Aug. 11, 2019 | Vanguard News Nigeria
• ‘ How to resolve conflict to end national crisis’
In a paper dated July 31, 2019, National Christian Elders Forum (NCEF), parading prominent Nigerians including Elder Solomon Asemota, SAN; a former Minister of Defence, Lt. Gen Theophilus Danjuma (ret.); Prof. Joseph Otubu; Major General Joshua Dogonyaro (ret.); Archbishop Magnus Atilade; Dr. Kate Okpareke; Dr. Ayo Abifarin; Major General Zamani Lekwot (ret.); Moses Ihonde; Elder Nat Okoro and Matthew Owojaiye, analysed the state of the nation, tracing the root of the current crisis in Nigeria to a conflict between democracy and Sharia ideology. The full text of the paper, under the title, ‘Are Nigerian Christians on a wild goose chase?’, is reproduced below.
It is very disturbing to observe the ease with which Nigerian elites, particularly Christians, are dribbled and sent on a wild goose chase on very sensitive national issues. There is the need, therefore, to re-state the core issues that are causing problems in Nigeria and what constitutes the solution. At this rate, those who have constituted themselves into enemies of Nigeria are having cheap victory.
Today, the following unpalatable evils define Nigeria as a country: corruption and sleaze at all levels, insecurity (bloodshed, sudden death, kidnapping, rape, etc), economic recession, broken down infrastructure, dysfunctional political system, fractured social relationships, ethnic suspicion and rivalry, one could go on and on. Two questions come to our mind:
- What is actually the cause of the problem?
- Who is managing the public discourse?
Let it be made clear for all that the problem of Nigeria is NOT one of the following:
- It is not Christians versus Muslims or Muslims versus Christians.
- It is not South versus North or North versus South
- It is not PDP versus APC or APC versus PDP
- It is not military versus civilians or civilians versus military
- It is not rich versus poor or masses versus the rich
- It is not poverty, unemployment, illiteracy or desert encroachment
Someone may quip, “So there is no threat of Islamization, after all?” There is an Islamization agenda and it is a serious threat. What needs to be understood is what constitutes the threat and this is discernible in the difference between a Muslim and an Islamist. A Muslim practices Islam as religion while an Islamist manipulates Islam as political ideology. This is the reason Islamism is referred to as “political Islam.” Islamism is a conscious attempt to manipulate religion as tool for political and cultural domination. While Islam is a religion, Islamism, otherwise called “political Islam”, “is a set of ideologies that holds that Islam is not only a religion but a political system”. As a political system, Islamists insist that Islam is meant to dominate the environment in which it is practiced. In a sharply divergent society like Nigeria, any attempt to implement the principles of Islamism portends great danger for the nation. It is this Islamist political ideology that is driving the crisis in Nigeria.
The problem of Nigeria is IDEOLOGICAL. It is simply DEMOCRACY versus SHARIA. This is the problem Nigerians need to solve. Nigeria is a democratic country under the invasion of Sharia ideology. This is the core problem that must be solved and every crisis will evaporate.