agency. For most of the Elders, it was a confirmation that the Intelligence Service in Nigeria has aligned itself with the Islamists to truncate Democracy and emasculate Christianity. The Elders resolved that a strongly worded letter condemning the action of the SSS should be written and the President of CAN should sign it. For one, the SSS failed to issue an official letter of invitation to the Trustees and failed to acknowledge the letter written by CAN that it should have channeled its invitation through the CAN President. The letter would also condemn, in very strong terms, the demand of the SSS that the Trustees should make statement "under caution" connoting they had committed a crime. The Elders agreed that the letter to be written to the SSS should be made public. They also resolved that none of the Trustees should visit the SSS again. Dame Priscilla Kuye who was yet to make her visit was advised to desist from going to the office of the SSS.”
It is pertinent to point out that the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) is the umbrella body of all Christians in Nigeria. It was established in August 1976 to foster unity and oneness amongst the various Christian groups in the nation. Every Christian assembly in Nigeria established upon sound scriptural doctrine and every individual Christian is a member of CAN is structured along five Church groups, known as Blocs, as follows:
- CCN – Christian Council of Nigeria.
- CSN – Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria.
- CPFN/PFN – Christian Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria/Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria.
- OAIC – Organization of African Instituted Churches, and
- TEKAN/ECWA – Tarrayar Ekklesiyoyin Kristi A Nigeria/Evangelical Church Winning All
The highest decision making organ of CAN is the National Executive Committee (NEC). This body on 9th of July, 2014 in Makurdi, Benue State, realizing the enormity of the various challenges confronting Christianity and individual Christians in Nigeria, established the CAN TRUST FUND to mobilize critical funding for the Nigerian Church. The NEC identified the pressing needs for which funding is required as:
- Rebuilding critical Christian infrastructure will fully destroyed by the enemies of Jesus Christ.
- Responding to the needs of Christian victims of religious insurgency.
- Mobilizing effective media campaign both locally and internationally to tell the story of the persecution of Christians in Nigeria.
- Funding the CAN Secretariat for greater effectiveness.
- Promoting and protecting the rights of Christians in Nigeria.
- Mobilizing 24/7 prayer cover for Nigeria.
- Building critical institutions and structures that will strengthen Christianity in Nigeria.
- Setting the pace for Christian welfare and intervention.
In the NCEF’s draft letter to DSS through the CAN President for his signature, we wrote in part: “Please note further that the CAN TRUST FUND has the CAN National President as the Chairman, the Heads of the five Blocs of CAN who are Clergymen and the five laymen invited to your office as Members. If you had conceded to the suggestion that you deal with the leadership of CAN, you would have been spared the embarrassment of inviting the sixth person on your list, Ambassador Tanko Yusuf of blessed memory, a man who died in 2001 at the age of 75 and was never a member of the Trust Fund, for interrogation. It might be pertinent to remind you that the persecution of the Church in the Northern parts of the country clearly predates the emergence of Boko Haram. The jihad which has had the full support and participation of prominent Nigerian Islamist leaders in the past has assumed dangerous dimensions in recent times and the security agencies and successive governments have not only paid lip service to the protection of the Nigerian Christian against the devastating effects of the jihad but clearly identified with the cause of eradicating the Christian faith from Nigeria. We stand to be corrected. The actions of the security agencies and some influential government operatives tend to re-echo and lend credence to the claims of the late Sardauna of Sokoto, Sir Ahmadu Bello in his Independence speech on 1st October, 1960 that “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 rule over us and never allow them to have control over their future.” We don’t want to believe that your agency is toeing the same line although your recent actions seem to so indicate. The onus is on you and your organization to prove to the satisfaction of the average Nigerian Christian and other peace loving Nigerians that you are not in the vanguard to hurt, discredit, desecrate and exterminate Christians and Christian institutions in the country.”
“As Christians, we have not heard of any reported case of Islamist insurgents, Fulani herdsmen or other anti-Christ agents being paraded, prosecuted or convicted by the courts for the repeated murder, rape, arson, wanton destruction of Christian habitation in this country, the fact that the jihadists have been on rampage in this country notwithstanding. The world perception of the situation in Nigeria, according to some is that Nigeria is among the countries where it is very dangerous to be a Christian. The leaflet produced by the South African based organization, MATYRS FOR CHRIST, portrays Nigeria as one of the countries with High Religious Persecution. Is it not of concern to you that the recent invitation and cautioned statement of Christian leaders during the meeting with the DSS has lent credence to this assertion by foreign organizations that Nigeria is hostile to its Christian Community. This, we guess, is not your desire. CAN is and will always be disposed to dialogue with your office on issues relating to the Islamists persecution, activities of the Christian Church in Nigeria and the general peaceful coexistence of the Ethnic Nationalities and religious communities in Nigeria. In this regard, therefore, the other members of the Trust Fund, and in particular, Dame Priscilla Kuye has been advised not to honor any invitation from your office relating to the activities of CAN as neither the respected Dame nor any other lay member of the Trust Fund can actually speak on behalf of CAN or any of its agencies and operations. Having considered the negative effect of your interrogation “under caution” of the distinguished members of the Board of Trustees of the CAN Trust Fund on the Christian Community in Nigeria, it is demanded that a written public apology be tendered to these distinguished Nigerians.”
