National President of the Fellowship of Churches of Christ in Nigeria (FCCN), Pastor Emmanuel Dziggau, has said that Pastor Tunde Bakare of Latter Rain Assembly and vice-presidential candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) in the April 2011 elections will be suspended from the body if found guilty of criticising Christian leaders for opposing the establishment of Islamic banking in Nigeria. FCCN is one of the five bodies that constitute the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).
He also insisted that no persuasion would compel Christians to accept the non-interest banking in the name of a particular religion against the constitution of Nigeria. The president, who said he had over 25million membership across the country, said Christians would not accept the establishment of Islamic banking, “which is against the nation’s supreme document, the constitution.” Dziggau was reacting to Pastor Bakare’s endorsement of Islamic banking in Nigeria. He said: “Did Pastor Bakare belong to the five blocks that make up CAN and all the churches in Nigeria have five arms that form the Christian body? I don’t think Bakare belongs to one of them, by implication he has sanctioned himself. “But if we discover that he belongs to one of the blocks that make up CAN, we will sanction him. CAN members have agreed that there will be no Islamic banking in Nigeria because the constitution is very clear that banks should not be established on religious line be it a Christian or an Islamic bank.
According to the FCCN president, “the unity and oneness of Nigeria should not be played with, irrespective of the present predicament the nation is facing.” Dziggau added that the Federal Government must act fast on the issue before it degenerates. He added:“Our position is very clear on the issue of Islamic banking. If Sanusi continues to talk about this issue and with the present situation in Nigeria, things will be worse and the country will be difficult to rule. Even there are no banks owned by states. “We are Nigerians and this country belongs to all of us and nobody will force on us something we don’t want. If you want to force on people what they don’t want, there will be no peace in this country and that will be dangerous for all of us; Christians will never accept it.”
In another development, the House of Representatives came under fire yesterday from the Niger Delta Nationalities Forum (NDNF), claiming that members of the lower legislative chambers of the National Assembly from the non-Moslem areas did not take the feelings of their constituents into consideration when they endorsed Islamic banking last week. According to the group, the legislators have failed in representing their interest on what they described as ‘’the vexed issue of Islamic banking’’. The NDNF said: ‘’Islamic banking will continue to cause disaffection among religious groups in Nigeria. But if there must be Islamic banking, let there also exist a Christian banking system due to the sensitivity of religion in the country.