Nigeria’s Federal lawmakers instead of attending to nagging socio-economic problems threatening the foundation of this nation, they are busy stirring up the hornet’s nest to further divide and polarize an already balkanized nation.
The latest of such crazy bills, which tends to justify fears of Christians that this administration is secretly executing Islamic agenda, is the Sharia bill which has already scaled Second Reading in the House of Representatives.
For strange reasons, non-Muslim lawmakers in the House allowed the legislation to go that far in the parliament without challenge.
The bill which plans to increase the power and jurisdiction of Sharia law in Nigeria is sponsored by Alhaji Abdullahi Salame, representing Gwadabawa / Illela Federal Constituency, Sokoto State is titled, “A bill for an Act to alter Sections 262 and 277 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, to increase the jurisdiction of the Sharia Court of Appeal of the Federal Capital Territory and Sharia Court of Appeal of a State by including Criminal Matters and Hudu and Qisas and for other related matters”.
The Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, Most Rev. Matthew Hassan Kukah, in his reaction said: “Unfortunately, I have not read the bill and I don’t know what to say now because it is not the type of thing you just jump into. Again, we should be careful not to make it a Christian, Muslim thing because what you discover even with the Sharia law is that quite a good number of Muslims may not necessarily be in support of those things”.
Quoting a renowned constitutional laywer Prof. Ben Nwabueze,Bishop Kukah said Islamic law can’t be a source of law in Nigeria. In the same way that Igbo law, Yoruba law and cultural laws are norms that should be drawn from our culture but those norms can’t be a source of law for the country.
“But I think the first thing is for the people to read and understand the draft and from there we can have much more robust contributions to it. “How does the law infringe on the secularity of Nigerian state for instance?. And two, is it in conflict with the spirit and letter of the federal constitution.
“This is because the constitution itself states very clearly that anything that is in conflict with the letter and spirit of this constitution is null and void.”
Also speaking on the issue, the General Overseer of Wisdom Chapel, Akowonjo, Lagos, Bishop Steven Ogedengbe, said he would prefer to look at the issue from the Fulani Herdsmen’s angle.
According to him, the grazing bill smuggled into the legislature is already an attempt to Islamise the country. “All the grazing areas will be occupied by them and their children; they will build their homes and in such local governments they will establish their own particular community like Sabo and build their schools.
“That to me shows that the Fulani man, a Muslim, would have spread his tentacle to all the nook and cranny of the federation. “So, when you have that all over the country, it conforms to the plan to force Islamic agenda on the federation. Unfortunately, the president and the governors are backing them on this. But i am dissappointed that Yakubu Dogara as the Speaker of the House of Reps, a Christian and Pastor will aloow himself to be used to preside over a Sharia bill in the House. |That to me is a total misnomer. So, he should be very careful.”
To Rt. Rev. Jwan Zhumbes, Bishop of Anglican Diocese of Bukuru c(Church of Nigeria), Plateau State said: “the legislators are playing with fire. “Why would they want to tinker with the constitution in the first place? What is wrong with it? Has anything gone with it? In whose interest is that? Who needs it? “As far as I am concerned we dont need for it. Do they want to burn down the country or what? If they know that what they are doing is the right thing, then they should make it public and see if they won’t be stoned publicly.”