NATIONAL CHRISTIAN ELDERS FORUM (NCEF)
Christians have no choice but to transform CAN into an established Organization for the promotion and protection of Christianity in Nigeria in the face of the threat of Islamism otherwise known as – Political Islam, which has no single creed or political manifesto but certain common beliefs such as
(1) Nigerian Society should be reconstructed in line with the Religious principles and ideals of Islam.
(2). The Islamists are demanding that Section 10 should be replaced by an Islamic State in which Religious principles and authority have primacy over the political principles and authority; and
(3). That the West and Western values which Christians over the years, have adopted in Nigeria are corrupt and, to an extent, justifies Jihad against the West and Nigeria and its values.
In the circumstance, Nigeria requires new ideas to win the peace and promote stability of the Nation.
The paper thereafter considered the issues of the Quran and Jihad, Hadith and Jihad, Jihad in Nigeria, obligatory nature of Jihad and concluded that Islamists are presently waging Jihad in Nigeria, drawing attention to the trials now taking place in Kaduna and the Commission of Inquiry into the clash between the Nigerian Army and the Shiites in Kaduna. There is a connection between this Commission and the one held in Kano in 1982 and El – Zakzaky.
AMALGAMATION OF 1914
Lugards best wishes notwithstanding, The Times of Nigeria in 1914 saw amalgamation was “broadly speaking, the conquest and subjugation of southern Nigeria by northern Nigeria.” Ian Nicolson held the view that Amalgamation was “trampling on all the carefully nursed seedlings of civilized government, law and legislature, and substituting authoritarian adminstrocracy in which the whole emphasis was away from the coast, away from the law and education in its widest sense’ and concludes that Lugard’s amalgamation places Nigeria in a state of arrested development with its institutions of government left, on the whole, ‘dormant and static’ for the next thirty years”
The reasons for Amalgamation were Railway and Finance. With respect to Finance Lugard summarizes “necessity for amalgamation under the two headings of finance and railways. Not only had the Northern Protectorate been running at a substantial operating loss - in itself a direct contradiction of one of the traditional British colonial maxims, that every territory must be self-supporting - but its Treasury had been subvented by heavy grants-in-aid from both Great Britain and the Southern Protectorate …”
ERECTION OF BARRIERS
Segregation of new town and native towns, European quarter from African quarter, special schools of Mohammedans etc, created walls and barriers and the size of the North was intended to perpetuate northern dominance and conquest.
This Commission was set up to enquire into the fears of minorities and the means of allaying them with four terms of reference only. Among the issues the Commission considered was:
Fears of Christian minorities of the South and North
Fear of political influence
Fear of Foreign Policy
Fear of religious intolerance
Although the Commission provided answers for these fears, with the benefit of hindsight, the fears were well founded and justified.
WESTERN REGIONAL CRISIS
This crisis was as a result of the NPC Muslim Party against the Action Group party of the West and against Chief Obafemi Awolowo. How it was contrived within six months after independence on October 1st, 1960, the request for Legal Opinion as to what constitute State of Emergency, Chief Awolowo’s telephone to the Prime Minister Abubakar Balewa and the Prime Ministers denial and the conclusion of Dr. Ajayi, which NCEF shares. Dr. Ajayi concluded that “over forty clear years after the declaration of the State of Emergency in Western Nigeria on the 29th of May 1962, not a few are still saying that that was the day when the wrong turning was taken in Nigeria’s political history leading later to the controversial Western Nigeria Elections of 1965. The people’s bloody revolt against the rigged result; the first ever attempted military coup-d’état in the country on the 15th of January, 1966; the first Military Regime from the 17th of January, 1966, the counter coup-d’état of the 29th of July, 1966; the Nigerian Civil War of 1967 to 1970; the prolonged succession of military regimes and the consequential strangulating of the democratic culture and its practitioners; indeed all the current topical issues that are encapsulated in the expression the National question.” [In Our Days Dr. Festus Ajayi autobiography. Page 468] We need to return to the Nigeria question at a Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
MILITARY REINFORCED EXISTING WALL
This was done with respect to Nigeria’s membership in the OIC and the fact that there was a government within the Military Government. The No. 2 man, Commodore Ukiwe, an Igbo, a Christian was booted out because Ndigbo and Christians had no political platform, and to this day, Christians in Nigeria have no political platform.
The Arewa Elders Forum (AEF) published their letter to Mr. President complaining that “The North is Suffering”, because 75% of Federal employees are from the South and therefore take up 75% of recurrent spending. The National Christian Elders Forum took this opportunity to remind the AEF that the AEF belongs to the group of Africans who are Nigerians in New York, but Northerners when they return to Nigeria. NCEF then continued: Non Northerners have not complained to the President that only Conquest Mentality will encourage anyone to complain of suffering when, in a country, as diverse as Nigeria, one section occupy the following Posts President, Commander-in-Chief, President of the Senate, Speaker of the House of Assembly, Chief Justice of Nigeria, “the body language of Mr. President further suggests that only Muslims especially Fulanis are capable of implementing Section 14(b) of the Constitution on Security and seems to explain why the National Security Adviser (NSA), Director-General, Directorate of State Security (DSS), the Minister of Defense and Minister of Interior both without Ministers of State are Muslims. The National Christian Elders’ Forum (NCEF) is very uncomfortable with this arrangement, the inference being that Christians, who constitute over 50% of the population, are not relevant with respect to security. Christians want to participate fully in matters of security and it will be unconstitutional to deny Christians of 388 other Ethnic Nationalities in Nigeria the opportunity to participate in the security of Nigeria especially the implementation of Federal Character in our Constitution. The question we ask is “are Christians irrelevant because a Jihad is in progress?”
