23rd May, 2020
SALAH PRAYER FURORE:
GOVERNORS MUST SUBMIT TO NSCIA AUTHORITY
Some Northern governors have allegedly lifted the lockdown in their states and asked the Muslims to hold Id prayers and durbars without bars. This is contrary to the advisory issued by both the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) and the Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) in which they told Muslims to observe their Salah prayers at home.
Meanwhile, an Islamic human rights association, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has condemned the actions of the northern governors. The group described it as gross indiscipline and executive recklessness. MURIC spoke via its Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola on Saturday, 23rd May, 2020.
“We are deeply worried that despite advisories issued by the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) and the Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) in which they told Muslims to observe their Salah prayers at home (https://dailypost.ng/2020/05/20/eld-fitri-pray-in-your-homes-sultan-tells-muslims/, https://newswirengr.com/2020/05/21/sultan-of-sokoto-disagrees-with-northern-governors-over-eid-el-fitr-prayers/) and the directive of the Federal Government (FG) against assemblies, some northern governors have insisted that they were going to allow large assemblies in Salah and durbar grounds.
“This is unacceptable. It is ungodly trespass. It is a manifestation of gross indiscipline and executive recklessness. These governors want to expose Muslims to serious danger just because they want to dance to the gallery. We warn that this action is a clear violation of the provisions of the Constitution. Article 14 Section 2(b) of the1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria states inter alia ‘the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government’. Therefore any governor who permits large assemblies in Salah prayer has committed an impeachable offence by exhibiting nonchalance in a matter of security of lives.
“While we commend governors North and South who have restricted gatherings for Salah prayer, we remind recalcitrant governors that the days of l’etat cest moi are over. Every leader must know his limits. A state governor is a political leader. He must not usurp Allah-given rights of religious leaders or those of Islamic organisations. The issue of Id prayer is essentially a religious matter and governors must allow NSCIA to decide that area. Any attempt to defy their fatwah (religious ruling) is rebellion against constituted authority and there must be consequences. If religious leaders give what is Ceasar’s to Ceasar, Ceasar himself must be ready to give to God what belongs to Him.
“We urge those governors to learn from the Nigerian example where military incursion into politics led to disastrous consequences for the nation and lackadaisical attitude of Northern leaders led to the neglect of almajiri children which, in turn, provided Boko Haram with foot soldiers.
“Nigerian Muslims will hold rebellious governors responsible and we are asking the FG to do same. For instance, since asking Muslims to assemble for Salah prayers is a direct disobedience of the directive of FG against crowding, President Buhari should use such acts of indiscipline as a parameter for approving certain funds and allocations for such states because it must be assumed that governors who manifest executive recklessness on the issue of COVID-19 where there are clear directives and advisories are most likely to misbehave with the people’s funds which are solely in their hands.
“MURIC calls on northern governors who have hitherto permitted Muslims to hold large Salah gatherings and durbar to immediately withdraw such approval in the interest of peace and security. There must be no public Id prayers anywhere in Nigeria tomorrow. We are talking about human lives in their thousands for crying out loud. COVID-19 is no joke and it is not too late for the concerned governors to change their minds.”
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)