• Monday, May 20, 2024
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Avoid pitfall of secularisation of state – Don

University of Ilorin

In order to foster national unity and inclusiveness, the need to avoid the pitfall of the secularisation of the state in a manner that is hostile to religion has been stressed.

Abdulmumini Adebayo Oba, a professor of Jurisprudence and International Law of the University of Ilorin, equally called for tolerance and accommodation of other religions and ethnic groups different from ours, warning against politicising matters affecting our national cohesion.

Oba stated this while presenting the 189th Inaugural Lecture of the University, entitled: ‘Live and let live: Rethinking the legal responses to religious, ethnic and legal Pluralisms’.

According to Oba, the number of adherence of the major religions in Nigeria is highly disputed by Muslims and Christians claiming to be in the majority, adding that Nigerians should accept diversity and pluralism as a reality of existence.

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He recommends that “for the sake of national unity and inclusiveness, every state in the federation should provide facilities and arrangements for the teaching of Christian religious and Islamic religious knowledge in secondary schools even where adherents of one of those religions constitute a minority.”

The inaugural lecturer who teaches in the Faculty of Law of the University, however, canvassed for the establishment of Sharia Courts of Appeal and the lower courts in South-West Nigeria, explaining that the Sharia Courts should be meant for the state in the South-West with a sizeable Muslim population.

The varsity don suggests that lawyers and judges should be alive to the task of eliminating tensions in the administration of tripartite laws, saying “we need professionalism and not politicization in our approach to our country’s legal pluralism.”

Oba asserted that Christians in Nigeria and other religious adherents have nothing to fear about Islamic laws, adding that the law is not forced on them and the jurisdiction of Islamic courts does not extend to unwilling Christians.

He notes that Christian Lawyers appear in Islamic Law cases before Islamic Courts and English style courts, adding that Christian Judges and Justices adjudicate on Islamic Law cases.