Controversial Sukkuk Bond: CAN kicks, says promotion of Islamic religious financial policy violates Constitution

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The Christian Association of Nigeria has opposed the floating of the Sukkuk Islamic bond by the Federal Government, insisting that it is part of the ‘agenda’ to Islamise the country through the back door.

It queried the introduction of Islamic financing into the country, saying it is in violation of Section 10 of the Constitution.

The CAN, in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja by its General Secretary, Rev. Musa Asake, demanded the abrogation of the laws and framework behind the bond and threatened to seek legal redress if this is not done.

The group said the FG was trying to sell the nation to Arab countries through the Sukkuk bond, arguing that the government is pursuing an ‘Islamisation agenda.’

According to the Christian body, Nigeria is a secular state and the government is expected to be neutral on issues involving religion, stressing that promotion of a sectional religious financial policy is a violation of the Constitution.

It said, “The Christian Association of Nigeria has been protesting against this aberration since the Osun State Government, under Governor Rauf Aregbesola, embarked on this violation of the Constitution.

“Rather than stand in the defense of the constitution, it is disappointing to note that the Federal Government is pursuing what is, outright, a confirmation of an Islamisation agenda.

“The recent floating of Sukkuk Bond by the government is not only sectional but illegal and a violation of the Constitution.

“Every law that has been promulgated to back the Sukkuk issuance and promote an Islamic banking system in Nigeria is ultra vires, illegal, null and void.”

The organisation said there was never a time Nigeria held a referendum or convened a Constituent Assembly that passed a resolution that the nation has transmuted into an Islamic State.

“Therefore, the manipulations and scheming to smuggle the country into a full blown Islamic State should stop.

“These manipulations became apparent with the smuggling of Nigeria into Organisation of Islamic Conference in 1986 by the Ibrahim Babangida military junta,” Asake said.

CAN premised its objections on the grounds that funds raised under Sukkuk could only be used for Shariah-compliant (halal) activities, noting that Nigeria is not a Sharia-compliant nation, but a democratic country.

It explained that Sukkuk is governed by the Islamic law of Mu’amalatmaliyyah, which, it argued, is inconsistent with the Nigerian Constitution.

The group added that the International Monetary Fund had stated that the issuance of Sukkuk by non-Islamic countries is a breach of the religious neutrality of the government of such state.

CAN said, “The FG must dismantle all legal and institutional framework established to promote Islamic financing in Nigeria.

“We affirm that the territorial integrity of Nigeria is undermined through the issuance of Sukkuk in the country.

“We hope that the government shall desist in its policies of unbridled religious sectionalism.” Punch


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