April 23, 2024 3:59 pm
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Sharia Council Blasts CAN Over Prophecies of Doom During Elections: Were You Listening?

The Supreme Council for Shariah in Nigeria has backed the former governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai, over his recent comment advocating for Muslim dominance in the state. El-Rufai incurred the wrath of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) when he justified his decision to appoint Muslims to top positions in his administration while sidelining Christians. The Sharia Council intervened, accusing the Christian Alliance of failing to condemn other religious leaders when they made equally controversial statements in the past.

The Background

The former governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai, recently caused a stir when he justified the predominance of Muslims over Christians in his state. His statement has been met with fierce opposition from Christian groups, including the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).

According to El-Rufai, the prominence of Islam in Kaduna State’s governance is here to stay, citing the recent victory of Muslim candidates Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Kashim Shettima as president and vice president, respectively, as evidence. While the governor urged Muslims to continue to dominate the state’s political landscape, Christian leaders, including Hayab John, chairman of Kaduna’s CAN chapter, spoke out against him.

This did not go down well with the Sharia Council, which criticized the Christian Association of Nigeria for failing to speak out against other pastors and religious leaders when they made equally controversial statements during past elections.

“For the past one week the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Kaduna State Chapter has been wagging tongues accusing the former governor of Kaduna State, Malam Nasiru Ahmad El-Rufa’i for making some statements as far as CAN is concerned, simply because he aired his view on the political realities of Muslim-Muslim ticket.”

The Council’s Defense

The Sharia Council defended the actions of the former governor, noting that CAN has refused to criticize pastors who made inflammatory statements leading up to past elections. In addition, the council pointed out that a Muslim is currently serving as governor of Taraba, a predominantly Muslim state. The Muslim Ummah, the council argued, has been tolerant enough, adding that a region like Plateau, which is home to a significant Muslim population, was denied a Deputy Governor position.

“Let the politicalised CAN understand that peace is only achieved when there is justice and adherence to the democratic norm, which is relative to demographic realities.”

The council also urged CAN to be neutral in matters of political and religious tension, rather than take sides, thereby polarizing the society.

“We eschew CAN to toe the line of honour in neutrality, rather than playing double standards.”

The Future

It remains to be seen if the Christian Association of Nigeria will respond to the criticism leveled by both El-Rufai and the Sharia Council. However, it is clear that the political climate in Kaduna State is still highly divisive. While some believe that religious tolerance is the way forward, others, like El-Rufai, believe that Muslim dominance is the only way to ensure stability and foster growth.

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