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Filed under: Latest News — admin     2:45 pm July 1, 2011

The Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Anthony Cardinal Olubunmi Okogie, has condemned the ongoing move by Federal Government, through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), to endorse the commencement of Islamic Banking in Nigeria, saying such an action was capable of fueling religious tension in the land.

In a release signed by the Director of Social Communications, Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos, Very Rev. Msgr. Gabriel Osu, Cardinal Okogie, said the frantic effort by the CBN Governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido to ensure the speedy take-off of the scheme, through the promoters, JAIZ Bank was part of the grand plan to turn Nigeria into an Islamic State.
“We condemn such move in all ramifications. We are against the operation of Islamic Banking in Nigeria because we see it as another deliberate move to subjugate Christians in Nigeria.

“Nigeria is a secular state. We must be very sensitive to the religious beliefs of others. Introducing Islamic Banking in Nigeria will further aggravate the culpable religious tension in the country.”
Going down memory lane, the clergy recalled how in the mid 90’s, the military government under General Ibrahim Babangida enlisted Nigeria’s name as a member of the controversial Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC), without due consultation with all other religious groups in the country.

“I see some faceless groups trying to smuggle in their sinister agenda through the back door, but it will not work. We all kicked against the enlistment of Nigeria as a member of OIC in 90s. As usual, they came up with several arguments that stand to gain a lot economically. This time too, the CBN is telling every one who cares to hear that the scheme promises non-interest banking, as if it all ends there. Why should they come up with such an idea at this point in time under the tenure of Mallam Lamido Sanusi?

“What will happen if Christians should wake up tomorrow and say they want to start a Christian Banking scheme and those in the traditional religious decides to do likewise? We are going to ensure that it does not see the light of the day.”
Okogie urged President Goodluck Jonathan and the CBN to quickly rescind the license granted the promoters of the bank, warning that it could cause religious warfare and aggravating the already tensed security atmosphere in the country.

“We already have eight ailing banks in the country. The CBN should focus more on how to bring them back to life rather than dissipating energy on a project as Islamic Banking, that was laid to rest in the 90s,” the cleric said.

Source : Daily Sun

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