It is further advised that your organization should be more circumspect in dealing with the Body of Christ in Nigeria, if not for any other reason, to ensure and promote the confidence of the average Nigerian Christian in the government of the day. Christians need to have confidence in the government to be able to appreciate any of its efforts in the right direction to address issues of persecution and marginalization of Christians in Nigeria by agents of radical Islamism, both in and out of government. Please be assured of our highest consideration.”
The CAN President, for personal reasons, was unable to sign the letter, but “DSS operatives” in CAN’s Secretariat in Abuja must have sent this draft to the DSS.
Before this encounter with the DSS, a prominent Church Group had accused NCEF that its flier on CAN Trust Fund: “is worrisome and arrived at the following conclusions: (a) that people will think that CAN is “sourcing for funds to build a Christian Army to fight the Muslims”; (b)NCEF “reduced Christians to mere children by assuming that the disunity in CAN is from without whereas the problem is deeply within”, and; (c) That Christian Elders should not “further polarize the Body of Christ in Nigeria.” These are weighty allegations that require some explanations and comments.”
We wrote to the Catholic Secretariat in June 2016 and part of the leter reads: “The whole objective of President Buhari and Sultan of Sokoto both Muslim ex-soldiers (Military Generals) influenced, no doubt, by the Islamic Brotherhood in a post-Islamist Nigeria, can be summed up thus: “Post-Islamism: Emerging from the anomalies of Islamist politics prevalent since the early 1990s, post-Islamism represents an effort to fuse religiosity and rights, faith and freedom, Islam and liberty. It seeks to turn the underlying principles of Islamism on their head by emphasizing rights instead of duties, plurality in place of a singular authoritative voice, historicity rather than fixed scripture, ambiguity in place of certainty, and the future instead of the past. It strives to marry Islam with individual choice and freedom, democracy, and modernity (which post-Islamists stress) to achieve what some call an alternative modernity. Its advocates hope to reverse the discourse of violence so ingrained in the ideologies and practices of some (but not all) Islamist trends today, in order to dial back the current association of Islam with violence. Post-Islamism is expressed in acknowledging secular exigencies, in freedom from rigidity, and in breaking down the belief in a monopoly of religious truth. In short, whereas the fusion of religion and responsibility mark Islamism, post-Islamism emphasizes religiosity and rights.” [Civilian Jihad: Nonviolent Struggle, Democratization, and Governance in the Middle East Edited by Maria J. Stephan, Pg. 44][Emphasis supplied] Please don’t be fooled into believing that what happened to Christians in North Africa in 4th Century cannot happen to Nigeria in the 21st Century. It will, if some Nigerians especially Christians, decide that they have nothing to lose if they convert to Islam because they will be safe and have food on their tables. At that stage, it will be too late to cry over spilled milk.” [NCFE letter to CSN July 1, 2016]
It was after the failure of the Catholic Church to terminate the Trust Fund that the DSS took over in its bid to make Christians dependent on Sukkuk dispensed by the Sultan and Muslim clerics from time to time.
Bill on NGOs’ Activities in Nigeria
The NCEF is convinced that the new Bill for an Act to provide for the establishment of the Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) Regulatory Commission for supervision, co-operation and monitoring of Non-Governmental Organization, Civil Societies Organizations etc, in Nigeria now before the National Assembly, is the latest attempt to stop CAN from floating a Trust Fund by the Nigerian Government, after the first two attempts – the CSN and the DSS have failed. The situation has not changed much, with the Bill now before the National Assembly to control NGOs in the country in 2017 with functions that include:
8(h) to receive, discuss an approve the code of conduct prepared by the Council for self regulation of the Non-Governmental Organizations and the in activities in Nigeria; and (i) doing all such things incidental in the foregoing functions which in the opinion of the Board can facilitate the carrying on of the duties of the Commission under this Act.
Sections 15: The Board may refuse registration of an applicant if (a) it is satisfied that its proposed activities or procedures are not in the national interest; (b) it is satisfied that the applicant has given false information on the requirements of Subsection (3) of Section 11; and (c) it is satisfied that, on the recommendation of the Council, that the applicant should not be registered.
Section 17-(1) An Organization is expected to renew its registration every two years; (2) Failure to renew will amount to termination of operation and will lead to the deletion of the name of the organization from the register.
