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Osinbajo allays fears over sharia bill

By Seye Olumide
05 November 2016   |   4:16 am
The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has assured Christian leaders not to exercise worry over the Sharia Bill currently before the Senate, saying there is no law in the country that can override or compete...
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo PHOTO: NAN

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo PHOTO: NAN

• Says No Law Can Override Constitution
• Declares He Was Nominated By APC National Leader As VP

The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has assured Christian leaders not to exercise worry over the Sharia Bill currently before the Senate, saying there is no law in the country that can override or compete with the 1999 Constitution.

He also disclosed that the national leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) nominated him as vice president.Osinbajo, while reacting on the question by General Overseer of Soul Winning Chapel, Reverend (Dr.) Moses Iloh, during a colloquium titled: ‘State of the Nation’ organised by The Coalition of Nigerian Apostolic Leaders in Lagos yesterday, said, “It is not possible for Sharia to become a binding law on all the citizens of Nigeria.”

He dismissed the insinuation that the Federal Government is interested in Sharia becoming a law in the country, saying: “It is not right at all for anybody to think, fret of imagine that the APC or President Muhammadu Buhari is interested in Sharia becoming a law in Nigeria.

Although, he said it was a public knowledge that a private bill on Sharia is currently before the Senate but since the government did not sponsor it there is no need to interfere.

He explained that any bill that the Federal Government wants to sponsor will go to the Senate through the Attorney General and Minister of Justice of the Federation and since the Sharia Bill is a private bill it cannot necessarily be enforced on all Nigerians.

Shedding more light on the issue, which appears to be giving Christian leaders some concern, Osinbajo said, “In the first instance Sharia is in the Constitution and it is only applicable to Muslims. Secondly, it would require the amendment of the 1999 Constitution before any law could become binding on all Nigerians.”

The vice president also used the occasion to clear the air over the controversies surrounding who nominated him as the running mate to President Buhari in the build up to the 2015 elections.

According to him, “I was nominated by the national leader of our party.” Although he did not mention any specific name but the only person recognised with the title in the ruling party is former governor of Lagos State, Bola Tinubu.

His response came on the heels of the question directed at him by the Senior Pastor of House On The Rock, Rev. Paul Adefarasin on how the country can embrace a system that would throw up men of integrity and character in public office.

The vice president further admonished Nigerians to be patient with the Buhari administration, saying the government is doing everything within its capacity to take the country out of the woods.

According to him, “Unfortunately I have heard some Christians saying this is not the change we voted for in 2015. The truth is that we cannot deceive ourselves thinking that the change we crave for will come overnight putting into consideration where we are coming from and the magnitude of corruption and rot we met.”

He warned the Christian faithful never to behave like the children of Israelites who were murmuring against Moses on their way to the Promised Land that where they were coming from is better than where they are.

Osinbajo then asked whether Nigerians would prefer to be taken back to the days of corruption like the Israelites told Moses to take them back to the land of Egypt. The response was negative.

The vice president also reiterated his position that the restructuring the country needs is not necessarily tinkering with the system but getting government functionaries like the governors of each state to do the right thing.

In his address, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed told the gathering that the Buhari government places much premium on the fight against corruption, insecurity and economy “we are currently doing well except for the activities of the some social media outfit, which are trying to miss-inform the people about our achievements.”

He lamented that corruption was the evil that triggered so many challenges including the Boko Haram insurgency, Niger Delta crisis and the current economic recession that the nation is battling with.

In his address, the General Overseer, Guiding Light Assembly and organiser, Pastor Wale Adefarasin in his opening speech commended the administration but tasked it on the need to work more and work fast to revamp the economy because Nigerians are suffering in poverty.

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