By Sam Eyoboka
THE Nigerian Christian Elders Forum, NCEF, has reacted to Muslim Rights Concern’s criticism of its position on Chief Justice Onnoghen, saying that the experimentation of Sharia and its tenets of apostasy, Islamic, supremacy, jihad, Taqiyya, among others, in a democratic Nigeria and in competition with democracy, have been responsible for the difficulty in peaceful co-existence with other religions and ethnic nationalities that do not believe in and are not willing to be bound by these tenets.
In a reaction entitled, ‘ MURIC to Christian Elders on Onnoghen, Gowon: Your position is pedestrian,’ and signed by NCEF Chairman, Elder Solomon Asemota, SAN, on behalf of several other eminent members, the Forum, while agreeing with MURIC “that what Nigerians need now is peaceful environment” said, “this cannot be achieved when one section of the populace (Christians) is marginalized.”
The NCEF said it would have ignored the MURIC article but for two fundamental mistakes: “ That you chose to use former CJN Onnoghen and our respected former Head of State as subjects of attack; and your use of the word ‘ pedestrian’ , which the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionarydefines as ‘without any imagination or excitement, dull.’
“We want to make it clear that General Yakubu Gowon is not a member of NCEF. Having got the membership of NCEF wrong, MURIC also got its facts wrong.
“We want to re-state once again that the attack on Onnoghen, a Christian, is the determination of the Muslim executive to have a dominant position, unchallenged by either the legislature or judiciary. Throughout military rule, the legislature was non-existent and at the return to democracy in 1999, a legislative arm at federal and state levels was programmed to be dominated by the executive.
“NCEF is suggesting that the contradictory ideology of democracy and Sharia at play in Nigeria is responsible for her instability. Nigeria has to choose one of the two and not both. It is hoped that the ‘super’ executive that wants to swallow the legislature and the judiciary will find time to read papers prepared by NCEF. They may learn a thing or two and not see jihad as the final solution rather than as separation of powers.
“The Puritans in America refused to give anyone too much power because of their belief in human depravity. Power has a corrupting influence and could be used to oppress others. For that reason, the authority of the leaders was carefully monitored. We must do the same in Nigeria.”