WRITTEN BY JO STEPHANIE, AAI NEWS TEAM
On 24th October Zambia will celebrate 50 years of independence from British colonial rule. Several events have already taken place to celebrate Zambia’s golden jubilee. The theme for this year’s independence celebrations is “Commemorating God’s favour of 50 years of independence, for continued peace, unity, democracy, patriotism and prosperity”. God can be found in so much of the independence rhetoric, not just in this official jubilee theme. Speakers on radio and television programmes tell us we must thank God for our freedom and that we need to continue to look to God to maintain the peace we have. So many Zambians are buying it.
BY LEO IGWE
When the drafters of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria enshrined in section 10 that “The Government of the Federation or of a State shall not adopt any religion as State Religion,” they envisaged the divisive and polarizing nature of mixing faith and politics. They knew that for a religiously pluralistic entity like Nigeria to survive and develop, thrive and flourish, the state must be neutral in religious matters. Unfortunately, subsequent state actors in Nigeria have ignored this crucial constitutional principle to the detriment of the Nigerian nation. Segments of the Nigerian Federation or state have continued to mix religion and politics in ways that have undermined progress, unity, tolerance and development across the country.
In particular, political Islam rules in the Muslim majority states in the north. Contrary to the constitution, sharia is the state law, Islam is the state religion, and jihad is a way of retaining, restoring, or securing the Islamic political status quo.
Four African rights organisations step up pressure on Khartoum to release woman convicted of apostasy
According to Guardian, pressure on the Sudanese government to release Meriam Ibrahim stepped up on Monday with a formal complaint against authorities in Khartoum brought by four African organisations alleging multiple violations of fundamental rights.
The death sentence imposed on the Sudanese mother, who has been in prison since February, should be suspended, and she and her two children immediately released, they say.
The four organisations – the African Centre of Justice and Peace Studies, the Sudanese Organisation for Development and Rehabilitation, the Sudanese Human Rights Initiative, and the Justice Centre for Advocacy and Legal Consultancy – together with Redress, a London-based anti-torture group, say Sudan has violated Ibrahim's fundamental rights as enshrined in the African charter on human rights, which the Khartoum government ratified in 1986.