Re­li­gion should be re­moved from pub­lic life - Chris­tian, Is­lamic del­e­gates

Daily Trust - - NEWS - By Nu­rud­deen M. Ab­dal­lah

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.

PIC: IKECHUKWU IBE

Prof. Jerry Gana re­act­ing to Pres­i­dent Good­luck Jonathan’s in­au­gu­ral speech dur­ing the on­go­ing Na­tional Con­fer­ence in Abuja.

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