By Nasir Mustapha Kwarbai
The recent interview granted to some journalist by the Kaduna State governor Malam Nasir Elrufai on the banning of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria has drwn the attention of many, perhaps the intention of shedding clearance on the issue, but the governor has apparently got himself more entangled in the web of confusion he has already been in. The Governor only in succeeded in confusing himself and his dwindling political cohorts.
First of all Mr Elrufai has to understand that as the name suggests the Islamic Movement is a global concept, that is why it is referred to as the Islamic Movement in Nigeria not of Nigeria. It is a movement that tends to make Muslims to aspire and work towards the full implementation of Islam as ordered by Allah and practiced by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAWA). Yes Islam in totality. A close study of the history of Islam will divulge how it was revealed and put in to practice by the Holy Prophet and his pious companions. The issue of implementing the teachings of Islam is not a matter of choice to Muslims. It is a divine injunction. What the Islamic Movement therefore is doing is acting on instructions from Allah the All mighty. For lack of adequate space and not to make this write up lengthy, I wouldn’t bother Mr. Elrufai with verses and sayings of the Prophet on the issues. It suffices to advise that true and Allah fearing scholars can be consulted. So now Mr. Governor, here you are “with all sense of responsibility” and “deriving powers from the Penal Code of 1963” contradicting and stopping the instructions of Allah the All Mighty.
When you were accusing the previous government of killing the innocent children of Sheik Zakzaky and his students in July, 2014 at the time you paid him a condolence visit, you did not realize that IMN “poses a threat to security, peace and governance of the state”. Perhaps then you were not a governor, so the grasp of power has not befuddled you. History has reported that when Pharaoh got power intoxicated at a point, he declared Prophet Musa and his movement as banned. When he was fully power sozzled he went to the extent of proclaiming himself as the only deity to be worshiped. If history is to serve as a lesson, then Mr Governor soon your power will come to an end; it is then that when the hangover has cleared that you may realize the enormity of your actions.
The Islamic Movement is made up of people from different parts of the society. It cuts across the Shia, Sunni and even non-Muslims. True non-Muslims, because one of the basic principles on which the Islamic Movement is built is rejecting and abhorring injustice. That is why people of conscience identify with it even if they are not Muslims. The coordinator of the Christians Forum of the Islamic Movement can testify to this claim. As for what Elrufai referred to as other Shiite groups that he recognizes, I wouldn’t want to join issues with them. It may suffice to ask whether state scholars have been heard of in the history of Islam and melee against injustice. What makes Sheikh Zakzaky stand out is his non availability for patronage by those in control of state funds, indeed he is not for sale.
The Islamic Movement in Nigeria, being a concept and ideology cannot be and is not registered. However, there are segments of the IMN that are dully registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). The recent court case of enforcement of the fundamental human rights of Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife Malama Zeenah is enough to debunk the claim that IMN does not recognize the constitution of Nigeria. On the issue of IMN having their own governor in Kaduna state, it is unfortunate that what road side thugs are saying can find a place in the brain of a person of the caliber of Mr. Elrufai. The Hurras are no different from the ‘Yan Agaji of Jamaatu Izalatul Bidah wa Iqamatussunah and Jamaatu Nasrul Islam or the Boys brigade and many other organizations set ups. Hurras are responsible for seeing to the orderly conduct of IMN gatherings. They also participate in collaboration with other sectors of the IMN undertake projects like environmental sanitation, rescue missions in case of floods and fire incidences amongst a few of their activities. They are not armed and are not intending to overthrow any government.
IMN under the able leadership of Sheikh Zakzaky is fast expanding. This is what Mr. Elrufai and his masters are afraid of. The question is can they all be killed? Can anybody comprehend how a population of about twenty five million (according to a Wahabi TV station in Qatar) be all killed or silenced?
Well, Malam Nasir Elrufai has touched on many issues; some are irrelevant to deserve attention. Struggle against injustice and tyranny has always been characterized by state aggression and coercion against those who stand by the truth, but one thing that is sure is that it is the truth that will triumph at the end.