Section 18-(1) The Board may cancel or suspend a certificate issued under this Act, if it is satisfied that: (a) the terms or conditions attached to the certificate have been violated; (b) the organization has breached this Act
Section 24-(1) It shall be an offence for any person to operate a Non-Governmental Organization in Nigeria for welfare, research, health relief, agriculture, education, industry, the supply of amenities or any other similar purposes without registration and certificate under this Act.
It is clear that this Bill is intended to restrict freedom and Democracy when a Sharia government is in complete control and an Imam will decide the type of NGOs that are good for Nigeria. As the video of Prof Chidi Odinkalu shows, the Bill is intended to restrict and stop the activities of NGOs. He said “As you well know, the Nigeria’s National Assembly is currently considering the NGO Regulation Bill for passage, it has gone through the first reading, the second reading and now in Committee stage, and, later this month, the committee on NGOs in the House of Representatives in Abuja will be holding a public hearing on the Bill and it is important that you understand what this Bill means and its implications for both yourself as a citizen and for the country in general. Let me be clear this is the most dangerous piece of legislation that has come for consideration in the National Assembly since the return to civil rule in 1999, it covers the activities of every entity and everybody that is not government and it affects Churches, Mosques, schools, universities, hospitals, everything as well as humanitarian operations wherever they are taking place in the country whether in the North/East or in the South/East or the South/South whether in the Middle Belt or in the North/West or South/West.
It is totalitarian in consequence. Now what does the Bill require? Basically all resources, all funds, everything that is collected or liable to be collected and made available to service community, individuals in need in this country will be subject to Abuja before you can raise funds in your church and in your mosque. You have to get Abuja’s permission. After you have raised money, you have to return them to Abuja to be told what to do with them and when you have done that only Abuja can help you do your audit. Nobody can operate anything without clearance from Abuja; it is worse than a totalitarian piece of legislation. For the old mamas and old papas doing osusu in the village that is involving credit, before you do your collections you come to Abuja for clearance and after you have done your collections before you share the money or rotate the collected money among the beneficiaries, you come to Abuja for clearance. Ahmadiyya Movement would have to come to Abuja for clearance. Nasfat will come to Abuja for clearance before doing anything. The mosque that do collection every Friday to support the people in their congregations and their communities will have to account for that money, to civil servants who will either tell them what to do or collect and transfer into their pockets.
The Churches will be out of business, the Mosque will be endangered. This is what the Legislators want us to subscribe to and as a citizen you have got to understand that this means that they will be voice of criticism for government, nobody can tell government anything. What this body proposes to do, what government is proposing with this Bill that after it has been passed, everybody organizing in Nigeria under any form, students, old students association, Rev. Sisters in convents, Rev. Fathers and Pastors whatever they may be, Imams and Alfas, everybody, you will have to apply to Abuja for them to register you to operate. They will have to agree, they can refuse to register you in which case you cannot do anything. Now, if they agree to register you however you will have to only hold that license for only two years after those two years you will have to apply to them to renew your license. If they agree at that time to renew your license, you can operate for another two years, if they do not agree that license lapses. If you try to do anything without that license, you will be liable to be imprisoned for 18 months summarily and cannot appeal so the problem is that we will not have enough prisons for the number of people who will go to jail under this law and, if they are sympathetic and agree not to send you to jail, you may be let go with the fine of N500, 000.
The civil servant will collect this money in the name of the politicians and it will be used to file up political powers that will not be accountable to any one of us and this is why I am saying that this is the most dangerous piece of legislation that has been considered in our country today in the past 20 years but you can do something about it. This does not have to be the law; this will not be law if you agree as the citizen that you are the boss. You must contact your Legislator at the State level, contact your Abuja contact as you will, your distinguished Senators in your senatorial zones and tell them this will not happen. This is your country too and unless you fight for it these people will destroy it, not just for you, but your children and your grandchildren and that, they do not have the mandate to do. My name is Chidi Odinkalu. I am a Nigerian citizen.” This is Stealth Jihad and Islamism in action by Islamists who are against Freedom and Democracy.
Now that we have been able to establish the motives and objective of this toxic Bill, it is clear that the Islamists’ agenda can only do harm to Nigeria and we all must join hands to stop it – all Nigerians not just Christians.
Nigeria cannot afford a situation whereby an Islamist, in the name of a law maker will extinguish what is considered the bedrock of Nigeria ‘being’ and development that preceded amalgamation. Lugard wrote: “a review of the Administration would be incomplete without a reference to Christian missions, which, in the South, have exercised so great an influence on the development of the country, and borne so predominant a part in educational progress. No doubt their influence has been much weakened, as elsewhere in Africa, by the more effective administration of the country, and the advent of Europeans of all types since 1895. In the South they preceded, and the North for the most part followed the establishment of administrative control.” [Lugard and the Amalgamation of Nigeria pg. 158] Now a jihad is being waged against Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and the NGOs to prove the point that Democracy and Sharia are incompatible. This jihad must be resisted with knowledge and modernity.