In addition to the above, Christians have not complained that four Ministers will disburse over a quarter of the Budget of the whole country. 2016 budget proposal: Total Budget proposal of N6.06 Trillion; Interior Ministry - N451, 942, 552, 070; Education - N367, 734, 727, 223; Defence - N312, 213, 355, 618 and Works, Power and Housing - N422, 964, 928, 495 and the Total - N1, 554, 855, 563, 406. This is why and how the Arewa is suffering, in addition to the fact that Heads of the Judiciary – Court of Appeal, Chief Judges, Federal High Court, and High Court of Abuja are all from one section of the country. We need to remind the ACF that since oil was discovered in the county that provide for 90% of the country’s Budget, Arewa has not credited the South-South Zone, not to talk of the South, with any contribution towards the development of the country.
We have no doubt, that it is this conquest mentality that makes it necessary to have 90% of the Security Institutions in the North, all Military Bases, Air Force and even a Boat House in Abuja. This is, in addition to Boko Haram, Fulani Herdsmen, Civil Defence under the NSA with more powers than the Military and Police, Vigilante Group of Nigeria, Religious Police. It is very clear from the above, why some Christians and impartial observer believe that a Jihad Stealth and Conventional is taking place in Nigeria with the Commander-in-chief as the Chief Jihadist.
THE CHIBOK GIRLS
Two years ago, over 200 girls, mainly Christians were abducted in their dormitory in Chibok. Not one of these girls has been seen except for a video released by Boko Haram last December 2015 showing fifteen of the Chibok Girls. It is very strange that a large number of girls can be abducted without a trace by the Intelligence Communities of Nigeria and the Neighboring countries of Chad, Niger, and Cameroun. The logical conclusion is to suggest the Intelligence Communities have hands in this criminality.
Pastor Tunde Bakare on April 2016 said “We are not unmindful that the Nigerian State failed to provide security for our daughters as they gathered to write their final examinations despite prior Intelligence Reports that suggested they were in danger. “It is most severely injurious to see that the fate of our daughters has been frequently politicized. Rather than rise to the occasion as stakeholders and custodians of the security and welfare of the citizens of this nation, political parties and politicians have paid lip services, using our pain and plight of our daughters to score cheap political points. “We are not convinced that the matter of our daughters has been given the needed thoughtfulness. “We do not believe that those who are in a position to act have taken sufficient actions towards addressing the issue or even towards claiming our anxiety as waiting parents.” “We do not believe those concerned have taken sufficient actions concerning the rescue of these girls”. “We believe they are still alive, at least no evidence, satellite evidence that they are in a mass grave. We believe they are alive. It remains a scar on the soul of this nation until these girls are brought back,” and we agree with Pastor Tunde Bakare President Buhari needs to look inwards.
The Security and Intelligence Community need to be completely overhauled as it would appear that the insecurity in Nigeria is mainly caused by those charged with security.
Separation of powers, the Legislature, the Executive and the Judiciary was designed to ensure that power is distributed evenly. When therefore the Executive – the Military stages a coup and suspends the Constitution and the Legislature, power become lopsided and prone to dictatorship. This fact, no doubt, is responsible for the present struggle between the Legislature and the Executive.
For about 40 years military rule, our Executive Arm that remained developed and became very powerful resulting in a situation where the Intelligence Arm of the Executive need to be subject to a Judicial Commission as it would appear to be the invisible government which for very many years ruled through proxies with thousands of operatives (Mukhabarat in Arabic) that have erected walls against Christians and Muslims, North and South in Nigeria. The Secret Police developed Coup mantra to overthrow government and now it has developed into Change Baiting. This is possible because the Military Constitution of 1999 provide for the right to vote by all Nigerians without the corresponding right to be voted for. Rather Nigerians vote for political parties and not individuals which explain why Independent Candidacy is excluded in the Constitution. Political parties in Nigeria are the products of the Intelligence Service that is aimed at promoting the victory of Islam and the conquest of Christianity.
SECURITY AND JIHAD IN NIGERIA
The NCEF referred to the fact that the Kanuris had always longed for a Caliphate of their own which led to the setting up of Boko Haram by Governor Sheriff. The letter of the Chairman of NCEF, Solomon Asemota to the DG, DSS which was copied to six senior citizens of Nigeria showed clearly that Modu Sheriff was the architect of Boko Haram. Mr Asemota raised some questions in the letter:
Permit me at this juncture to state unequivocally that you are yet to come to terms with the leadership of civilians as most of the allegations that you presented to the Nigerian public on December 16, 2014 are all fabrications and mis-information typical of the Abacha dictatorship, the Khalif’s intent on making Nigeria an Islamic state. The Directorate of State Security Service seem to be an organization established for this purpose.
