Note: This message is not intended to cause any form of rancor or division among Christians and Muslims as I have a lot of Muslim Friends that I so much love and respect, but to bring out facts about the situation of the country. And if we are going to save this country, then we have to tell ourselves the truth.
Nigeria as a country came about in 1914 but got its independence in 1960 from Britain and it has a constitution which the country is governed by. It was an amalgamation between the southern and the northern protectorates, a country of diverse ethnic nationalities and the major religions are Christianity, Islam and Traditional religion.
The constitution which is a legal document by which the country is governed ensured the fundamental human rights of citizens including freedom of association and freedom of worship. What this means is that, everybody is free to worship whatever he or she likes and there shall be no restriction whatsoever. This is provided in article 38 of the 1999 constitution thus:
(1) Every person shall be entitled to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, including freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom (either alone or in community with others, and in public or in private) to manifest and propagate his religion or belief in worship, teaching, practice and observance.
Disclaimer: I do not own the right to this Photograph
Whatever that means however is left for professionals to debate but in a lay man’s language it means I am free to worship whatever I choose to without any form of restriction whatsoever from anybody. Nigeria with its diversity is supposed to be a united country despite the many ethnic nationalities and religions like we used to hear that we are better together than separated. This saying is true only if the drivers of the country actually believe in that oneness or unity.
By every standard, Nigeria is supposed to lead the way in the whole of the African continent and indeed the world because of its population, diversity, natural and mineral resources. A country so blessed and that has the capacity to be a developed country but unfortunately cursed with greedy, insensitive, wicked, inept and very corrupt leaders yet very religious!
Nigeria has been about the most religious country in the whole world yet wickedness thrive in the country unabated and as such, other African countries are following suit. A country once referred to as the “Giant of Africa” but has suddenly turned to the “Dwarf of Africa”, (sic).
Why the question of Secularity?
It has become imperative for me to ask this question, is Nigeria a secular country? I know many will say yes it is, but when I demand prove, they can’t provide any. I have been shouting about it, saying it all the time that Nigeria is not a secular country as is being speculated due to several reasons I am going to forward here. And I feel these things should be in the public domain so that the upcoming generation will know the true situation about the country.
My answer to the question above, NO! Nigeria is not a secular country. You want to argue? Argue with your facts. Many years ago there has been a sort of unity and understanding between Muslims and Christians and things seems to go well between them as a result, the country has been at peace. I remember while growing up, we used to look forward to Sallah celebrations so that we will go and watch sallah dance and enjoy the moment, and Muslims too look forward to Christmas, we schooled together, ate together, did so many things together even though there were some skirmishes then but they were not as we have them now. Then the monster of religion and ethnicity started rearing its ugly head but was ignored. Our elders then raised the issue but the leaders at that time waved it away, until we started seeing those things and started talking yet because we had no voice, no one listened to us not until the coming of the social media.
This is a strange flag in one of the Government offices
Now before I go further, let me put these questions here, perhaps if we are able to find answers to the questions, then the question above would have been answered. Question
How man times was Grand Khadi mentioned in the Nigerian Constitution?
How many times was Muslim mentioned in the same constitution?
How many times was Islam mentioned in the same constitution?
How many times was Christian or Christ mentioned in that constitution?
Disclaimer: I do not own the right to this Photograph
If we find answer to these questions, then we won’t have trouble answering the main question above.
Going by the constitution as stipulated in Article 38(1) Nigeria is supposed to be a secular state embracing all other religions but at the moment, that is not the case as so many things are playing out. Unfortunately, our politicians have jettisoned the constitution going after their own selfishness but only remembers the same constitution when they know it will favour them.
Let me not go far, let me just go straight to the point. Nigeria is not a secular state. The secularity is only on paper but in the real sense of it, it is not. I remember former President Gen. Ibrahim Babangida registered Nigeria into OIC, that is one major pointer to moving away from secularity. That is the time they were beginning to come out boldly with the Agenda. Then the Abuja declaration 1989 where Islamic nations converged in Nigeria and made some declarations part of which I will state them here. But then, the answer to the four questions I asked above are;
Grand Khadi was mentioned 54 times in the Nigerian constitution.
Muslim was mentioned 10 times
Islam was mentioned 28 times
Not one mention of Christian whatsoever or anything related to it.
You still believe Nigeria is a Secular State?
Abuja Declaration ’89:
According to Wikipedia (Wikipedia.org), the Abuja Declaration is the name frequently given to the communiqué issued after the Islam in Africa conference held in Abuja, Nigeria between 24 and 28 November 1989. The conference was organised by the Organisation of Islamic countries [OIC] (at that time called the Organisation of Islamic cooperation) Conference and it agreed to set up the Islam in Africa Organisation (IAO)
The declaration was to the effect that Muslims should unite throughout Africa, the curricula at “various educational establishments” should conform to Muslim ideas, the education of women should be attended to, the teaching of Arabic should be encouraged, and Muslims should support economic relations with Islamic areas worldwide. It noted that Muslims in Africa had been deprived of rights to be governed under sharia law and they should strengthen their struggle to reinstate it. The Islam in Africa Organisation was formally established in July 1991, also in Abuja and it has stated its objectives.
According that declaration it was clearly written that Muslims are to take over to be heads of government parastatals and not to allow any Christian hold sensitive position. Unfortunately, major or large chunk of the declaration has been removed from Wikipedia due to our outcry. But look at Nigeria today; can you truly say Nigeria is a secular nation? We are seeing clearly where if you are not a muslim, you don’t get any meaningful appointment in the country. If you doubt me, go and research yourself and you will find out, almost everywhere (Abuja declaration being implemented).
Disclaimer: I do not own the right to the Photograph
I do not wish to be-labour this matter for too long, but few things I will mention as a close this write up. We have seen how Terrorists and bandits are killing and maiming in this country yet, you don’t see the government going after them with so much energy that they go after #Endsars protesters, IPOB or Oduduwa agitators and one may wonder, what is going on? Well check for yourself. From 2015 until now, Fulani herdsmen have been killing, kidnapping raping, destroying farmlands, and the most shocking thing is that these people are not hidden; they often come out and make press releases yet. The military, the DSS, the Police including the presidency are hibernating, but when another man speaks, all of a sudden they will swing into action. If we are in a secular country, will these things be happening? People were killed in Jos in their hundreds, the Presidency, the Security agents were not aware, but 22 fulanis were killed in Jos, all of a sudden, talks, statements and threats are coming from left, right and centre. Sheik Dahiru Bauchi issued a press release, threatening the state government with retaliation, until this very minute, no one has cautioned him, the DSS did not invite him. The last time Rtd. Gen. T. Y Danjuma asked the people to defend themselves, it became an issue. The military, the DSS and other security agents had issues with him including the presidency. Dr. Obadiah granted an interview and revealed that one of the repented bandits confided in them and said, one of the northern governors is the one sponsoring them and immediately the DSS invited him for questioning, but Sheik Dahiru Bauchi is threatening fire and brimstone yet every where is quiet.
Whether you believe it or not, Nigeria is not a secular country, we should stop deceiving ourselves. It is time we come out clear as Nigeria is already on the precipice and the only thing that will save it is the truth.
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