Muhammadu Buhari recently won the Nigerian presidency in a historic landslide victory against Goodluck Jonathan. The change of leadership leaves Christians anxious, as Buhari, a Muslim and former military general, formerly expressed the desire to implement Sharia law in the nation.
In 2001 Buhari said, “I will continue to show openly and inside me the total commitment to the Sharia movement that is sweeping all over Nigeria. God willing, we will not stop the agitation for the total implementation of the Sharia in the country.”
In his presidential campaign, Buhari said his views had changed and he believed in religious freedom, World Watch Monitor reports.
“One critical freedom that every government must strive to protect is the liberty for citizens to exercise their respective faiths, Christians and Muslims or others, in a lawful manner without fear or hindrance and to prosecute those who use religion as an excuse to destroy homes, schools and places of worship,” Buhari said in a statement.
Buhari also campaigned on the platform of defeating Boko Haram, the Islamic extremist group that has wreaked havoc in the country, killing thousands and leaving about 100,000 people homeless.
In his victory speech, Buhari said, “I assure you that our government is one that will listen to and embrace all. There shall be no bias against or favouritism for any Nigerian based on ethnicity, religion, region, gender or social status.”
Christians await to see if Buhari will stand true on his promise of religious freedom.
Publication date: April 10, 2015