Remove Sharia Law From 1999 Constitution-Nigerian Bishops


Catholic Bishops in Nigeria has called on the national assembly to expunge Sharia laws from the 1999 Constitution, as amended. The bishops who spoke under the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria, CBCN, made the call in a memorandum it presented to senate committee on Constitution Review. According to the group, removal of all references to Sharia Islamic code in the 1999 constitution will help project the status of the Nigeria state as truly secular pursuant section and 38 of the same constitution.
While section 10 forbids the country from adopting any religion as state religion, section 38, sub 1 entitles every Nigerian to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, including freedom to change his religion or belief.
According to the bishops, the part that entrenched Sharia has to be removed for tbe country to have lasting peace and unity.
“To ensure peace and unity of the nation, there must be an end to the practically established status that Islam enjoys in our constitution. We note in this regard that while Islam is mentioned very many times in the constitution, there is not a single mention of Christianity or any other religion in the constitution. This should be redressed,” the bishops noted.
The bishops whose memorandum was jointly signed by CBCN head, Archbishop Augustine Akubeze, and secretary, Bishop Camillus Umoh, noted that the imposition of the 1999 constitution by the military, adding it has placed Christians and adherents of other religions at a disadvantaged position wherever there is a Muslim majority.
“For the sustenance unity and fairness in this country, the Senate has to take seriously this stand of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria in response to its call for memoranda on the review of the 1999 Constitution; and has to see this Constitution review exercise as an opportunity to give a sincere listening ear to Nigerians to whom the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) later referred to as ‘The 1999 Constitution’ remains an imposition.
To correct this, all references to Sharia and any other discriminatory or divisive law(s) should be expunged from the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended),” the CBCN Memorandum reads.

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