Monday Quarterbacking: On the Political and Religious Restructuring of Nigeria
Mobolaji E. Aluko, PhD
Monday, April 28, 2014
This okaying of one additional state in the SE is a recurring decimal and a red herring….and I am NOT in agreement with the Confab Committee which is recommending the states as the federating unit of a new Nigeria.
My suggestions are as follows:
(1) Leave the states alone for now, and don’t make them the federating units.
(2) Make the geo-political zones the federating units (not the states). they are fewer and easier to handle from the center, more economically viable as a unit, etc.. I suggest one more geo-zone in the South and one more in the North to make a total of eight geo-zones. In any case, there should always be equal number of geo-zones in North and South – six (current), eight (my suggestion),ten (possibly), but not more than twelve (close to the twelve original “states”), but as they increase, it becomes increasingly difficult to have the same equal number in the North and South).
(3) Allow the geo-political zones to increase (or decrease) the number of states within them as they see fit.
(4) Allow the states to increase (or decrease) the local governments as they see fit.
(5) Statutory allocations should be made only to federating units, but competitive funding based on federal priorities to states and local governments should be instituted.
As to religious “re-structuring” of Nigeria, I support a number of steps along the lines of Diaspora delegate Obaje – see below.
And there you have it.
—– Original Message ——–
Subject: SHOW YOUR FAITH BY YOUR CHARACTER – memo to Committee on
Religion By Dr Obaje Singapore
From: Dr Obaje <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, April 22, 2014 5:33 pm
Dear Co-chairmen of the Committee on Religion,
Kindly accept my apology for my inability to attend committee meetings this week due to some urgent corporate matters requiring my attention in Singapore. I have formally informed the secretariat about the trip.
As part of my contributions to the deliberations of the Committee, I therefore wish to submit the memo below to the Committee. I will be grateful if you could help circulate this to other members of the Committee.
Thank you for your cooperation and understanding
Dr Jonathan Obaje, Singapore
SHOW YOUR FAITH BY YOUR CHARACTER
The 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (chapter IV section 38) has made adequate provisions for the Rights of Citizen to religion. This should be upheld without amendment.
However, there is currently no legal provisions for the Protection of Citizen Against Religious Crimes and no legal provision for the Enforcement of the Citizen Rights to Protection Against Religious Crimes in our constitution.
Religion has therefore become a decoy for the perpetuation of crimes against individuals and the society. We have allowed religion to become the breeding ground for mediocre and fraudster. We have thus lost most of our moral values and the essence of religion.
Religion has to be protected from being hijacked by criminals who hide under religion to commit crimes against gullible innocent citizen. The guiding principle of religion should be “SHOW YOUR FAITH BY YOUR CHARACTER” One act of goodness can reveal more about God than a thousand sermons.
Religion should not be for the orators and the eloquent. CHARACTER and ACTIONS should be the proof of FAITH.
The following should therefore be made Religion Crimes punishable by law:
1. Mounting of loud speakers on churches, mosques and temples which disturb personal and public peace of other citizens who may not subscribe to the particular religion should be prohibited and punishable by law. The noise pollution and health hazards created by this growing trend can no longer be tolerated. Every citizen deserves to be protected by the law in this regards.
2. Religious buildings located in any community with population density of more than 1,000 persons per square kilometer should be sound-prove such that nobody outside the building can hear any sound from inside the building.
3. The broadcast of religion programs on public media should be prohibited. Provisions should be made for licensing of exclusive Religious channels.
4. Religious prayers at official and public functions should be prohibited. Only the National pledge can be recited at official and public functions. Public functions, in this case, is any gathering of a group of persons not for religious activities and in which there is one or more persons who may not subscribe to the religion in which the prayer is being conducted.
5. Obstructions to traffic by any religious group should be prohibited by law. This shall include, but not limited to, setting up road block, parking of vehicles on roads near religious buildings, centers, or activities. This should attract heavy fines or jail terms for key officials.
6. Religious organizations, groups, centers, churches, mosques or temples must keep proper register of auditable membership. Any religious organization, group, center, church, mosque or temple with membership of 100 persons and above should be properly registered with CAC within 12 months of attaining membership of 100 persons.
7. The accounts and finances of all registered religious organizations, groups, centers, churches, mosques or temples must be audited annually by a special religion account auditors. The head of the auditors to any registered religious organization, group, center, church, mosque or temple shall be from a different religion.
8. All funds or monies donated or accrued must be properly declared and lodged into the bank account of the religious entity within a week of receiving such monies or funds. Misused of funds donated or accrued to religious organizations, groups, centers, churches, mosques or temples should be made a serious crime. Salaries and allowances of staff of registered religious organizations, groups, centers, churches, mosques or temples should be decided by all registered members and made public.