Shekau and Democracy
Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau in one of his latest video was reported to have said in Hausa translated to English “Before I start talking to my brothers who believed in me and the religion of Allah not the religion of democracy, not that of western education, those who believed in the religion of the Quran not that of the Constitution and not Religion of the Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, Jonathan, Obasanjo, Atiku, Babangida, Obama, Bush, Clinton, but the religion of Allah,” he said” [Premium Times, December 17, 2014]. The conclusion which one can draw from this is that the Department of State Security Service and Shekau have identical agenda. There is this slogan in the country which says security must not be left in the hands of the security agents alone, it is every body’s business. You can see in the evolving drama how dangerous it would be for the ordinary citizen to try to assist security agencies.
Mr. President lamented recently that he receives contradictory advice on issues. President Jonathan who spoke at the 2014 Christmas Carol organized by the Aso Villa Chapel, at the old banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja disclosed that “for every issue he had to take a decision on, multiple suggestions that were most times contradictory, were given to him. --- Because it is quite challenging for a leader; for every subject that you want to take a decision on, you will have multiple suggestions. Some contradictory, some to the left, some to the right, some to the centre; but you must take a decision. It is only God that can guide you to take the right decision that will not bring suffering to your people”
One wonders the type of advice you gave to Mr. President concerning Stephen Davis before your public denouncement. One would have thought that as Secret Police you will provide accurate information to the President in private but you chose a press briefing in competition with the Nigerian Police. It is clear that it is the Directorate of State Security Services that is making merchandize of Boko Haram insurgency by protecting Sheriff and others. While Boko Haram instill fear on the populace by executions, murders, arsons, abductions, kidnapping, rape, mayhem etc, which they record on video and distribute in and outside Nigeria, the DSSS instill fear through falsehood against innocent Nigerians and foreigners who try to help Government.
It is my hope and prayer that this ideological war of liberal democracy and Sharia may not result in the disintegration of Nigeria.
In the circumstance by what standard do we judge our Secret Police? Are they for us Nigerians or for the Islamists? The Intelligence Service must stop taking Nigerians for a ride. The question is did the Secret Police create Boko Haram factor for the conquest of Christians or the South?
Truth and Reconciliation
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 of which 102 years of amalgamation failed to abate rather enhanced by dual ideology of Liberal Democracy and Islamism has widened and, today, there are various Nigerians, Northerners, Christians, Catholics, Evangelists, Protestants, Nigerian Muslims, Islamists Shiites, Sunni etc and Animists and other Religion. This is in addition to over 500 languages, and the sooner we reconcile these people group 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 “what this means is that Nigeria is 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]
In order to build the bridge among all Nigerians, we must establish complete picture as possible of injustices committed in the past. Settling old scores between the Dasuki’s and Buhari in isolation of other rulers and coup plotters cannot be regarded as a good solution while ignoring the untold sufferings which resulted from these injustices. While this is going on, our President Buhari should concentrate on ruler ship while a Commission is set up to handle Truth and Reconciliation in all its ramifications is put in place.
From the evidence of important Christians and Southerners taken hostage by the Fulani herdsmen, and the Inspector General of Police who said although these herdsmen are Fulanis they are not Nigerians. They are armed with sophisticated weapons AK47 and the likes; they are good at map reading etc. In short, they are mercenaries and Islamists, imported into Nigeria for Jihad.
Why would a Nigerian, Christian Negroid with no affinity outside Nigeria who did not own a cow want to employ Fulani herdsmen to attack his community? One does not need to be a crime guru to appreciate that a form of Jihad by the Islamists is taking place and our Secret Police are looking the other way. This explains why the DSS need to be investigated. From independence to this day, colonial collaborators see themselves as successor to the British and other Nigerians as subjects. This explains why in a democracy, we have two conflicting ideologies – Democracy and Islamism; dual government - one within the Constitution and others outside the Constitution by the collaborators who now and then appoint Southerners and Christians as proxies and agents in Nigerian Democracy.
President Muhammadu Buhari said at the recent meetingof OIC "in my inauguration address on 29th May, 2015, I mentioned that Boko Haram is a mindless, godless group who are as far away from Islam as one can think of. I assured Nigerians that at the end of the hostilities when the group is subdued the Government would commission a sociological study to determine the origin, the remote and immediate causes of the movement, its sponsors, its international connections if any, to ensure that measures are taken to prevent a recurrence of this evil. The outcome of the proceedings of this conference will be useful in that regard." [The Guardian, Wednesday, March 30, 2016]
A Truth and Reconciliation Commission now is more appropriate and we do not need to wait.
Ideas win the peace, the basis upon which we send this petition and make two Recommendations only:
Overhaul the Intelligence Service make it a Nigerian not a “Northern” Institution in the promotion of Islamism.
A Truth and reconciliation Commission to establish the platform for future relations of all Nigerians.
God bless Nigeria.
National Christian Elders Forum (NCEF)