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Sultan: NSCIA cautions political leaders against muzzling traditional rulers

The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) has urged governments and political leaders across the country to continue to accord the traditional institution and…

The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) has urged governments and political leaders across the country to continue to accord the traditional institution and its holders the due respect that they deserve, especially where such is combined with Islamic leadership.

The body made the call in a communique at the end of NSCIA’s ninth Expanded General Purpose Committee (EGPC) meeting held in Abuja and signed by Prof Is-haq Oloyede, the Secretary-General of NSCIA and EGPC.

The call was coming amid the crisis of mistrust in Kano and Sokoto states over the seat of the Sultan of Sokoto and President-General of the NSCIA, Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III, on one hand and the stand-off, conflicting court judgements and disagreement, including among the ulama, in Kano State over the controversy heralding the deposition of the 15th Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, and the reinstatement of the deposed 14th Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi II.

The communique reads in part: “The NSCIA is strongly advising government and political leaders at all levels to continue to accord the traditional institution and its holders the due respect that they deserve, especially where such is combined with Islamic leadership.

“This is in order to ensure the protection of our cultural and religious heritage for sustainable peace and national development. The Muslim ummah in Nigeria, long before independence, unanimously resolved to entrust its leadership to an established Islamic institution that Muslims all over the country believe would always command the desired respect and attract the highest regards of all and sundry.

“It, therefore, behooves the custodians of such institution to also reciprocate by acting in a manner that shows, both in words and deed, respect for Islam, its institution and the feelings of the generality of the ummah. Any iota of disrespect to the institution is a direct affront on the faith and its adherents.”

The EGPC commended the effort of the federal government thus far, especially in alleviating poverty and food shortage in the country, and urged the government at all levels to address the high cost of living occasioned by increased costs of food and energy.

While expressing grief over the upsurge of terrorist attacks in some parts of the country, EGPC reiterated the position of NSCIA that government at all levels, particularly at the local government level, should re-energise intelligence gathering as a complement to the laudable efforts of the armed forces and security agencies. “It was also resolved that insecurity is by far the most existential matter of concern to the Nigerian nation as it also poses a great danger to food security in the country. Therefore, the meeting urged the Federal Government to, as a matter of urgency, increase the current laudable tempo of curtailing insecurity in the country.

“Members expressed diverse opinions on the appropriateness or otherwise of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in Nigeria. A committee of scientists and scholars was set up to consider, among other sources, the Nigeria Inter-Religious Council (NIREC)’s panel submission on GMOs and advise the Council on the appropriateness or otherwise of GMOs.

“The need was reiterated for establishing an efficient channel of communication between the Government and the NSCIA, as the highest representative body of the Muslim Ummah, in order to facilitate a better understanding of and consequently adequate support for government policies and programmes.

“A case in point was the misconstrued outstanding obligation of the Federal Government towards 2024 Hajj depositors for foreign exchange prior to the increase in the exchange rate to honour the obligation to which the government had been committed before the increase,” the communique further read.

The NSCIA said that the honouring of such an obligation for which the ummah was very grateful was misconstrued in some quarters as unwarranted favour to the ummah.

The meeting also ratified the report of its fatwa committee on controversies in determining the minimum amount payable as dowry (sadaq) and reaffirmed that it was ¼ Dinar, which today is equivalent to about N118,000 or any amount mutually agreed by the couple or/and their guardians irrespective of whether or not it was lower or higher than the N118,000.

The meeting also viewed the imamship/obaship tussle in Ogbomoso land as being of serious concern and set up a committee under the secretary-general to look into it and report back to the council.

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