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Boko Haram – The Sharia Question



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During the constituent assembly that gave birth to 1979 Constitution, the Sharia questions threatened the very existence of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and the then Federal Military Government disbanded them deliberately in a face saving way and also for the co-existence of Nigeria.  However the issue was kept half solved and those that proposed it never slept. The danger in championing this course or being a fanatic is that once a religious fanatic one remains a religious fanatic until he has done his havoc upon the larger society. Fanatics never change.


However, here we are again visiting the Sharia question in a more cruel form, with hundred of human lives being sacrificed daily on Sharia question. The comments of some of our prominent members at the constituent assembly can not be forgotten, and one will ask if they are close to this crisis this time around.  Some said that during any election time that Sharia question will be revisited, l believed this Sharia question would have been solved through jaw-jaw and not war –war. Some even promised to fight the case of Sharia with their last blood. Let us visit some of their documented comments during the constituent assembly;




  1. “……………. Any Nigerian citizen, be he      Christian, Muslim, or whatever his religion is, is entitled to appeal to      the highest court and is what has been denied the Muslims and that is what      they have been asking for……”
  2. “……………. Let them also bring appeals      on Canon Law or create a Division of Customary Court of Appeal. We do not      care. Let us too have a Division of Islamic Law……” This is all we want ….

By ALHAJI SHEHU SHAGARI (THEN NPN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE) Proceeding of the Constituent Assembly, 6th April 1978 p. 12



“……… A friend of mine in the course of the debate, said that the Sharia as now provided is the irreducible minimum which they can settle for. Well, sentiments of that nature aggravate the soul and excite emotion because when one irreducible minimum confronts another extreme irreducible minimum on another side, the net result is cataclysm and catastrophe………………………………….”

“………….. This does not mean, Mr. Chairman, that we should sweep the Sharia question under the carpet. If provision is made for Sharia under the Federal Court of Appeal, then, by sheer logic of progression, another provision must be made for it in the Supreme Court of the country in due course…………..”

“………….. What we may not accept now may be accepted in due course. I am 60 years old, Mr. Chairman, l do not listen to what people say……”

By DR. K. O.MBADIWE (THEN NPN LEADER AND SENATORIAL CANDIDATE (FOR ORLU) Proceedings of the Constituent Assembly, 16th November, 1977 p. 12-13



“…….. Mr. Chairman, there has been a lot of talk about the Provision for Sharia in the Draft Constitution. It is a pity that many of us who have spoken have not taken the trouble to read or even to know what is existing now in the country. This country has a population and l beg to say, Muslims are in the majority. Now it is this Sharia which governs the life of a Muslim. Sharia is not the question of going to the Court because this is what comes to mind. SHARIA TO ME IS EVERYTHING.”


Proceedings of the Constituent Assembly) Tuesday, 1st November 1977 p.74



“……….. Appeal is only something that comes from man-made Law”. Islamic Law is God-made Law….”

“……….. There is no appeal……..”

By ALHAJI NUHU BAMALI (THEN TOP NPN LEADER) Proceeding of Constituent Assembly Tuesday, 1st November, 1977, p. 81



“…………. As for those who advocate complete deletion of Sharia from our Constitution, l implore this honorable House not to take them seriously because they are not after a solution for our co-existence; but they are after the dissolution of this country and God forbid.”

By ALHAJI NUHU BAMALI(THEN TOP NPN LEADER) Proceeding of the Constituent Assembly 14 December, 1977, p. 39



“……………. In the country, we have a population of Muslims which ranges from 45 per cent to 65 per cent depending on whom you are talking with. But whatever the figure that you care to adopt, there is one point that nobody can dispute, and that is that of all the religious group in this country, the Muslim group is the largest as of today. So, the constitution of this country, if it is to be meaningful and relevant, has to take cognizance of the desires and wishes of these people on a matter that personally touches them……”

“……….. To them, this is a far more important question, in fact, than the tenure of the office of the president. We must have the Sharia.

By DR. IYA ABUBAKAR, (THEN NPN SPOKESMAN) Proceedings of the Constituent Assembly, 4th November, 1977, p.16





“……….. Mr. Chairman, may l conclude by appealing to those who speak on this sensitive matter to do so with restraint and tolerance. Uncomproising statements and threats do not help those who are anxious to find a solution that would be acceptable to all concerned.

Those who threaten us with irreducible minimu and religion being more important to them than the unity of this country should know that some of us love our religion as dearly as they do, even though we do not make any noise about it. Again, those who threaten us with the situation inLebanonandIrelandshould remember thatNigeriadoes not belong to them alone”.

By CHIEF J. O. UDOJI (LATER CHANGED HIS POSITION TO SUPPORT NPN AND SHARIA) Proceedings of the Constituent Assembly, 29th November, 1977, p.9





Alhaji Kam Salem, accused the Chairman of the Constituent Assembly of taking the issue of Sharia as a very minor question.

