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Varsity teachers seek proscription of religious associations

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• CAN condemns growing division, declares Oct 1 national day of prayers

A lecturer with the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) and cleric, Reverend Father Gabriel Terwase Ngbea, has charged the Federal Government to proscribe the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and the Jamaatul Nasril Islam (JNI).

Ngbea’s position was corroborated by the Dean, Faculty of Law, University of Jos, Prof Dakas C.J. Dakas during the public presentation of his book titled: Constitutional Misconception of Secularism and Implications for Politics and Religion in Nigeria at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua centre, Abuja.

Dakas, who is also a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), while reviewing the book, said both religious bodies have done more harm than good to the country by pursuing various political interests and instigating crisis in the polity.

He urged the federal government to establish an independent body to be known as Religious Equity Commission made up of credible Nigerians with the mandate to ensure that there was no discrimination among Nigerians on the basis of religion.

Reiterating the need to sustain Nigeria’s secular status, he said it was unfortunate that various states governments had violated constitutional provisions through their involvement in religious affairs.

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, who chaired the occasion, stressed the need for unity and peaceful coexistence, adding that explains why the constitution considered Nigeria’s diverse nature and decided to adopt a secular state.

He thereby cautioned Nigerians to be mindful of others who may not think, act or believe in what they do, saying the country’s diversity ought to be her strength and not otherwise.

Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom who also graced the occasion, said it was unfortunate that politics and religion have been at the heart of the challenges confronting the country.

Meanwhile, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has condemned growing division in the country, saying Nigeria’s unity has been under serious threat, as the people have been polarised along sectional divides.

It said the only thing Nigerians could do as people was to intercede for divine intervention in the country and directed all Churches in the country to dedicate next Sunday as a ‘Day of Prayers for the nation.

It is widely believed that the country has not been this divided since the civil war and it is high time we asked God to deliver Nigeria from all the threats that could throw us into another senseless war.

A statement in Abuja yesterday by Pastor Adebayo Oladeji, Special Assistant, Media and Communications to the CAN President, Reverend Olasupo Ayokunle, noted that the unfortunate quest for secession by the IPOB, its proscription, the military intervention and the debates over restructuring of the country, were indications that the unity and peace of Nigeria are under threats.



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