In April 2016, in a paper titled Weapons win Jihad but it takes Ideas to win the Peace, we wrote that the mantra of the ruling party, the APC is change and change means fight against Corruption. Unfortunately, there are many other issues that require attention, in some cases, more heinous than Corruption such as Treason which is an offence for attempting to overthrow the government of the state to which one owes allegiance either by making war against the state or by materially supporting its enemies.
As we are now being confronted with the pursuit of National Unity and wellbeing of all Nigerian citizens, peace requires reconciliation between the people of Nigeria and the reconstruction of Society. Nigerians need to transcend the divisions of the past, the walls built in the past which, unfortunately, generated criminality, gross violation of Human Rights which 102 years of amalgamation failed to abate but was rather enhanced by the dual ideology of Liberal Democracy and Islamism, and today, there are various Nigerians, Northerners, Christians, Catholics, Evangelists, Protestants, Nigerian Muslims, Islamists Shiites, Sunni etc and animists and other religions. This is in addition to the over 500 spoken languages. The sooner we reconcile these people and groups into one indivisible country with one direction - Democracy, the better it will be for all inhabitants. Nigerians and non-Nigerians alike, must begin the process of bridge building by first pulling down the walls which the British Colonialists, our Religions, Geographic Tribal and Ethnic differences that has produced a Nigeria “ruled by a multi-layered institutionalized oligarchy, composed of self-serving politicians, businesspeople, political fixers, "godfathers," former military officers and elite bureaucrats who share a common interest in gaining access to the clientelistic networks responsible for the redistribution of petro-rent. Even though fractions of the oligarchy occasionally do represent the interests of their ethnic, regional, and religious communities, they have much more in common with members of the oligarchy than with increasingly impoverished constituencies they claim to represent. Again because political parties are owned by major oligarchs (godfathers), they not only strangle democratic reform movements but, in effect, block developmental gains because they lack any recognizable ideology, active membership programmatic platform, or desire to transform Nigerian living standards.” [Shari’a Politics: Islamic Law a nd Society in the Modern World edited by Robert W. Hefner Pg. 248]
Democracy and Sharia
In our paper titled The Precarious Position of the Body of Christ in Nigeria, NCEF wrote in part:
The authority required by the moral order derives from God: ‘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 authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.’ --- If authority belongs to the order established by God, ‘the choice of the political regime and the appointment of rulers are left to the free decision of the citizens.” It is therefore wrong to suggest that it was God that gave Nigeria Abacha, no it was the act or omission of Nigerians that made Abacha and other Heads of State or President. It is not predestination.”
It is therefore odd for any Christian in Nigeria to say that he or she is neutral when there is an opportunity to elect leaders in Nigeria and in the Body of Christ. Christians must, as a duty, exercise their free will to elect those with vision and initiative to transform Nigeria and the Body of Christ, especially now that the country has Islamist challenges. The need to strengthen unity and democracy cannot be over-emphasized and, as can be seen from this Memorandum, the world generally is on a passing phrase of Post Truth and Islamism, that have not only challenged but attempt to supplant Democracy stealthily with Islamists Sharia. Truth as supported by fact, history and logic has now been vanquished by political correctness that has been imposed on Nigeria, Nigerians and its institutions for an understanding of Sharia that hides the fact that jihad and Islamic supremacy are the centrality of Sharia. Islamist network in Nigeria cannot explain how the third most dangerous terrorists ISIS found Nigeria as a safe haven”.
Post Truth means events after Prophet Mohammed.
The memo continued:
Professor Omo Omoruyi in his book titled The Tale of June 12, wrote “Alhaji Saleh told me that in his own words his definition of democracy: “Professor, my vote is not the same weight as the vote of the Emir of Bauchi and the vote of the Emir of Bauchi is not the same weight as the vote of the Sultan of Sokoto”. He then said “that is why we are not going to accept the mandate which Chief Abiola is claiming” [Page. 34]
It has to be placed on record, most regrettably though, that many southern Christian leaders and politicians have accepted and accorded the Muslim king (Sultan) the head position in their affairs and even pay homage to the caliphate and accord him such homage and privileges as reserved and only due the Presidency in Nigeria. Recently, it was reported that the Enugu State government and the security agencies including the military virtually closed the Enugu Airport for the Sultan of Sokoto and halted air traffic under the cover of 'VIP MOVEMENT.”
These are practical examples of the conflict:
Supremacy of Islam does not permit equality of humans in addition to the fact that humans have no rights in Islam as all rights belong to God. Humans only obey.
