The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has condemned the allegation by the Christian Elders Forum, an arm of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) that the Federal Government is planning to impose Shari’ah law on the federation.
MURIC Director, Ishaq Akintola, in a statement on Sunday, said that the Christian elders based their allegation mainly on recent reports that Nigeria had joined the 32-nation Saudi Arabia-led Islamic military coalition against terror.
Mr. Akintola, a professor, described the allegation as baseless, unfounded and mischievous.
“We remind Nigerians that MURIC had raised objection to Nigeria’s membership of the Islamic military coalition even before it was announced. Although we have not shifted our position in principle, we now have a clearer understanding of the picture after FG explained its raison d’etre. We are not unaware that blind opposition to issues even after new facts have surfaced is a mark of fanaticism.
“FG had made it clear that there is nothing religious about the coalition and that the motive is purely security concern. As a nation battling terrorism, Nigeria stands to benefit more from being a member of a coalition created for the sole purpose of fighting terrorism than remaining outside it”, Akintola said.
The MURIC chief noted that one needs not be a soldier or trained for security considerations to understand the implications of joining the coalition, as by being a member, Nigeria does not need to contribute its military personnel to fight anywhere, but that the country stands to gain much from sharing information with other members of the coalition and enjoying their cooperation in the area of anti-terrorism.
He also noted that Nigeria can pressurize Saudi Arabia to repatriate a Boko Haram suspect who attempts to seek refuge in that country or other members of the coalition being part of the coalition but may not be able to do so if vice versa.
Prof. Akintola, therefore, urged the CAN to stop heating the polity, but join hands with the government to create an enabling environment for religious understanding and peaceful coexistence.