The Sultan of Sokoto, Mohamed Sa’ad Abubakar, has knocked the Gender Equality bill which proposes among other things, equal inheritance opportunities for men and women. The Gender Equality has been a subject of intense debate, having earlier been rejected by the Senate in March on the basis of being too controversial.
Speaking at a Koranic recitation ceremony in northern Zamfara state, the sultan said: “Our religion is our total way of life. Therefore, we will not accept any move to change what Allah permitted us to do.”
He added: “Islam is a peaceful religion; we have been living peacefully with Christians and followers of other religions in this country. Therefore, we should be allowed to perform our religion effectively.”
His deeply divisive comments will trouble many, in a country famous for discrimination against women as well as a history of religious crisis.
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has backed the bill, as Senators insist public opinion will be a determinant in whether or not the bill will be passed.