Two Prevailing Ideologies in Conflict
Over the years, since amalgamation of 1914, Islamists in Nigeria have established relationship, and wherever possible, penetrated and taken over government, institutions, the Legislative, Executive and Judiciary branches of the Nigerian Government at Federal, State and Local Government levels, the law enforcement community, the Intelligence, the Military, Penal Institution, the media, think-tanks and policy groups, academic institutions, etc to dismantle Western systems set up in Nigeria by the British. This fact is further reflected in the appointments made by President Buhari. Islamists engage in this takeover for one reason, to subvert democracy, ensure the triumph of Sharia. Until recently the Islamists have been able to convince some Church leaders that the separation of Church and State is anti-religious. In other words, that a secular state means no God. Fortunately, Nigeria had, between 1960 – 1966, tested Democracy freedom and human rights, that have constituted a subliming blockage in the Islamists complete takeover of Nigeria.
Sharia in Nigeria
Mapping a Sharia Restorationist Movement, Paul M. Lubeck, Professor of Sociology at the University of California, author of numerous works on Islamic revival and social movement wrote thus under the heading The Challenge of Islamic Networks and Citizenship claims with respect to Nigeria: “1999 was the year of re-vitalization of Nigerian’s democracy (The NCEF would rather say re-vitalization of sharia not democracy). “Northern generals and their advisers were held by most Nigerians as responsible for destroying the prosperity, public institutions and international reputation of the Nation. Nigeria fell to pariah status with the international community. General Abacha’s personal corruption, brutality and repressive policies caused the death of Shehu Yar’adua and the subsequent, expulsion of Nigeria from the Commonwealth following the hanging of Ken Saro Wiwa for demanding that the indigenes of Niger Delta are allowed to control the natural resources on their geographic areas.” (Page 224)
Lubeck went on to suggest that Obasanjo’s victory in the 1999 elections, disrupted and terminated the long-standing political arrangements that gave the Northern Islamists control of apparatus of the federal government. The technical position in the federal bureaucracy weighed heavily under the control of Southern groups. He continues “In October I999, Sani Ahmed, the Governor of Zamfara State, signed two bills re-introducing Sharia Criminal Law (hudud). This act of Sani Ahmed, then referred to as “playing the Sharia card”, was a radical departure from the long established preferences of more Northern politicians, who specialized in constructing multi-ethnic coalitions to hold federal political power and control the distribution of petro-rent.” This re-vitilization of Sharia “was spearheaded by committees of the pious, ulama, professionals, students, and Islamic civil society groups who used demonstrations, public marches, zealous vigilantes, and numerous petitions to demand that states immediately implement shari'a criminal law without compromise or delay.” [Shari’a Politics: Islamic Law and Society in the Modern World pg. 245] “Decades of political and economic mis-management by military and civilian rulers have rendered sharia an attractive political alternative for Nigeria’s northern Muslim. At the heart of Nigeria’s crisis of governance lies the resource curse, or the “paradox of riches”. Nigeria’s extraordinary natural resources stand in sharp contrast to its abysmal failure to realize even a tiny portion of its obvious potential. All informed accounts juxtapose Nigeria’s dazzling promise to its miserable performance: chaotic governance, endemic corruption, and criminal indifference to public good on the part of elites, cyclical communal conflict, and an overall failure to mobilize its rich natural endowments for the public good. Most of all, Nigeria represents a catastrophic failure on the part of elites to construct a hegemonic consensus on how to organize, develop, and regulate a national society.”[Shari’a Politics: Islamic Law ad Society in the Modern World pg. 247] With the advantage of the foundation laid by the British, two military rulers in Nigeria who were under the control of the Islamists politically, economically and militarily blue prints of the Islamic Brotherhood of Egypt, transformed Nigeria to a Muslim state. Some Christian leaders bought into the lie that no one can Islamize Nigeria when Nigeria, in the way it applied its military Constitutions, were subject to the dictates of Sharia and Sharia law. The strategy seems to be “destroy democracy and its attributes” as an excuse for the re-vitalization of sharia that, at one time in Nigeria, needed to pass the repugnancy test of conformity with Natural Justice Equality and good conscience. This was thrown overboard with the introduction of Hudad by Sani Ahmed in 1999. Natural justice, equity and good conscience, were made irrelevant in accordance with immutable Sharia law.
