Adeboye's stepping down: We are indifferent to FRC regulation, says ex-NSCIA Sec-Gen

Date: 2017-01-09

The immediate past Secretary-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, has said that NSCIA was indifferent to the Financial Regulation Council Act which stipulated a maximum period of 20 years for the heads of registered churches, mosques and civil society organisations.

He stated that the law was not strictly meant for religious organisations but for non-governmental Organisations.

He spoke in an interview with journalists in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, on Sunday on the sidelines of the 56th birthday anniversary of General Secretary, National Union of Textile Garment Workers of Nigeria, Comrade Issa Aremu. The occasion also marked the public presentation of two books written by Aremu.

Oleyede said, "I was a bit disturbed because rather than facing issues, we always divert attention. When people talk about this law, was it made by Buhari? The answer is No! It is not a new law, it has been there. When this law was made, our Christian counterparts approached Islamic group to ask for our reaction and our reaction was indifference.

"I believe our Christian counterparts went to the former President about it, what they did or failed to do is not our business. When I read it a daily today (Not the Punch) I felt a bit disturbed that they were not honest enough to say that this is was not a new law. I think some people are just hell bent in creating sensation and discrediting government. It is unfair. I felt very bad about the presentation because this is how people set the country ablaze.

Oloyede also said the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God worldwide, Pastor Enoch Adeboye should in his notification of his withdrawal as the GO of RCCG, Nigeria; should have explained that the FRC regulations was not a new act.

The former NSCIA Secretary general said an impression was given as if the law was made during the current administration of the President Muhammadu Buhari.

He said, "With due respect to the overseer of RCCG himself, I think he should have made it clearer about the origin and the duration of the existence of the law. The impression was being given as if the present government created the law. Whether the law is good or bad, that is another thing and everybody can face that as it is.

"But sensitisation of their programme and given the impression that was bad, I was trying Alhaji Lai Mohammed (The Minister of Information) immediately I saw that. I wanted to ask him that I felt that some mischievous people could use that to discredit the government."

Oloyede said the law was not meant strictly for religious organisation but was meant for NGO to avoid extortion of the public.

He said, "My reaction to it is that the NSCIA was indifferent to it. Our position was if it was what is universally accepted, let it be, if it is not, as far as we are concerned, are we NGO or not? Was the law made for religious groups? No! It is made for NGOs and anybody that you know that NGO has become non-governmental individuals, they are using NGOs in a private and personal manner, extorting the public and if in the wisdom of the government, government felt that should be, you are either NGO, or not?

"If you create an organisation in your father's name, nobody is going to ask you to obey. But they are saying that if you tell the public that this belongs to the public and there must be regulation governing it. What is my problem? To me, it is helpful to the Muslim community because it will eliminate situation that people use Islam to collect money from the public. Rather than being sentimental about this, the position of NSCIA on this matter so far up-til today is that of indifference.

"The law is no strictly targeted at religious organisations. Religious organisation is just one. It is meant for NGOs generally, it is not tagged religious, it is just that whoever registers as an NGO would have to obey the law or the law would have to be abrogated. But they are giving the impression that it was a law meant for religious organisations. No! It is a law meant for NGOs to regulate them and protect the public from extortion."

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