It is quite unfortunate to see, how some religious leaders unwittingly fell for this political gimmick. The whole idea about ‘Islamization’ was surreptitiously introduced and later amplified, during the 2015 general election by desperate politicians, to sway gullible Christian population in their direction. There have always been two major religions in this country, but never in its political history, were people so polarized along religious dichotomy, as was the case during the last general election.
There was this erroneous impression, in the build-up to that election in some quarters that, an APC’s victory will lead to Islamization of the country. As unfounded as this sounded, some Christian leaders surprisingly bought into it and eventually indoctrinated their unsuspecting docile followers. Therefore, these rampant pretentious alerts on plans to Islamize the country, is a face-saving antic, orchestrated in a desperate effort to prove that, their prediction was not after all crying of wolf. Though the price of peace is eternal vigilance, it is also instructive to add that, unnecessary false alarm will vitiate such vigilance.
But I think , this is a joke taken too far, as an average high school leaver knows that, most key decisions in a constitutional democratic governance is always subjected through the crucibles of parliamentary processes, before approval is secured, upon obtaining a mandatory two third majority endorsement. Our National Assembly, as it is presently constituted, makes such a wild dream unrealistic, as even the least educated or the most fundamentalist member will dare not contemplate such possibility. Come to think of it, if the incumbent president, did not Islamize the country when he was a defacto military head of state, how was it then thought, such would be possible in the present dispensation? Was this fear actually justified? Was there any antecedent to warrant such presentiment? It is quite clear that mischief makers were at work, but what is puzzling, is their unwillingness to let go, after the election.
Recall the aborted epochal June 12 1993 presidential election, that featured an Abiola/Kingibe both Muslims, which received a nation-wide endorsement, with a purported overwhelming victory. Yes many have argued that, such a feat can no longer be possible again. This is a rather sad commentary, of how contemporary politicians have divided us due to unconscionable politicking. It is a glaring fact that, when politicians are deficit of issue-based campaigns, they become maudlin and whip up undue religious and ethnic sentiments.
A couple of months ago, the media was awash with the news, about the purported removal of Christian Religious Studies (CRS), from the nation’s educational curriculum and the palpable fear of Islamization this evoked, was quite alarming. The whole story about this development was not told by those who raised the dust, as even Islamic Religious Studies (IRS), was equally delisted, yet there was no hullabaloo. The ignorance expressed, in not being able to differentiate between Islamic and Arabic studies cannot be excusable at all. See this interesting analogy; our numerical system is Arabic, has it Islamized anybody? English alphabetic writing system has Christian provenance, has it Christianized anybody? I am sure if these basic learning skills, were to be introduced today, there would be a caveat of what should not be embraced.
Also, the recent introduction of Islamic non-interest banking system in Nigeria, has stirred a storm of controversy among some Christians, one wonders why it was embraced in even none Muslim countries like India, South Africa, Germany, Canada, United States, Britain et al. The fact that Central Bank of Nigeria’s governor, Godwin Emefiele- a Christian, serves as the chairman of International Islamic Liquidity Management Cooperation (IILMC), raises concerns about the propriety of those casting aspersion on the banking system. In any case, if anyone feels threatened, it is only wise for a reputable organization like CAN to float similar interest free banks, after all even the Holy Bible frowns at receiving interest on loans.
The fact that, the almighty God in His infinite wisdom has allowed plurality of religions, ought to teach us the necessity of prudent management of our divergences, so as not to offend another’s sensibility. Both the Bible and Quran have emphatically harped on the need for a peaceful co-existence. Therefore, anyone who cunningly manipulates these differences in order to cause disaffection and disunity for selfish reasons, acts in a clear violation of this holy injunction.
Itaobong Etim [email protected]
SOURCE :The Nigerian Voice (opinions)