Compatibility of Sharia and Democracy
It is clear that Islamists are a religious group of the Islamic faith that holds “a totalitarian ideology, and seek to impose this ideology through force of jihad across the globe”. Since the late 19th Century, a long list of modernists and “neo-modernists” thinkers in Pakistan and Indonesia hav argued that “Sharia does not provide a fixed or all-encompassing models for politics”, they engaged in literally “effort” to re-interpret the sources of the law to develop new rules to make the general principles of God’s law relevant for each age.” Robert W. Hefner wrote “scholars and activists in this tradition point out that the first generations of Muslims borrowed extensively from the Persian, Byzantine, and North African peoples they conquered, and the Prophet Muhammad enjoined Muslims to travel to the ends of the earth in search of knowledge. For much of the Islamic Middle Ages (1500 CE), Muslim intellectuals also engaged with and refined the heritage of natural science and philosophy passed to them by the Greeks (Huff 2003, 53-63; Sabra 1987). In light of these precedents, and in keeping with their understandings of scripture, modernist thinkers see nothing un-Islamic about learning from other cultures. This includes adapting systems of democratic governance that happen to have been first implemented in modern times in the West.” [Sharia Politics Pg. 7]
Incompatibility of Sharia and Democracy
For Islamists of a radical disposition, like the influential Egyptian activist Sayyid Qutb (d. 1966; see Qutb 1953; Musallam 2005) democracy and Islam are simply incompatible. The reason this is so is that democracy requires human legislation, and the very act of making law places human sovereignty above that of God, who alone is sovereign (a sovereignty referred to as hakimiyya; see Abou EI Fadl2004, 7; Carre 2003,192-94; Moussalli 1992,149-72). For strict-constructionist believers like these, 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 to suggest that humans can craft laws in light of the changed circumstances of the age, is to arrogate a legislative function which is God’s alone. (Musallam 2005)” [Robert W. Hefner Sharia Politics pg. 6]
“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 shari'a. These are, first, the shari'a'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 in traditions of the Prophet and, as a result, are thought to be absolutely certain and applicable for all time. The second type that the provision of democratic legislation must not contradict is anything related to the shari’a’s goals or higher objective (Ar.Maqasid sing. Maqsad; see Auda 2008; Raysuni 2005; Weiss 1998, 54-58). [Robert W. Hefner Sharia Politics pg. 7]
The Negative use of Culture Factors
The Nigerian situation suggests that the Buhari administration is on a mission to ensure that Nigeria is governed by Sharia not a Constitution written by mortals
- The attack on members of the Board of Trustees of the CAN Trust Fund, we submitted, was intended to intimidate members so that CAN remains dependent on Aso Villa for money and he who pays the piper, dictates the tune;
- An Islamist private members bill now in the National Assembly to control NGOs including CAN, is an attempt to control all Christian organizations, and starve them of funds
- The Sultan of Sokoto has made it clear that the Quran is his Constitution.
From the above, it is clear that Muslims in Nigeria know what Christians do not know that:
- Increasingly, social scientists turn to cultural factors to explain modernization, political democratization, military strategy, the behavior of ethnic groups, and the alignments and antagonisms among people and countries.
- perhaps the wisest words on the place of culture in human affairs are those Daniel Patrick Myniham: "The central conservative truth is that it is culture, not politics that determines the success of a society. The central liberal truth is that politics can change a culture and save it from itself;
- anthropologists, perhaps most notably Clifford Geertz, have emphasized culture as "thick description" and used it to refer to the entire way of life of a society: its values, practices, symbols, institutions, and human relationships. Hence we define culture in purely subjective terms as the values, attitudes, beliefs, orientations, and underlying assumptions prevalent among people in a society;
- societies also may change their culture in response to major trauma. Their disastrous experiences in World War II changed Germany and Japan from being the two most militaristic countries in the world to two of the most pacifist. Similarly, Mariano Grondona has suggested that Argentina was making progress towards economic reform, economic stability, and political democracy in the mid-1990s in part as a result of its disastrous experiences with a brutal military dictatorship, military defeat, and super-hyperinflation;
- The explanation of this anomaly was clearly Lee Kuan Yew, who was determined to make Singapore as incorrupt as possible and succeeded. Here "politics did change a culture and save it from itself.
In the above circumstances, both Christians and Muslims must work in their various communities to fight the present evil culture of backwardness, wickedness, evil, separation etc to protect Nigeria, promote civil engagement and eradicate violent radicalism (Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen) that have taken over North Eastern zone of Nigeria. We must however distinguish between Islamism and Islam and non-Islamists Muslims must take the lead in collaboration with Christians in Nigeria to confront and defeat Islamism. We, of the NCEF, from facts available to us, are of the view that Buhari’s administration is convinced that democracy and Sharia are incompatible and has set out to make democracy difficult to operate in Nigeria in consonance with the Quran 47:35 to wit: “so do not be faint-hearted and call for peace, when it is you who are uppermost.”
Manipulation of the Nigerian Populace
It is pertinent, at this juncture, to pose the questions, why do Nigerians look helpless in the hands of operatives in the promotion od Islamism and why would Nigeria now condone and tolerate false propaganda? One thing that is clear is that, the Presidency succeeded further in dividing Christians in Nigeria by way of “stealth” jihad.
Two publications (a) Dan Agbese’s contribution in the Guardian of Friday, December 1, 2017 titled The Grand Masters: Africa’s clowns of democracy; (b) the Economist an online publication on April 23, 2017 and re-published by the Daily Trust of Saturday, December 9, 2017 page 35, titled The Rise and Fall of Muhammadu Buhari, which explain reasons why Nigerians are do tolerant in the face of hopelessness.
