Hell was almost let loose on Tuesday at the ongoing National Conference when representatives of the Christian Association of Nigeria reeled out some fascinating statistics and made some intriguing complaints.The christian leaders gave out the statistics of Christians killed in Northern Nigeria just as they wondered why Nigeria’s 1999 constitution failed to mention ‘Church’, ‘Christianity’ and ‘Jesus Christ’ as in the case of Traditional religion and Islam. This statement made tempers rise but the presiding officers were able to manage the situation
A delegate representing Christian leaders, Bishop Joseph Bagobiri suggested the constitution was unfair to the Christian religion. He wondered why Islam was mentioned 28 times, the Islamic legal code, ‘Sharia’ was mentioned 73 times and the word ‘Muslim’ appeared 10 times but Christian-related terms failed to be mentioned in the constitution. He opined that those stats would give an impression Nigeria was an Islamic state.
Speaking also, another Christian leader, Bosun Emmanuel buttressed Bagobiri’s stance but went a step further by stating the rising figures of widows in a church as a result of the killings of their husbands by a group of people who he refused to mention. He revealed that in a certain Christian denomination in the North, number of widows grew from 501 in 2001 and 900 in 2009 to an alarming 25000 in February 2014. His speech was however interrupted by former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Adamu Aliero who called for a point of order.
The Deputy Chairman of the Confab, Bolaji Akinyemi eventually allowed Aliero speak, the FG delegate complained:
“The speaker on the floor is bringing issues that are not related to the President’s address,”
He wanted the speaker to quit the issue of religion he was raising but echoes of ‘No! No!! No!!!’ from some delegates in disapproval of Aliero’s comments. The deputy chairman of the CONFAB could not rule on the matter and had to consult the Chairman, Idris Kutigi before ruling Aliero’s point of order. The deputy chairman stated that delegate all the while have been allowed to speak on subjects which bothered them and those they represented and wondered why this would be an exception.
Upon the ruling out of Aliero’s point of order, Bosun Emmanuel who had been standing all along continued:
“We, Christians do not hate the Muslims. I live in the South West and there is peace and we want to see that peace all over Nigeria,”
He called on conference to look at the constitution and try to resolve the inconsistencies as regards religion.
At the end of the session, Mr Emmanuel spoke to journalists and it was then he revealed that the figure of widows he stated during the session from the Church of Christ in Nigeria, COCIN.
“In Jos, 7th March, Fulani herdsmen attacked Dogo Nawa and killed 501 Christians in the village, including children. At the Church of Christ In Nigeria, in 2001, the Women Fellowship had 500 widows, but as at 2008, they had 900 widows. But in 2011, they had 25,000 registered widows and that is one denomination in one state.”
Photo Credit: Premium Times