LAGOS—THE National Christian Elders Forum, NCEF, has insisted that the Federal Government was planning to Islamise the country through Jihad.
The group comprises different professionals and former senior army generals, including former Defence Minister, Theophilus Danjuma.
In a statement entitled, “Jihad in Nigeria: Burying The Head in Sand,” and signed by NCEF chairman, Mr. Solomon Asemota, SAN, on September 6, the group was compelled to defend its earlier release in July this year entitled; “Correct Assessment of Situation in Nigeria,” which has generated a great deal of debate among some Nigerian Muslim leaders who have denied the reality of an ongoing Jihad in Nigeria, and clarified certain misconceptions in the interest of peace and development of Nigeria.
After reviewing unfolding events across the country, the eminent Christian elders in July this year, called on Nigerian leaders to tread softly to avoid a pending implosion, insisting that the real problem with the country was that a Jihad had been launched in Nigeria.
It also contended that Islamists that have been interfering in the governance of the country, using “Taqiyya” (approved deception) as “Stealth/Civilization Jihad,” Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen as violent Jihad, were relentless in their pursuit of eradicating democracy in Nigeria.
“The objective of the Islamists (political Islam) is to supplant the constitution of Nigeria with Sharia ideology as the source of legislation in the nation.
‘’The conflict between democracy as national ideology and Sharia as a usurping ideology is responsible for the crisis unfolding in Nigeria. The nation is in the throes of Jihad,’’ the group said.
Nigeria moving dangerously close to national red line
Noting that Nigeria was moving dangerously close to a national “red line” where truth was now being criminalized as “hate speech,” the NCEF said it was committed to the unity of Nigeria, contending that the duty of the leadership of the nation was to ensure that this unity was not sacrificed on the altar of sectarian interests and biases.
It noted: “The NCEF is fully aware of the seriousness of these issues and wishes to share this information for the consideration of serious minds desirous of providing solutions to the myriad of problems confronting Nigeria.
“The NCEF has taken on this onerous task, not for the interest of the present Christian elders, most of whom are in the boarding lounge to eternity, but in the interest of the coming generations.”
NCEF challenges Muslim leaders
The NCEF challenged Muslim leaders denying the existence of a jihad in the country to clarify certain pronouncements over the issue, including declaration by Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, in one of his videos in 2012 that the war they were prosecuting was not political but religious.
It said: “It is between Muslims and unbelievers (arna). It will stop when Islamic religion is the determinant in governance in Nigeria or, in the alternative, when all fighters are annihilated and no one is left to continue the fight.
“I warn all Muslims at this juncture that any Muslim who assists an unbeliever in this war should consider himself an unbeliever and should consider himself dead.” If this statement is not a declaration of Jihad, could Muslim leaders explain what this means?’’ The group further quoted Shekau as saying.
Buhari’s agenda is for new Nigeria—Presidency
Reacting, the Presidency denied the claim, saying President Buhari’s only agenda for the country was for a new Nigeria.
The President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, said: “The times in which we are do not call for unnecessary suspicion. The only agenda President Muhammadu Buhari has is emergence of a new Nigeria, safe, prosperous, corrupt free, where our children can have a future and a hope.”