Africa’s Clowns of Democracy
Africa was the most backward continent in the world. Slavery, despotism, human sacrifice, etc persisted before slave trade. After slave trade came neo-colonialism and now Islamism that helps to provide further cover for neo-colonialism. In Nigeria, an attempt is being made to expound the Caliphate system with the continuation of what Lugard adopted when he said:
“The system of Native Administration in the separate government of northern Nigeria had been based on a recognition of the authority of the Native Chiefs. The policy of the Government was that these chiefs should govern their people, not as independent but as dependent rulers. The orders of government are not conveyed to the people through them, but emanate from them in accordance where necessary with instruction received through the resident. While they themselves are controlled by government in matters of policy and of importance, their people are controlled in accordance with the direct orders to an individual native, or even to a village head, as a General commanding a division would to a private soldier, except through his commanding officers. The courts administrator native law, and are presided over by native judges (417 in all). Their punishments do not conform to the Criminal Code, but on the other hand, native law must not be in opposition to the ordinances of government, which are operative everywhere, and the courts, as I shall presently describe, are under the close supervision of the district staff. Their rules of evidence and their procedure are not based on British standards, but their sentences, if manifestly faulty, are subject to revision. Their prisoners are confined in their own native goals, which are under the supervision of the British staff. The taxes are raised in the name of the native ruler and by his agents, but he surrenders the fixed proportion to governments, and the expenditure of the portion assigned to the native administration, from which fixed salaries to all native officials are paid, is subject to the advice of the resident and the ultimate control of the governor. The attitude of the residents is that of a watchful adviser not of an interfering ruler, but is ever jealous of the rights of the peasantry, and of any injustice towards them. This system is clearly only adapted in its fullest application to communities under the centralized rule of a paramount chief, with some administrative machinery at his disposal, and finds its best exposition in the Moslem communities of the north. Nevertheless, its underlying principles are applied, to the varying extent to which it is possible in each case to apply them, even to the most primitive communities in the north. The first step is to endevour to find a man of influence as chief, and to group under him as many villages or districts as possible, to teach him to delegate powers, and to take an interest in his ‘Native Treasury’, to support his authority, and to inculcate a sense of responsibility.” [Lugard and the Amalgamation of Nigeria A. H. M. Kirk-Greene pgs. 70- 71]
Public funds classified as security vote is used to finance neo-colonialism by those Dan Agbese called “democracy clowns”. It is a dangerous trend that has driven gifted Nigerians to other countries.
Dan Agbese in his article titled The Grand Masters: Africa’s clowns of democracy wrote in part “democracy has had a difficult time on the continent. After more than two generations of leadership by the sons of the soil, we still miss the point, what democracy is all about. We still largely see it, not as a form of government, but more importantly, a means of accumulating and exercising personal power in the interest of the few and at the expense of the many. This, I am afraid, is not about to change soon.” With the discriminatory policies like the resuscitation of the so-called North, Islam and the use of force, jihad, etc suggest preference for Sharia as an ideology that promotes its supremacy over democracy.
In Nigeria, one can conclude that the Islamists see Democracy as an instrument for promoting neo-colonialism under the instrumentality of Sharia and the Caliphate. Fortunately, Democracy is fighting back (not corruption) and, in the end, it will be victorious, provided some Church leaders in Nigeria refuse to be instruments in stealth jihad now being waged against Nigerians, Christians, non-Islamists and Animists.
The Economist online April 23, 2017 under the title - The Rise and Fall of Muhammadu Buhari, in part wrote:
Nigerians have never shown such level of patience and tolerance towards any of their past leaders for his record and strange policies as that shown to their current leader, Muhammadu Buhari --- is being plagued with failures across every single sector in the economy, the like as has never been seen before. Less than a year into office, the economy plummeted into recession, an economy which had till then grown at an average rate of 7% in previous years (2011-2014). The nation’s currency lost 70% of its value, unemployment rose from 6.5 to 26%, commodity prices tripled across many quarters and the state-regulated premium motor spirit prices were hiked by 67% without practically anybody batting an eye. --- But in many other regions across the country the people have rather resolved to suffer patiently, drawing up excuses for him at will, blaming everyone including his hundreds of political appointees, anything and anybody but never the man himself. --- citizens were promised an unprecedented crackdown on corruption and the abolition of all government waste by a man whose financial worth they declared to have been less than N30 million ($150,000 then), a historical low for a former top official in the country and most especially a former leader. --- He promised to appoint only technocrats to head the country’s departments and to see out the lingering Boko Haram insurgency from the warfront. --- His earliest opponents pointed to his track record and not to his speech, noting that the last time Nigeria fell into dismal failure, currency woes and commodity shortages was when he had seized power as a military general in 1983 and stating that the facts of that record contradicted the poems of his image brokers. --- But from the onset of his government, the course was as his critics had predefined: Incompetency, bigotry and dictatorial tendencies plaguing the country. He ignored the newly born genocide in the middle belt of the country perpetuated by the Fulani herdsmen of his kindred against the Christian communities in Benue, Plateau and later on Kaduna. He breached the Central Bank’s 2007 Act of Independence, telling it to suspend forex disbursements to steel importers and other manufacturing sectors in a bid to defend the Naira, a disastrous action which kick-started a spiral of recession. --- The government continues to praise itself but the people seem to be increasingly tired of the paraded self-righteousness. --- But the remarkable level of patience shown so far has been unprecedented and many a times the general reactions towards acts of constitutional violations was one of calmness or insensitivity. If the Change narrative of the 2015 election and the songs of man of integrity are to account for this, then Nigerians may have just certified themselves on the world map as a nation easy to fool with propaganda. An adult should be judged on his track record not on his tongue.
