Christian Elders Forum slams Buhari over Nigeria’s membership of Islamic coalition

A group, the Nigerian Christian Elders Forum, has strongly condemned the recent inclusion of Nigeria in the Saudi Arabia-led coalition against terrorism.

The decision to join the group was announced by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Addressing Journalists in Abuja, Friday, the NCEF chairman, Solomon Asemota, said the action was a clear negation of the rights of Nigerians as well as a lack of regard for the views of non-Muslim Nigerians who took part in bringing the new administration to power.

“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 said 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.

The group said 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,” it 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”.

The NCEF aslo said the decision by the Kaduna State government to enact a religious bill was a shocking.

“We wish to express tremendous shock at the proposed Kaduna state bill. The proposed bill contravenes section 38 (1) of the 1999 constitution,” the group stated.

The NCEF expressed dismay at what it described as the Federal Government’s inaction to the carnage and destruction perpetrated by the Fulani Herdsmen.

“According to media reports over 300 Nigerians were allegedly massacred by the Fulani Herdsmen. Till today, there has been no prosecution of any of them,” it stated.

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

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