Home Politics Proposed Sharia Courts for South West Sparks Furore

Proposed Sharia Courts for South West Sparks Furore

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A group calling itself The Muslim Congress (TMC) has submitted a memo to the Senate Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution, requesting the creation of Sharia courts in South Western Nigeria.

Sharia, the Islamic law code, is enforced in the Muslim north. This is despite Nigeria’s official laws barring the government from adopting a state religion.

Many have noted that the constitution doesn’t clearly define Nigeria as a secular state, a loophole that advocates of a theocratic state may exploit.

However, the south west, like other parts of southern Nigeria, does not have a history of accommodating Islamic courts.

“We want to partner for the creation of Sharia courts in the southwest because of our population of Muslims,” Abdulganihu Bamidele, a representative of the TMC said. He noted that these courts would cater to the muslim population in the region.

The submission was one of several made to the Senate Committee.

There has since been a backlash against the submission by the TMC. Online commentators described the move as another attempt by people with an “islamization agenda” to bring various parts of Nigeria into the sphere of Islamic domination.

The TMC says that its vision is “to be the foremost organisation guiding, influencing and setting agenda for societal reformation in line with Qur’an and Sunnah.”

Chair of the public hearing on the Review of the 1999 Constitution, Mrs Oluremi Tinubu, said the senate would examine all submissions and come up with a document that expressed widely held concerns.