HURIWA: Extension of Public Holiday Violates Constitution, Christian Leaders Warn Reps against Passage of Sharia Bill

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buhari…Church wants states to restore CRK expunged from Curricular
…Says recent retirements in the military targeted Christians

A pro-democracy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has accused the Federal Government of violating the Nigerian Constitution by extending the public holiday declared to mark the Muslim Eid-El-Fitri celebration on the orders of the Sultan of Sokoto.
The group said the unconstitutional extention of the public holiday would disrupt business activities in the country.
This coincided with a warning issued by the Christian Reformed Church of Nigeria to the House of Representatives not to pass the Sharia Bill before it as it would lead to religious upheaval in Nigeria.
HURIWA, in a statement signed by its National coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko and its Media Affairs Director, Zainab Yusuf, accused the Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Danbazau, of taking a directive from a private religious leader, the Sultan of Sokoto, in adjusting a national holiday from two to three days which violates Section 10 of the Constitution and “creating a considerable degree of uncertainty and causing commotion to businesses and the private sector by the unilateral and impromptu declaration of the extension of the public holiday to mark the end of the fasting season by adherents of the Moslem faith”.
The group noted that “wordings of the official press statement authorised by the minister convey the impression that this government has tacitly adopted one of the two foreign religions as its administration’s official religion”, saying government “arbitrarily create more national holidays which contribute next to nothing to the growth and advancement of the national economy.”
“We are worried that at a time that President Muhammadu Buhari is accused of appointing and allocating almost 80 percent of all the strategic military and paramilitary positions to Hausa/Fulani Moslems from the North and at a time the entire maritime and crude oil sector are dominated by appointees by Buhari from his Northern region, the minister of Interior who recently appointed an entirely Moslem and Northern heads of agencies under the Interior Affairs ministry is conveying this sinister impression that Islam is now the official religion. We condemn this total affront to constitutionalism and we caution this government to thread softly and stop creating an atmosphere of mutual disaffection and distrust which may snowball into a catastrophic national crises of monumental proportions if unchecked. We call on statesmen and women who love Nigeria to call President Muhammadu Buhari to order so he does not lead Nigeria into perdition”.
Meanwhile, a communique issued the Christian Reformed Church of Nigeria warned the House of Representatives against the passage of the Sharia Bill before it.
The communique which was jointly signed by the President of the Church Council, Rev. Caleb O.S Ahima and its General Secretary, Rev. David S. Fachano said: “the Sharia Bill which has passed second reading at the House of Representatives and which is aimed at empowering Sharia Court to try criminal cases should be withdrawn immediately.”
“Advocates of Sharia had earlier on told the nation that it was strictly a Muslim affair. Nigeria is a secular state, if passed into law, would compel Christians and adherents of other religions to appear and be tried in Sharia Courts, when disputes ensue between them and Muslims.
“The Synod condemns in total terms the activities of governments of some northern states who have completely removed CRK from their school curricula and projected Islamic Religious Knowledge (IRK) as though Nigeria were an Islamic state”, it said, noting that it was “a conspiracy against Christians in Nigeria.
“We are calling on the Federal Government to direct the Federal Ministry of Education to as a matter of urgency reverse that draconian decision and allow CRK and IRK thrive side by side in all the states of the federation or risk expunging IRK in the curricula of states that are predominated by Christians because what is good for Muslims is also good for Christians,” the communique said.
The group accused President Buhari of targeting Christians in his recent retirements in the military.
“We noted that there is high level of conspiracy to remove Christians from all top security positions in the country, the aim is to totally frustrate and destroy the Christian faith. Most of the Service Chiefs compulsorily retired by Buhari’s government are Christians and predominantly from the South-South and South-East and not from the North, while most of them have been replaced with core Muslims,” it said, while calling on the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) to be bold and vocal and not to take sides with government in such sensitive issues to the detriment of Christians.

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