They know the stakes of the Islamization of Nigeria. For them, unlike some of their Western co-religionists, this is no experiment, and no drawing room discussion of what Sharia could/would/ought to be. They have to deal with it as the supremacist threat that it is to freedom of religion, worship, speech, and conscience. “Bishops condemn Islamic banking, FG”s approach on Boko Haram,” by Gbenga Faturoti for Daily Independent, August 21 (thanks to Twostellas):
Catholic and Anglican Bishops weighed in on economic and security matters at the weekend, as both groups criticised the approach of President Goodluck Jonathan to the menace posed by Boko Haram in the North, and expressed concern over Islamic banking.
Over 20 Bishops of the Anglican Communion who congregated at St. Peter’s Anglican Church, Ogharefe Delta State at the First Synod of the Anglican Diocese of Sapele condemned the introduction of Islamic banking.
They urged Abuja to review the conditions for the approval of non-interest banking and make all possible amendments that would ensure the interest of every religious group in Nigeria is protected.
They also tasked political leaders to remember that if they do not alleviate the sufferings of the masses, then their service is not of God.
A communique signed by the host of the meeting, Blessing Erifeta, and the Synod’s Clerical Secretary, T. O. Usikaro, condemned Boko Haram extremism, the murder of National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members in the North, and ritual killing and kidnapping across the land.
Erifeta tasked Nigerian leaders to remember that they are to attend to the plight of citizens who suffer in the midst of plenty, reverse infrastructure decay, provide drinking water, electricity, good roads — amenities taken for granted in other modern nations.
To fail in this great duty and to begin to serve only personal interests is to fail both man and God, he stressed.
He added: “Every person in position of leadership in churches, politics, civil service ,and the society in general is also included in this call so as to make God’s love be fulfilled in mankind”.
The synod congratulated Jonathan and other public officials on their electoral victory, but pressed the government to strengthen and free the judiciary.
Anglican Primate of Nigeria, Nicholas Okoh, sent a goodwill message to the Bishops who attended the meeting, who included Blessing Enyindah, Dapo Asaju, F.J. Imaekhai, C. I. Ide, P. Onekpe, J.E. Oyepken, John Akao, C.O. Odutemi E. B. Emamezi, O. Obiosa, Ndukwa, Jacob Bada, J.F.E Edewor, P.O. J. Imasuen, Justus Mogekwu, N.A. Enuku, and V.O. Moughereh.
Catholic Bishops of Ibadan, Oyo, Ekiti, Ondo, Osogbo, and Ilorin derided the diplomatic approach Abuja has adopted to tackle Boko Haram, a fundamentalist Islamic sect which has chosen violence to impose Sharia law in the land.
They demanded extensive debate on the proposed Islamic banking, describing the pronouncement by Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Lamido Sanusi, on it as “governance by ambush.”
A communiquÃ© issued at the end of their meeting in Ede, Osun State — signed by Felix Job (President) and Felix Ajakaye (Secretary) — mainatianed that Nigerians should have been allowed to discuss such an important and sensitive issue before Sanusi’s pronouncement.
“We ask the government to facilitate vigorous disinterested and nationwide discussion on the issue for better understanding and resolution of the “˜explosive” matter,” the communiquÃ© said.
It condemned the handling of Boko Haram, and argued that, “Nigerians will benefit more from strengthening the rule of law, whereby the security agencies will promptly bring criminals to book than negotiate with murderers and criminals.