The Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) on Wednesday said that the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) was being targeted at religious institutions in the country.
Addressing newsmen in Abuja, the spokesman of CUPP, Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere said that it was also a plot by the Federal Government to have access to finance and the treasury of religious bodies to misappropriate their funds.
While declaring that CAMA was a declaration of war against religious bodies and plot to deregister and hijack religious bodies, their places of worship, freely appoint, and to sack Muslim and Christian institutions’ leaders, the CUPP called on all well-meaning Nigerians to rise against the obnoxious law.
He hinted that the opposition coalition had already launched a legal battle against the Federal Government to stop the implementation of the obnoxious sections of the law in the country.
The CUPP pointed out that CAMA was the greatest assault on the right to freedom of association, free speech and religious worship, adding that the plot is to silence, take over and intimidate every religious organisation.
It said that the All Progressives Congress (APC) government was plotting to turn churches and mosques into political propaganda organs.
According to CUPP, “Nigerians woke up to the rude realisation that agents of the fading ruling party the APC in cahoots with their members in the National Assembly had secretly inserted and passed as amendments obnoxious sections into the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) which has been hurriedly signed into law.
“This new law and how the mysterious sections which attack the very sacred foundations of God-given right to freedom of worship, association and speech alongside the right of believers to have their spiritual leaders and their doctrine sacredly pursued is a shock to the opposition family.
“We agree that some religious bodies and their outfits might not have lived up to expectation but that is not enough reason for the APC government to hide under a mysterious amendment to attempt to choose who owns and governs religious bodies, determine religions and doctrines for people, take over the finances of religious bodies, disburse their funds as they do public funds, dictate who gets what or not including the outrageous plan by APC led Federal Government to seize money contributed voluntarily by Christian and Muslim organisations/members in pursuit of their spiritual beliefs and disburse these holy funds to any organisation without the consent of the owners of these funds. What sacrilege!
“This law that allows the government to hijack a Muslim or Christian religious body without the express order of a court is nothing but an invitation to anarchy, religious war, religious division and destruction of national cohesion and the threat to national unity and harmony and can best be described as an evil law which must not be allowed to stand. Laws are for peace and good governance and not to cause anarchy, violence and desolation
“We must understand that the funds contributed by religious organisations and their members are private voluntary funds raised by religious organisations for their specific religious pursuits and not a subvention from government and cannot be hijacked by the government without an order of a court and cannot also be taken by the government and dashed out to any other organisation without considering the interest of those religious groups that voluntarily raised these funds
“We agree that there is need for regulation of activities of religious groups but that can be done by enacting laws for religious self-regulatory bodies like the way lawyers under NBA, NMA, Financial professional bodies self regulate and not a direct takeover and subjugation of the Christain and Muslim bodies.”