The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, has President Muhammadu Buhari against marginalising Christians in the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary arms of government during his second term.
It warned that the plots to undermine national unity by ensuring that only Muslims head all the branches of the central government started when the Buhari’s administration instigated the “kangaroo trial resulting in the removal of Justice Walter Onnoghen, the only Christian to have held the position of Chief justice of Nigeria in 30 years over some phantomand substantially forged allegations.”
HURIWA issued the warning in a statement signed by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel and the National Media Affairs Director, Miss Zainab Yusuf.
The Rights group expressed apprehension that the “exclusion of Christians from headship of any of the three constitutional arms of government at the center offends section 42 of the constitution which outlaws discrimination and also constitute a gross infringements of the constitutionally guaranteed provisions on the Federal Character Principles enshrined in the highest laws of Nigeria.
“This exclusion will mark the end of Religious harmony in Nigeria and may result in anarchy and doom unless political stakeholders take measures to stave off the building up of mutual distrusts.
“We pray Buhari and all political stakeholders to save Nigeria from slidding into a state of mass distrust because if one of the largest constituents of Nigeria being Christians are excluded from the headship of the three arms of government it may not portend well for national peace, unity, and inter religious harmony that are essential for sustenance of constitutional democracy,” HURIWA said.
HURIWA cited the relevant sections of the Nigerian Constitution that speaks against the systematic exclusion of Christians in the political schemes of leadership as is about to happen imminently.
Section 42 of the Constitution: “42. (1) A citizen of Nigeria of a particular community, ethnic group, place of origin, sex, religion or political opinion shall not, by reason only that he is such a person:-
(a) be subjected either expressly by, or in the practical application of, any law in force in Nigeria or any executive or administrative action of the government, to disabilities or restrictions to which citizens of Nigeria of other communities, ethnic groups, places of origin, sex, religions or political opinions are not made subject; or
(b) be accorded either expressly by, or in the practical application of, any law in force in Nigeria or any such executive or administrative action, any privilege or advantage that is not accorded to citizens of Nigeria of other communities, ethnic groups, places of origin, sex, religions or political opinions.
(2) No citizen of Nigeria shall be subjected to any disability or deprivation merely by reason of the circumstances of his birth.
(3) Nothing in subsection (1) of this section shall invalidate any law by reason only that the law imposes restrictions with respect to the appointment of any person to any office under the State or as a member of the armed forces of the Federation or member of the Nigeria Police Forces or to an office in the service of a body, corporate established directly by any law in force in Nigeria.”