COMMUNIQUÉ ISSUED AT THE END OF ANNUAL PRE-RAMADAN MEETING OF JAMA’ATU NASRIL ISLAM (JNI), HELD AT THE JNI NATIONAL HEADQUARTERS, KADUNA, ON THE 21ST SHA’ABAN, 1439AH (8TH MAY, 2018)
The meeting held at the instance of the Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) National Headquarters, was declared open and chaired by His Eminence, Alhaji (Dr.) Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, CFR, mni, the Sultan of Sokoto and President General JNI. Quite a lot of Royal Fathers including His Royal Highness, Alhaji Dr. Muhammad Ilyasu Bashar CFR, the Emir of Gwandu, His Highness, Malam Muhammad Sunusi II, CON, Sarkin Kano, His Royal Highness, Alhaji (Dr.) Rilwanu Suleiman Adamu, CFR, Emir of Bauchi, His Highness, Alhaji (Dr.) Shehu Idris, CFR, Emir of Zazzau, among many notable Emirs too numerous to mention attended the meeting. Among the scholars who participated in the meeting were Prof. S. A. S. Galadanci, the Murshid (spiritual guide) of National Mosque Abuja; representative of Sheikh Dahiru Usman Bauchi, Sheikh Yakubu Musa Katsina (JIBWIS), among many erudite Muslim scholars, intellectuals and leaders of various Muslim Organizations from all parts of the Country. Participants were drawn from various Muslim organizations including the National Council of Muslim Youth Organization (NACOMYO), Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN), Federation of Muslim Women in Nigeria (FOMWAN), Muslim Lawyers Association of Nigeria (MULAN), among others. A bout 300 participants were in attendance.
In his welcome address, the Chairman, His Eminence, the Sultan of Sokoto and President-General, JNI called on leaders and scholars at all levels to remain committed in promoting Islamic values and speak the truth at all times in line with Islamic teachings. He further challenged the entire Muslim Ummah to evaluate the condition of the Country and that of the Muslims in the area of security, economy and human capital development, before adopting and/or considering any candidate or party in the forthcoming general elections. His Eminence also lamented how every killing in the Country is attributed to herdsmen and/or Muslims even when most often we are the victims. Most of the media houses are also biased and lopsided in their reportage. Thus, he called for fair and balanced reportage and justice to all. He further called on politicians to stop abusing themselves and conduct their campaigns with decorum, respect and peaceful manner.
Papers were also presented; as Dr. Usman M. Bugaje’s was on “Issues, Dimensions and Way Forward on the Challenges of Insecurity and the State of the Nation: A wake-up Call to the Ummah”. Another paper was presented on the “Etiquettes of Tafsir” by Sheikh Tijjani Umara Goni Muhammad. Likewise, Highlights on activities of the “National Moon-sighting Committee” were presented by Prof. Usman El-Nafaty. In his paper Dr. Usman M. Bugaje submitted that:
- Both religious and traditional leaders should enlighten their followers over the sameness nature of all political parties in Nigeria. Therefore, people must be educated on how to vote for credible people irrespective of party affiliation.
- The Presidential system of governance does not befit our custom and tradition and the attendant campaign expenses make it too costly for qualified persons to aspire for political office under the system. He thus called for the replacement of the political system with the Parliamentary system, where every political appointee must be elected from his political unit; such that a Prime Minister emerges from among the elected representatives. This will go a long way in reducing the cost and will also enhance the chance of electing credible people.
iii. Security agencies and their strategies should be reorganized in order to discharge their responsibilities effectively. Likewise, their monthly take home pay should be commensurate their duty.
- In the past, Nigerian leaders were known for their foresight and ability to anticipate challenges, as well as find way of addressing them on time. However, recent happenings in the Country suggest otherwise.
