The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) has advised the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) to, in the spirit of Biblical injunctions, uphold the truth for its sake and tread the path of honour and refrain from statements capable of causing disaffection and promoting disharmony that may lead to conflict in the country.
While The Muslim Congress described CAN’s reaction to FG Sukuk bond as irresponsible, retrogressive, ill-informed and ignoble, The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) considers CAN’s position demeaning which is not only infantile, petty and overbearing but also spiteful and egocentric.
CAN had described the issuance of the 1oo Billion Naira Ijarah Sukuk Bond as an attempt to ‘Islamise Nigeria and sell the nation to Arab nations’.
The Federal government on had earlier advised the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) to stop misleading its members and overheating the polity through false alarm of alleged Islamisation of the country. Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information also enjoined the leadership of the Christian body to do a research on what SUKUK bond means before jumping to the conclusion that it is meant to Islamise the country through the back door.
According to Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information, “ I think they should find out more about what SUKUK means. If they know what SUKUK means, I am sure they will not be making this allegation. In Europe and America, most of the infrastructures there were actually financed by SUKUK bonds. SUKUK is very simple, it is about financial inclusiveness. The ethical values of some people will not allow them to invest in bonds that will yield interests, SUKUK does not yield interest”.
NSCIA admonition was contained in its response signed by Deputy Secretary General of NSCIA, Salisu Shehu in response to the claims of the CAN. The responses of TMC and MURIC were contained in the Press releases signed by Professor Ishaq Akintola, President, Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) and Dr. Luqman AbdurRaheem Amir, The Muslim Congress (tmc) respectively.
Salisu Shehu, said, “We are poised to advise CAN to, in the spirit of Biblical injunctions, uphold the truth for its sake and tread the path of honour and refrain from statements capable of causing disaffection and promoting disharmony that may lead to conflict in the country.”
“CAN cannot claim ignorance about the fact that even the World Bank has been involved in issuing Sukuk and the floating of Sukuk Bonds. Interestingly also, several non-Muslim countries across Africa, Europe and Asia have similarly instituted Islamic Financial System generally and Sukuk in particular. Worthy of mention here are Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, United Kingdom, Luxembourg, Russia, China, Singapore and a number of firms in the United States.
“Less than two years ago, Britain hosted a World Conference on Islamic Banking and Finance and David Cameron, the then British prime minister, openly declared that their intention was to make UK the hub of Islamic Finance in the World.” Salisu asserted.
MURIC said ”Our position is based on the fact that CAN has all it needs in Nigeria today because the whole system is Christo-Western: education, the judicial system, the economy, everything. Muslims who were deprived of all their Islamic landmarks and ways of life by the colonialists are constrained to start the struggle all over again by demanding Shari’ah, use of hijab in schools, Islamic banks, Sukuk, etc. It must be made clear ab initio that Nigerian Muslims had all these before the advent of the British colonialists who changed everything in favour of Christianity.
”There is nothing the Muslims are demanding now that the Christians don’t have already on a platter of gold. It must also be stated that the Christians do not need the things that the Muslims are asking for. Why should somebody keep blocking his brother from getting his own share when he already has his own?” the body posited
MURIC queries why CAN is playing dog in the manger. Shari‘ah is not for them but CAN screamed until the roofs nearly came down. OIC does not hurt any Christian but CAN shouted to high heavens. Hijab is for female Muslims alone but violent envy pushed CAN to shout itself hoarse. Islamic bank is for Muslims alone but CAN labeled it Islamisation of Nigeria. Can CAN give us a list of those who have been Islamised since Islamic banking started in the country? CAN leadership has become a professional false alarmist, a dog in the manger.
The Muslim Congress (TMC) like other interest groups in Nigeria said it is disturbed by the irresponsible, retrogressive and ignoble press release of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in which the body asserted that Sukuk issuance is unconstitutional and that the whole idea is an attempt to sell Nigeria through the back door. By who and to whom? We don’t know. It is time that CAN, with its propaganda, lies and deceits, which have over the years become its trademarks be corrected in order that it does not succeed in its vigorous campaign to destabilise the nation.
”In retrospect, CAN’s opposition to the reformist regime of President Muhammadu Buhari, as against apparent support for the regime of President Goodluck Jonathan creates serious doubt as to whether the body is a political or religious organisation, TMC said.
”In our opinion, it is a political group masquerading as an umbrella religious body. It could not have been a coincidence that the purported press release came out at a time when the nation is dousing the chaotic tension created by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). The elements behind this sensitive press release were calculative, tactical and diabolical seeking to provoke the Muslims into heating up the already heated polity! Lugman posited.
”If CAN is genuinely peace-loving, its leadership should be praising the ingenuity of the bankers and financial experts that developed the Sukuk bond as a potent instrument for rejuvenating, redeveloping and revitalising the nation’s damaged economy. Unfortunately, the body went into its phobic and paranoid mood, naming the innovative exercise of funds mobilisation for infrastructural development as attempts to ‘Islamise’ Nigeria. Is CAN a patriot or a spoiler?
”We are bold to say that, CAN’s activities in Nigeria is to force Islam and Muslims into extinction through its relentless media war on Islamic values and value-system, even where reality dictates that such values are global best practices. It lost court battles against Hijab in Osun and Lagos States. And now that the unproductive, divisive and self-imposed antics of the leadership of CAN is assuming a dangerous dimension with labeling anything which reflects Islam as inimical, it is high time the body is placed under security watch, if the nation is to enjoy relative peace from needless tensions borne out of ethno-religious and pathological hatred of Islam and Muslims. The body is always quick to link Boko Haram sect and Herdsmen to Islam and Muslims, while it closes its eyes to militancy of IPOB & Niger-Delta, immoralities, thefts, human trafficking and money laundry and other crimes perpetrated by its members including precipitating collapse of corporate organisations to buy jets for the “Men of God”?” TMC asserted
”Sukuk will not Islamize Nigeria. And when the 100 Billion Naira is used to construct parts of 25 major road projects across the six geopolitical zones of the country, You don’t need to come to mosque before using it”, Ibrahim Ola Balogun said on his Facebook page.
Kolawole Abdulwaheed in response to Balogun’s post said ”CAN is mischievous that is why they are suspicious of anything from Islamic perspective. They are aware of what they have done to destroy Islam and Muslims.”
” I have no doubt that a few sensible ones who understand economics to this level must have felt ashamed of that utterance by their leader. Passionate hatred for Islam seems to be a criterion for their eligibility for that office”, Murtala Alade Adedokun responded