Christian Elders Fault Buhari For Including Nigeria In Islamic Coalition Against Terrorism


SAN FRANCISCO, March 19, (THEWILL) – The Nigerian Christian Elders Forum, NCEF has criticized President Muhammadu Buhari for dragging Nigeria into the Saudi-led coalition against terrorism, stressing that the action was in clear negation of the rights of Nigerians and smacks of disregard for the views of non-Muslim Nigerians who took part in bringing the new administration to power.

The decision to join the group was announced by President Muhammadu Buhari during an interview with Al Jazeera network.

NCEF Chairman, Solomon Asemota

Addressing newsmen in Abuja on Friday, the NCEF chairman, Solomon Asemota, noted that, “including Nigeria in the Saudi Arabia Military coalition of Muslims/Arab nations would appear that the foreign policy thrust of the current administration is to make Nigeria a satellite state of Saudi Arabia,” the group said.

“Any nation in which Islamists believe that they are sufficiently strong to exercise influence rarely experiences peace.

“Mr. President should kindly remember that over 50 per cent non-Muslims of Nigeria did not vote for the nation to become Sharia compliant,” the group said.

The NCEF claimed that the inclusion of Nigeria in the Organisation of Islamic Conference, OIC, in 1975, as well as its recent inclusion in the Saudi-led coalition was an attempt by Muslim leaders to dominate the country with the teachings of Islam.

“While Islam is a religion; Islamism, otherwise called political Islam, is a set of ideologies that hold that Islam is not a religion, but a political system meant to dominate the environment in which it is practised,” it stated, stressing that some policies and decisions of the Buhari government has given Nigerians cause for concern.

“N900 billion was released as bailout to states without appropriation. International commitments are being made without resource to the National Assembly,” the group pointed out.

The group also noted the, “Attempt to fund deficit in the 2016 budget through issuance of Sukkuk loan which is a Sharia compliant loan”.

While expressing shock over the decision of the Kaduna State government to enact a religious bill, it said: “We wish to express tremendous shock at the proposed Kaduna state bill. The proposed bill contravenes section 38 (1) of the 1999 constitution.”

Asemota expressed dismay at what it described as the Federal Government's inaction to the carnage and destruction perpetrated by the Fulani Herdsmen, lamenting that “over 300 Nigerians were allegedly massacred by the Fulani Herdsmen. Till today, there has been no prosecution of any of them.”

He further decried the decision of government to establish grazing reserves across the nation, saying the proposal is a deceptive attempt to appropriate the land of indigenous ethnic groups for Fulani Herdsmen to spread terror across the nation.

The group called on the government to convene a Council of State meeting to enable past presidents of Nigeria assess the developments in the country, and make suggestions that will lead to the creation of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

According to the group, the commission which should follow an enactment of law, should among other things, study the problem of terror in Nigeria and ensure the prosecution of culprits.

The NCEF urged ethnic groups in the country to introduce community policing to protect its indigenes, while urging the government to re-introduce the study of history in secondary schools.