Central Bank governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi has called for the proscription of religious associations especially the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and Jama'atu Nasril Islam (JNI). Sanusi spoke Monday night at a meeting of Northern Reawakening Forum in Abuja.
He said the ban was necessary because the associations were not truly religious or cultural associations but political organisations in the guise of religious organisations.
He said elites in Northern Nigeria have found in a religion a space for their political contestations.
He faulted the process where political leaders deal with leaders of such organisation when the constitution makes it clear that the Federal Government should promote only associations that cut across divides.
Sanusi said people now float all sorts of associations that threaten the security of the country so as to be recognised.
Reacting to the statement yesterday, National Secretary of the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Mr. Anthony Sani, faulted the claim of the CBN governor that ACF and others were divisive agents.
"The existence of different regional and religious fora were not as divisive as posited by the CBN governor, precisely because they have overlapping interests whose countervailing forces reinforce the unity of the country," he said.
According to him, the place of ACF and other groups was to advance the cause of national solidarity through relative pluralism and not to promote insular particularism that cannot fit into their place in the order of things.
"This is because it is easier to bring the people together through such groups and help them unleash their synergy by living up their collective challenges for public good," he said.