Ahmed Sani Yerima, former governor of Zamfara State, has said he will propose sharia law in the country if elected president in 2023.
He said this during an interview with Daily Trust in Abuja, while speaking on his presidential ambition.
Yerima maintained that he operated sharia law during his time in office as governor, because there is provision for it in the 1999 constitution.
“See, I did Sharia under the Nigerian constitution”, and “I would have proposed a bill to introduce Sharia, but I know that is not possible.” he said.
“I prepared a bill, sent it to state assembly and the state assembly passed it into law because we have a homogeneous society and I did it with consultations with the Christians.
“I had a meeting with Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Zamfara State chapter and we had an understanding and the law was mainly for Muslims.
“I am a Muslim, I want to live and die as a Muslim. And I want to practice my religion as provided for in the constitution. So, the issue of Sharia is being misunderstood and misinterpreted. There is no compulsion in religion.
“The constitution of Nigeria is what is being operated and that is what I will tell people. At least, I have been in the senate and I would have proposed a bill to introduce Sharia, but I know that is not possible.
“There is already Sharia in Nigerian constitution. What I did was to implement what is in the constitution at the state level. I don’t need to say I want to do the Sharia programme at the national level, it is not possible.
“At the national level, we have the House of Representatives and the Senate, if I can send my bill for Sharia and it is passed by the National Assembly, so be it.”
The former senator also revealed that he is currently attending an international school for Arabic Studies for a course in Islamic Studies, to enable him know more about Islam.
“I am learning Arabic as a language and the Qur’an. For Arabic language; I would love to be able to read Islamic books in Arabic. You see, we that have concentrated all our education in the western education, would hardly see Arabic book and read it and understand what it says,” he also stated.
Speaking further about his ambition to become president, Yarima said he does not believe in regionalism.
“Let’s have the best people who have much more better things to offer to Nigerians. Everybody should come up with what they want to do for Nigerians and how they want to move Nigeria forward and such a person should be assessed by Nigerians whether he or she should be elected or not.
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“It is not from where you come from and not your religion. As far as I am concerned, you should look at individuals as Nigerians otherwise we should ask for rotation of presidency in the constitution. If we are looking at regions, North-West has done, let’s go to South-South; which means anybody whether he is good or not but once determined by that zone should be elected.
“If it is not determined by constitutional arrangement, every Nigerian should aspire to be in elective position of government,” he added.
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