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Home Law Sukuk bond: Muslim, Christian Leaders Talk Tough

Sukuk bond: Muslim, Christian Leaders Talk Tough

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The Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) on Friday, said Muslims in the country have tolerated Christian ways imposed on them, but that the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) is showing itself to be Islamophobic.

CAN which had alleged that the issuance of Sukuk bond by the federal government was an attempt to Islamise the country by offering it to Arab nations, told Saturday Tribune on Friday that it had no business with the NSCIA but with the Federal Government.

The government sold 100 billion naira worth of Sukuk or Islamic bonds on the local market to fund road projects.

But in a statement issued by Salisu Shehu, deputy secretary-general of the NSCIA, on Friday, the council said CAN was intolerant of Islam.

“CAN cannot claim ignorance about the fact that even the World Bank has been involved in issuing Sukuk and the floating of Sukuk bonds,” the statement read.

“Interestingly also, several non-Muslim countries across Africa, Europe and Asia have also instituted Islamic Financial System generally and Sukuk in particular. Worthy of mention here are Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, United Kingdom, Luxembourg, Russia, China, Singapore and a number of firms in the United States.

“Less than two years ago, Britain hosted a world conference on Islamic Banking and Finance and David Cameron, the then British prime minister, openly declared that their intention was to make UK the hub of Islamic Finance in the World.

“It would certainly be embarrassing for CAN to be told that the first and foremost state in Nigeria to submit application for loan to the Islamic Development Bank is a Christian-dominated state in the south-east.

“This has been the factor that made Muslims to tolerate several practices or things that are essentially Christian in nature and outlook, in substance and form and indeed in principle and practice, but imposed on us.

“We have not been talking of Christianisation because Sunday has been forced on us as a work-free day, or the Cross as our hospital sign and symbol, our membership of the International Red Cross, and many other things including almost all the titles of the heads of academic institutions (chancellor, provost, dean, rector, etc.).

“Despite this remarkable tolerance from Muslims over the years, CAN appears to be increasingly becoming Islamophobic and paranoid about its hate and intolerance of Islam, casting aspersions, unnecessarily overheating the polity and unjustifiably creating fear and distrust in the minds of peace-loving citizens of our great country.

“We are poised to advise CAN to, in the spirit of Biblical injunctions, uphold the truth for its sake and tread the path of honour and refrain from statements capable of causing disaffection and promoting disharmony that may lead to conflict in the country.”

When Saturday Tribune spoke with Special Assistant (Media and Communications) to the CAN President, Pastor Adebayo Oladeji, he said the Christian apex body would not trade words with the NSCIA, instead, it is directing its words to the federal government to act on.

Pastor Oladeji further said that CAN was not expecting the NSCIA to say no to the issuance of Sukuk bond by the government because it pleased it.

His words: “We are not trading words with them, we are talking to the government, if you are doing something that pleases them, we are not expecting the SCIA to say no to what the government is doing, so we are not going to reply them.

“We are not interested in their position, our position is that let government speak on it. Is the government doing what is constitutional or not? What is their position?” the CAN spokesman said.

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