Former Zamfara State Governor, Ahmed Sani Yerima has shed more light on his decision to introduce Sharia law in the state during his tenure.
The former Governor while speaking on Friday maintained that he didn’t do anything outside of the constitution and didn’t force non-muslims to practice the sharia law which he introduced in 1999.
Naija News reports Senator Yerima said this while speaking with state house correspondents shortly after he informed President Muhammadu Buhari of his intention to join the 2023 presidential race.
In justifying his actions, Yerima pointed out that he is not a religious extremist but can’t deny that he is a Muslim and will die as a Muslim.
He added that he sent a proposal to the state House of Assembly which the lawmakers duly passed and he implement it according to the provisions of the Nigerian constitution regarding the freedom of religion.
Yerima argued that it is out of ignorance that people think he acted against the constitution of Nigeria.
“On the issue of Sharia, I’m a Muslim and I say everywhere I go, that I am a Muslim and I want to die as a Muslim. Like I said, I’m going to fight the problem of ignorance and this is one of them,” he said.
“People don’t know; a lot of people don’t know that the constitution of Nigeria, section 38, has provided for freedom of religion, including the freedom to change your religion if you want to, to practise alone, or in community with others, in private or in public.
“So, as governor of the state, I followed the constitutional provision, prepared a law, sent it to the state assembly and they passed it into law and I implemented what the constitution of Nigeria has given me the powers to do, even in Zamfara state.
“I have never, never required or asked or forced any Christian to follow Islamic faith because I would have done an unconstitutional act.
“So, if I’m elected, by the grace of God, I’m going to be elected under the constitution and I’m going to take an oath to protect and defend the constitution of Nigeria. I will never do anything unconstitutional.”
Yerima also said if he is elected as president, he will focus on fighting insecurity and poverty.
On the issue of zoning, the presidential aspirant argued that the constitution of Nigeria allows every qualified person to contest elections, hence zoning should not be used in choosing leaders.
“That is why you see people talking about rotational presidency as if it is an allocation of power. The constitution of Nigeria is very clear — every Nigerian is qualified to contest so long as he reaches the age prescribed for different offices.
“So, every Nigerian is qualified so long as he follows the constitutional provisions of this country to contest for any office and aspire to any office of this country.”