By Bayo Oluwasanmi
If the Senators or House Reps were not sponsoring the world’s most bizarre bills, they’ll be stirring up the hornet’s net to further divide and polarized the already balkanized nation. The Sharia bill introduced in the House of Representatives will increase the powers and jurisdiction of Sharia law in Nigeria. The bill seeks to amend Sections 262 and 277 of the 1979 Constitution of Nigeria.
In recent memory, public resistance and rebellion had successfully killed unpopular and divisive bills sponsored by the House of Representatives and the Senate. The Anti Social Media Bill, the Grazing Reserve Bill, the Frivolous Petitions (Prohibition) Bill which would have restricted freedom of expression of Nigerians among others, were dead on arrival because of the all out war from the social media bloggers and critics. Now, the religious bigots are back with the notorious and obnoxious Sharia nonsense.
There’s an expectant murmur of legislative foolery about the neck breaking speed with which the Sharia Bill was being herded through the first and second readings. Like a creeping slow centipede, the Sharia terrorists in the House of Reps led by Speaker Yakubu Dongora and Rep Abdullahi Salame (Gwadabawa/Illela Federal Constituency) of Sokoto State; crouching like predators in the under bush shrouded the drafting of the Sharia bill in utter secrecy and suspicion.
As always, operating under a divine curse, the lawbreakers replicate havoc after havoc, determined to tear this country apart with Sharia. With heaps of abundance blessings of nature and talent in our nation, the lawbreakers have the power to alter permanently the subhuman and animal life of our people. But our system, their core beliefs, and their anti people philosophies won’t translate the resources we have into a better, decent, life for our people. These small minds find it interesting to resurrect Sharia memories of division, of hate, of enmity, of conflict, and of setting the country on religious fire.
Each time they gather together, they ridiculously expose their thick veins of religious bigotry and disregard for urgent national priorities crying for attention as well as solutions. When they are not impoverishing Nigerians, they’re engaged in something whimsical and mischievous. All the naive sponsors of he Sharia bill are after is to roast the nation in religious inferno.
The Sharia bill was actually sponsored by Abdullahi Salame, the lawbreaker representing Gwadabawa/Illela federal constituency of Sokoto State. The claim by the House that the bill was sponsored by Dongora, a Christian, was to give it credibility and legitimacy. Speaking about the bill, the Deputy Chairman of the House Committee on Media and Publicity, Jonathan Gaza Gbefwi said it had been discussed at the committee level. Salame, the sponsor of the bill also confirmed that the bill had scaled through, “due to its sensitivity.”
“The bill came up on the floor and was automatically referred to the ad hoc committee on constitution review,” says Gbefwi. “There was no debate on it either for or against,” continues Gbefwi, “because the House is a democratic representatives chamber of the Nigerian people.” “Even if five people only have an issue with any section of the constitution,” Gbefwi explains further, “the House will give it a listening ear. The ad hoc committee on constitution review has one member per state and women and other representation. The precedence is that it is in this committee that these kind of matters are thrashed out,” Gbefwi elaborates.
Gbefwi gave away the ulterior motive behind the bill and the sinister plan of the Sharia bigots: “Any bill that has potentials to divide the country on religious or tribal lines or to reopen settled constitutional issues will most likely fall in the committee.” Knowing that he had already unmasked the objective of the Sharia bill which is to extend the geographical jurisdiction and increase the powers of Sharia law, Gbefwi quickly add: “We are still at a very early stage in the process and Nigerians should not worry about bills of these nature as the House has shown over the years to be the protector of Nigerians’ national unity and interest.”
Behind the Sharia bill lies a morass of unclear thinking. Events around the world have proven that religion has a dangerous tendency to promote violence. Both ancient and contemporary world history are replete with examples of religious violence.
Incidentally, for my summer read, I choose Charles Kimball’s book “When Religion Becomes Evil” Kimball refreshes our memory on religious violence: “… sadly true, to say that more wars have been waged, more people killed, and these days more evil perpetrated in the name of religion than by other institutional force in human history.”
The Sharia evangelists who are bent on foisting their Sharia law on the rest of the country are nothing but hordes of religious terrorists. They are trying to force the rest of Nigerians to bomb Sharia into the higher rationality that it doesn’t belong. The Sharia bill will trigger dichotomy and violence. The Sharia bill is irrational, divisive, unnecessary, ill timed, and of no utility to the advancement of our national cohesion, unity, development, progress, and the continued existence of Nigeria as a corporate entity.
Why is Sharia bill done in the dark and shrouded in secrecy? What’s so special about Sharia that the sponsors are determined to carve a special place for it in the Constitution of a secular nation? Why are they not contented with the geographical space of Sharia in the north? What business do the rest of the country have with Sharia when our jurisprudence is not based on Sharia law?
Does Gbefwi knows what democracy is all about when he said: “There was no debate either for or against (the bill) because the House is a democratic representative chamber of the Nigerian people”? When they know Sharia “ has potentials to divide the country on religious and tribal lines or to reopen settled constitutional issues…” why attempting fixing something that’s not broken? If Sharia is a “settled constitutional issue” isn’t insanity for the sponsors to exhume the toxic and highly flammable Sharia interred bones?
Where is the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in all this? The legislative activities of the Dongoras on Sharia bill has the potential to transform our culture, norms, and behavior in the Christian south where Sharia is not our law. We have cause to worry. Sharia sphere and influence on our jurisprudence is being pushed and fought for incrementally to sneak it through the back door before Nigerians know what’s really going on.
This is the new approach and strategy of the Sharia terrorists. This should be a concern for our academics as well as our citizens in the Christian south. What are the southern reps dong in the House to fight the Sharia bill? Should the Sharia bill passed and signed into law by President Buhari (God forbid), it will transform the relationship between religion and government and reshape the view of the separation of Church and state in our Constitution.
The sponsors and supporters of the Sharia bill are suffering from religious trauma syndrome (RTS) indicative of severe mental health damage with related harmful national implications. These bigots are troubled, traumatized, and incapacitated with peculiar emotional and mental symptoms associated with authoritarian religious groups. The Shariarists have cognitive difficulties with social functioning and operating in a secular nation. These Shariarists are jerks and jokers.
If not, how can the highest paid lawbreakers in the world explain the priority put on Sharia bill when their constituents with no food to eat, no jobs for the legion of the unemployed, no housing, no water to drink, no hospitals no schools, no safety and security, no public transportation, no electricity, no hope, and no life. Like its predecessors of insane and worthless bills, the Sharia bill is DOA – dead on arrival!
For once, can the lawbreakers attend to the nagging socioeconomic problems chipping away our civilization?
Op–ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija
Connect with the author, Bayo Oluwasanmi, via [email protected]