The withdrawal speech reads:

  1. “We also disagree that matters affecting the family and succession can be said to be of no importance. In view of the fore-going, we wish to confirm to you that as from the deliberations of the Assembly on Section 180, Sub-section 1, paragraph (c) of the Draft Constitution Bill, we ceased to participate in the proceedings of the Assembly.
  2. “We further wish to confirm to you that we from the said moment we took and will continue to take no further part in all deliberations on Chapter VII-“the Jut nature.
  3. “We further wish to confirm that we have withdrawn from the Assembly until deliberations on the said Chapter are concluded by what remains of the Assembly. At that point we shall determine our next course of action.”
  4. We finally wish to notify you that we reserve the right to raise fundamental issue regarding any conclusions reached on any amendments to Chapter.

VII as from Section 180 (1) (c) at the appropriate time and in appropriate manner”. After this speech 88 (eighty eight) SHARIA ADVOCATE LED BY:

  1. Alhaji Shehu Shagari …….  ……then NPN Presidential Candidate
  2. Alhaji Adamu Ciroma …………….then NPN General Secretary
  3. Alhaji Ali Monguno ………………then NPN SenatorialCan.Borno
  4. Alhaji Nuhu Bamali ……………..then NPN Front Liner
  5. Prof. Iya Abubakar ………………then NPN Chief Spokesman
  6. Dr. Ibrahim Tahir ………………..then NPN Founder
  7. Dr. Abubakar S. Saraki …………then NPN Leader,KwaraState
  8. Alhaji Umaru Dikko ……………..then NPN Founder and Leader,

Etc…, etc. walked out.

ALHAJI KAM SALEM (THEN NPN GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE, BORNO STATE) Proceedings of the Constituent Assembly, 10th April, 1978, p. 4


We have to see what the HOLY QUR’AN says about the propagation of Islamic religion;

In Surah Al-Baqarah Chapter 2:195 “And spend in the Cause of Allah (i.e. Jihad of all Kinds) and do not throw yourselves into destruction (by not spending your wealth in the Cause of Allah), do good. Truly, Allah loves Al-Muhsinun (the good doers)”


In Surah An – Nisa 4:101 said “For the Unbelieved are unto you open enemies”


In Surah Muhammad Chapter 47: 4 “So when you meet (in fight- Jihad in Allah’ Cause) those who disbelieve, smite (their) neck till when you have killed and wounded many of them, then bind a bond firmly (on them, i.e. take them as captives) Thereafter (is the time) either for generosity (i.e. free from them without ransom), or ransom (according to what benefits Islam), until the war lays down its burden. Thus (you are ordered by Allah to continue in caring out Jihad against the disbelievers till they embrace Islam and are saved from the punishment in the Hell – fire or at least come under your protection), but if it had been Allah’s Will, He Himself could certainly have punished them (without you). But (He lets you fight) in order to test some of you with others. But those who are killed in the ways of Allah, He will never let their deeds be lost.”


After reading through these Surah’s from the Holy Qur’an and also knowing the true meaning of BOKO HARAM (that WESTERN EDUCATION IS EVIL), one would come to some form of conclusion that the senseless wars waged on Christians is a JIHAD in its form.

Many peaceful Muslims must have been swindled through Surah AL-Baqarah 2:195, therefore finding the source of funding of Boko Haram will be very difficult as the donors might not want any form of trace to them. The vanguard of January 24, 2012 with the title “We‘re on Northern govs’ payroll- Boko Haram.” It is very difficult to believe that every Northern Muslim (high and low) denies the fact of not knowing that Boko Haram exist, because some of their comments on the faces of our daily newspapers shows that they are an alibi, l laugh when l read these comments e.g.; do not allow external interference, negotiate with the sect Boko Haram, Boko Haram are not a terrorist group, withdraw soldiers from our streets. From these comments come some questions; will external intelligence unmask or reveal those behind Boko Haram? Who are these faceless Boko Haram sects? How are these Boko Haram members funded? Assume they fund themselves, through what means? Where do they leave – in the forest, desert or within the communities? If within the communities why is it difficult for the people (Muslims) to unmask them if they never approve of the JIHAD? To every Muslim Sharia is as important as life itself, but the way it is being forced on the Nation is what matters most and call for concern. Everybody is allowed in this country to have a choice of religion, how do we now force non-Muslims to become Muslims or to force non-Christian to become Christians?


Will it not be proper forNigeriato call for a Sovereign National Conference to determine if we can co-exist as one in this country calledNigeria? I strongly advocate for a National Sovereign Conference and that no arrested terrorist (Boko Haram) suspect should be granted bail by any court until the case is disposed off.


Back to the comments made by our Big Brothers from the North during the Constituent Assembly; could it be that their views and beliefs are now at work in a more crude form with an act of total terrorism? It might be believed that the unfinished business (SHARIA QUESTION) is back, this time on the whole entity calledNigeria. Can it also be believed that politians are behind Boko Haram, as was reported by the American – based Security Weekly magazine reproduced by Tribune of Friday, 03 February 2012 “While undoubtedly some connection between some northern politians and Boko Haram exist, it would be simplistic to suggest such policians completely control Boko Haram.”

Whither blows the windNigeria?


By Christian Akpelu.

Sabon Gari, Kaduna State,


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