The enemy we face is not Boko Haram per se. We must, instead, come to grips with the jihadist imperative that derives from Sharia doctrine itself – and the reality that all who know and actively follow that doctrine are dedicated to jihad for the purpose of imposing Islamic law on this country and all non-Islamic societies worldwide. The enemy at war with Nigeria is not just Boko Haram, and Fulani herdsmen but also a significant percentage of the hundreds of millions of Muslims who are dedicated to the imposition of Sharia on Nigeria by violence or by stealth methods, and the Nigeria governments leadership willfully misconstruing the threat, thus failing woefully in its constitutional responsibility to support and defend the Constitution. Section 14(1) provides: The Federal Republic of Nigeria shall be a State based on the principles of democracy and social justice; (2) It is hereby, accordingly, declared that: (a) sovereignty belongs to the people of Nigeria from whom government through this Constitution derives all its powers and authority; (b) the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government. Islamists have failed to support and defend the Constitution.
All the horrific destruction of human life and endeavor thus far perpetrated by Boko Haram, Fulani herdsmen and their allies, both national and sub-national, have threatened our way of life especially when we allow them to undermine our morale and erode our faith in ourselves, our abilities and our leadership. If Nigeria permits Boko Haram to instill the terror about which other Sharia-adherents have spoken, then we will have granted Boko Haram, Fulani herdsmen and their ilk the power to set the conditions for our acquiescence, appeasement and surrender.
Refusal to name the enemy or describe his ideology accurately is but the first step in the enemy’s program to undermine Nigeria strategic thinking from confronting the real threat or having any hope of developing an effective strategy to defeat it. It is imperative that we, as Nigerians, recognize and openly identify Sharia as the pillar of Islamists terror.
A Truth and Reconciliation Commission should provide a platform for those for and against, Islamism, political Islam or Sharia. NCEF is protesting the various jihads committed against Nigerians which include killing of the Abiolas and Abacha, killing of demonstrators in Lagos, co-opting some Christians as junior partners in Government in order to promote and enhance jihad over the years in Nigeria. Amnesty can be granted to some to bring the political parties on board. No moral distinction should be made by the Commission between the violence used to promote jihad and that employed to oppose it. Fortunately, we do not know any equivalent of Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen and a Commission may confirm this in addition to the fact that Truth and Reconciliation Commission will prevent a revenge group from developing in the future.
Nigeria needs to re-define the basis of its existence as a country in search of nationhood. Those who were killed or suffered as a result of jihad, like Alfred Rewane, the Abiolas, Tunde Elegbede etc need to be “heard” from their graves. There is not a better forum for this than a Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Truth and Reconciliation Commission above all, is an instrument for reconciliation and national unity to promote Nigeria from a country to a nation. Nigeria has to be liberated from political Islam a.k.a. Islamism or Sharia.
The NCEF is convinced, based on real and circumstantial evidence contained in this memorandum, that the NGO’s Activities Bill, now before the National Assembly is one of the many attempts to truncate the ability of Christian organizations to raise funds for its activities and to hinder democracy. We associate ourselves with the views of Prof. Chidi Odinkalu that “this is the most dangerous piece of legislation that has come for consideration in the National Assembly since the return to Civil Rule in 1999”.
God bless Nigeria
For and on behalf of NCEF
Solomon Asemota, SAN
Solomon Asemota, SAN (Chairman), Gen. Joshua Dogonyaro (rtd), Archbishop Magnus Atilade, Dr. (Mrs) Kate Okpareke, Dr. Ayo Abifarin, Gen. Zamani Lekwot (rtd), Bishop Joseph Bagobiri, Elder Moses Ihonde, Elder Nat Okoro, Gen. T. Y. Danjuma, Elder Matthew Owojaiye, Justice Kalajine Anigbogu (rtd), Elder Shyngle Wigwe, DIG P. L. Dabup, Sir John W. Bagu, Dr. Saleh Hussaini, Elder Mike Orobator, Justice James Ogebe, JSC (rtd), Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, Chief Debo Omotosho, Dame Priscilla Kuye, Dr. S. D. Gani, Mrs. Osaretin Demuren, Prof. Yussuf Turaki, Dr. Musa Asake, Pastor Bosun Emmanuel (Secretary)