Director-general ofMURIC, Ishaq Akintola said in an interview with Punch Newspapers:
“I still insist Nigeria is not a secular state. It does not recognise any religion at all. An example is the Sallah holidays. Although Christians used to enjoy Christmas and other holidays, there was no Sallah holiday for Muslims on Eid el-Fitr and Eid el-Kabir days during the colonial days. We wrenched that from our oppressors’ hands after a long struggle.
“Another example where freedom has come our way is where Nigerian Christians compelled Muslims to operate Christian financial system with its riba (interest) which is haram (forbidden) for Muslims, yet they refused to allow Muslims to practise the Islamic banking until a former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi (now Emir of Kano), belled the cat by introducing Islamic banking.
“What exactly do I mean? Nigerian Christians have been enjoying everything they need since the British took over the country and colonised it. They have the Christian common law while they object to Muslims having Shariah. They enjoy Christo-Western education while they restrict Muslim children’s access to Islamic education. Christians are free to do whatever they like on Sundays but Muslims are chained to their workplaces on Fridays. That chain must break. Freedom is our cry.
“The government supports both Christian and Muslim pilgrimages. Christian and Muslim prayers are said at official functions. The preamble of the Nigerian Constitution leans heavily on God. So, we are a multi-religious nation. It is when Christian leaders want to pull the wool over our eyes that they claim that Nigeria is a secular country.”