I am writing in reaction to the debate over Islamic banking particularly the reckless and unguarded statements by the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Sanusi Lamido. Sadly, Sanusi has, in his desperate bid to foist sharia banking on all Nigerians, been making very careless and insensitive remarks.

Literally he has told Nigerians that whether we like it or not, that Islamic banking has come to stay. I don’t think this is the proper way to handle such a delicate and divisive issue. Sanusi has unknowingly protrayed the islamist sentiments in him.

He has been quoted in several national dallies to have told the Christian Association of Nigeria or anybody opposed to the introduction of Islamic banking to ‘go to court’. He was also quoted to have said “No going back on Islamic banking”, Why Islamic banking is a must” etc. Haaba, is sharia banking is not by force?

It is important to remind Sanusi Lamido that he is the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, and not the Urstaz in charge of Islamic or Sharia Bank of Nigeria. He is not the Sheikh who directs Islamic Development Bank in Nigeria. The Central bank is owned by all Nigerians of all faiths and none. Sanusi should stir the affairs of the bank in a way that is religiously neutral and not biased for or against any religion. He should conduct himself in a way that befits a public servant in a religiously pluralistic society, as opposed to his current posture of an Islamic militant and jihadist.

Sanusi should know that what we have in Nigeria is a democracy not a theocracy. And if he wants to introduce Islamic banking and thinks it is good for all Nigerians, he should propose it in a civil manner that is in accordance with our constitution and befits a public servant in a multi religious democracy, not an Islamic theocracy. He should not impose islamic banking on us. He should not use his position to introduce or promote a banking system in line with his religion.

Sanusi should allow the people-Nigerians- to decide.

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