CAN faults CJN’s call for constitutional amendment on Sharia

… Says It’s A Threat To National Unity

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has described as a threat to national unity, the alleged call by the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad for a Constitutional amendment, with a view to adding more Sharia contents. 

According to media reports, the CJN, at the 20th Annual Judges Conference at the Ahmadu Bello University, in a speech read on his behalf by the Grand Khadi of Niger State, Justice Muhammad Danjuma, called for the amendment of the country’s Constitution to “accommodate some of the concerns of Muslims and the Sharia Law.” 

However, National Director, Legal and Public Affairs, CAN, Evang. Kwamkur Samuel Vondip said CAN viewed this development as the most reprehensible, reckless and insensitive statement made by a public officer, a jurist and the very head of Nigeria’s judiciary. 

He observed that no one can begrudge the CJN from peacefully practising his faith, but seeking to transform one religion into having greater space in the Constitution is the height of official immodesty. Vondip condemned the CJN’s advice that academics champion the cause of redesigning the methods of teaching Sharia law; discard English as the language of instruction in Sharia law and for a separate faculty dedicated to Sharia.

He said: “CAN observes that the CJN has neither denied nor clarified the report. No person or association has also come out with a contrary opinion. We, therefore, regard it as a settled fact that the CJN said it, and meant it…

“Clearly, this looks like the path to making Islam a state religion. It is one more glaring case in our recent history, where public officers, rather than see themselves in privileged positions to discharge responsibilities that promote national cohesion, dialogue and understanding, remove suspicion and project Nigeria’s leadership, have instead turned round to be local and humdrum in their dispositions toward other parts of the country.

“Hon Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad should think again. He hasn’t helped our country with this ignoble position. As an eminent jurist and head of a very critical arm of the government, saddled with the responsibility of interpreting laws, what we generally expect of the CJN is patriotism in the course of his official function, not partisanship…”

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