Religion should be removed from public life - Christian, Islamic delegates
Delegates from the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) and Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) at the National Conference said all religious insignia should be removed from public life.
Malam Muzammil Sani Hanga, an Islamic delegate, and Professor Andrew Haruna from CAN said this yesterday during their presentations at the plenary yesterday.
The religious leaders advocated the removal of all the discriminatory policies associated with religion from both constitution and from public places to emphasise the secularity of Nigeria. Hanga, while reacting to an earlier claim by two CAN delegates that Nigerian constitution was Islamic, said there is need “to remove all religious privileges from the constitution and public life.”
He said governments at all levels should stop sponsoring people to pilgrimage to Mecca and Jerusalem.
“We need to change the dress code of our doctors and nurses. We need to change the dress pattern of our lawyers and judges. The dress pattern of our academics at the universities and tertiary institutions should also be changed,” Hanga said.
He said that it was not correct to say it was only in Plateau that people were killed. “Before the Dogo Na Hauwa killings there have been dozens killings of both Muslims and Christians. In fact, there were killings in Kafanchan, Zangon Kataf, Tafawa Balewa, Yalwan Shendam, among others,” he said.
On his part, Professor Haruna said government should stop declaring public holidays during religious festivals.
The CAN delegate added that religion has no region. He said if all the missionaries who stationed in the southern part of Nigeria had come into the country through the North, all the emirs and imams found in northern Nigeria today would have been pastors and bishops.
In the same manner, he said if the Arabs who brought Islam to the northern part of the country had entered Nigeria through the southern part; all the pastors and bishops in the South would have been Muslims.
Prof. Jerry Gana reacting to President Goodluck Jonathan’s inaugural speech during the ongoing National Conference in Abuja.