By Abdulkadir Salaudeen
It did not come to me as a shock. You shouldn’t expect less when you speak the uncomfortable truth to a corruption ridden government, to a government that does not govern, to a government that only exists in name. I always ask myself if those elected to govern Nigeria are the ones actually ruling us or the gun-wielding-teen-bandits. This mess is unprecedented.
What did Sheikh Khalid say to deserve suspension? Is he not doing his work as a cleric? If the truth cannot be said through the pulpit in the mosque, where else should it be said? If the Ulama cannot speak the truth to power in Nigeria, is it Naira Marley or Portable Zazu Zeh or Musa Akila (Gatan Arewa) that would speak it? If the singer of Nigeria Jagajaga, Idriss Abdulkareem, is neither afraid of the power that be nor fear speaking the truth to it, is it Sheikh Khalid that should be afraid?
Sheikh Khalid was suspended because of his constructive criticism. Is that even a criticism? Is drawing attention of a government to what it should do but serially fails to do or what it ought not do but persistently does a criticism? If we call it criticism, how has that run contrary to democracy or Nigerian Constitution? Which law of the land has he disobeyed?
Being an Islamic cleric, preacher, and Khatib (sermoniser), how has his preaching gone against Islam? Though I don’t know any member of the mosque committee that suspended Sheikh Khalid, but one will ordinarily think they are Femi Adesina, Femi Fani Kayode, and Lai Mmohammad.
I cannot just understand! I listen to the Skeikh’s sermon, he did not curse the President or his family. He did not curse Nigeria, of course, he himself a Nigerian. He only talked about the relationship between Ramadan and supplication at a time when Nigeria is facing a serious challenge where nothing works well. I made a similar call to this in my article titled “Ramadan, Societal Challenges And Message to Nigerian Leaders.” Thanks to Maxilensnews Editor for editing the title, it was published in other media as “Ramadan Fasting In A Country Where Hunger and Insecurity Are The Norms.”
The Imam talked about our roads which can be better described as death trap if not death itself. He said people are dying. Let me quote him, “everything is not working well, people are dying, our roads are not secured, most of the part of the country is not secured and the Government is always telling us what we don’t understand that they are doing their best and we deserve more than that their best.”
Like the Sheikh, I don’t understand what the Government is saying too; and I doubt anyone with a scintilla of sanity understands. I am actually always confused whenever the Government talks or reacts; not because of my ignorance, but because it is natural to get confused when words of those who claim to be the embodiment of integrity are not matched with actions.
The Sheikh continued, “And what you are now telling us that your concern is all about 2023 election; and what I am advising the citizens to do is to send a message that, yes, we are going to vote in 2023 but under condition that there most be security in Nigeria prior to that. We are not going to vote anything. If that is the only language you understand, we gonna speak it because our lives are important. We are people; we want to live.”
That the above words are inciting can only be understood by those who continue to applaud the ceaseless killings of innocent citizens under the surveillance (or if you like supervision) of this government. The Sheikh’s words are worth committing to memory. They deserve to be made global template to address any shamelessly horrible government anywhere in the world.
Sheikh Nura Khalid has worn the hearts of Nigerian masses—both Christians and Muslims—but also earned the wrath of government’s apologists and lackeys. May Allah be pleased with the Sheikh and continue to guide him. He proves not to be hypocrite. We know him during Jonathan’s administration as an imam who does not mince any words. He remains who he is despite the fact that his brother (a Muslim) is now the president.
Isa Pantami rained thunderous curse on former President, Jonathan, as if the latter was an outcast on the pulpit in the mosque. Why should we now keep mum when a Muslim and a northerner is on the saddle with the ugliest performance? Where were those fatwas against criticising government when it was Jonathan under PDP? Is this double standard not too glaringly disgraceful?
Why has the Cyber Security Fraudfessor and Minister of Communications and Digital Economy whose blind followers claim to be more knowledgeable than any Nigerian and can also teach many professors unable to track kid bandits who serially demand ransom through phone calls after linking our mobile numbers to National Identification Number?
Anyone who claims to understand this government seems to be speaking in tongue. A secured Nigeria where life is worth living is what concerns Sheikh Khalid—the reason why he was suspended. I told one of my Sheikhs in Ilorin last week that to be relevant in this government, you have to show your credentials of how horribly corrupt you are—in most cases. That is the reason why many top ranking members of this present government are former PDP stalwarts who were battling with high-ranking corruption cases. But now in APC, their sins are forgiven! The corruption files are closed!
Even Pantami who was not a PDP member, and perhaps with no corruption case, had to soil himself in one of the most hideous academic fraud ever in Nigeria’s history. Thus, his greatest achievement in government seems to be his cyber security professorial fakery.
Sheikh Khalid’s suspension will only popularise him for good and demean the committee that suspended him.