On the other hand, Sheikh Tijjani Umara Goni Muhammad stated in his paper that with the coming of the 2018 Ramadan, the tafsir sessions should be utilized by scholars to further strengthen unity among Muslims and promote knowledge sharing for better dissemination of Islamic teachings to all. He also emphasized the need for scholars to avoid interpretation of verses of the Qur’an for their personal interest against the true spirit of the Qur’an. He averred that as heirs of the prophets, scholars should be truthful, contented and avoid controversies during Tafsir sessions. While Prof. Usman El-Nafaty highlighted the activities of the National Moon-sighting Committee to include among others; monthly sighting and reporting of the Islamic lunar months, contacts and verifications of moon sighting reports from the various moon sighting committees spread across the Country, as well as reach out to the Sultan of Sokoto, Shehu of Borno, the Sarkin Kano and other Muslim leaders from southern Nigeria over moon-sighting in Nigeria.
- The meeting observed that though there is significant improvement on security challenge bedeviling the Country over the last three years, recent happenings in the Country have raised other challenges that require the authority to confront them decisively.
- While the Federal Government is struggling to re-position the economy, the Nigerian masses are crying out for ease of life, i.e. complain of hardship of life.
- As 2019 general elections draw nearer, the meeting observes with concern the rise in violent crimes and hate speeches, which are inimical to our collective unity and progress.
- That religious sentiments and agitations of misunderstanding among Nigerians are being over stretched by a section of religious leaders (especially some Christians) with claims to be victims but Muslims are truly the affected victims.
- The current democratic system does not suit our tradition and cultures; it is too expensive and cumbersome in nature, our life as a country is moving from bad to worse since the return to democracy.
- On Tarbiyyah (discipline), the meeting observed the serious decay of moral upbringing of children, this may not be unconnected with serious laxity on the side of parents, the spate of drugs and substance abuse and other immoralities being committed openly in the society, which erode our values as well as good behaviours and peaceful coexistence.
- On Moon-sighting, consistency over sighting of the lunar months was noted, which has revealed the unity among the Ummah in the entire Country in the past few years.
- The banning of cough syrup with codeine is a welcome development.
- Killings of innocent people in the Country as well as wanton destruction of property does not augur well for the nation.
- Reported cases of imbalance in recruitment exercises into the CBN, FIRS, NNPC, NIMC, etc are rife in the Country and portraying Government negatively.
- Hoarding and inflation are invariably affecting supply of goods in recent time. Thus, essential commodities particularly food stuff are becoming unaffordable to ordinary Nigerians.
- The meeting in strong terms called on all those involved in the senseless killings of human lives to fear Allah, the Most High and desist from all forms of violence, while calling on Governments at all levels to as a matter of urgency address the missing link in security strategy and synergize across the three tiers of Government, as well as religious cum traditional leaders to improve safety and security of Nigerians in a manner that will be seen to be acceptable to all Nigerians.
- The meeting resolved that, though the economic policies of the Government is geared towards long term prosperity, nevertheless, the need for the Government to improve measures (short and medium terms, so as to) ease difficulties and make life easy for the populace is emphasized.
- All political actors should as a matter of patriotism ensure that they promote peace in all their respective utterances and actions.
- The meeting resolved that all acts of politicization of religion and false claim of victimization for cheap popularity by some section of religious leaders in their primary constituencies must stop henceforth. While at the same time saying, enough is enough of all provocations and insults on Muslims in Nigeria.
- The meeting resolved that the present manner by which Government and governance operate, cannot take Nigeria anywhere. Muslims in Nigeria should continue to advocate for a method of government that suits our traditions and cultures, which of course is cost effective.
- The meeting calls on the Muslim Ummah to wake up to its responsibility; encourage unity, love, and understanding and live in harmony with other Nigerians. However, the institution of marriage/family needs to be revisited and strengthened to ensure moral ethos and better cohesion exist within communities.
- The consistency in scrutinizing the lunar moon-sighting was noted and due diligence was emphasized.
- The recent ban on the production of codeine is a welcomed development. Nonetheless, Government must go beyond ban to ensure legislation and action that will address supply, sales and consumption of illicit substances and drugs. Muslim organizations are to also prioritize this in their programs especially during Ramadan Tafsir.
- We urge the Government to as a matter of national interest and from the point of security threat, should arrest and prosecute all perpetrators of heinous crimes against humanity and be appropriately sanctioned, no matter whose ox is gored.
- The meeting calls on the Government to ensure fairness, equity and balance for all States of the Federation by way of accepting local government areas as the bases in every recruitment process, particularly into the security agencies and civil service.
- Considering that the month of Ramadan is fast approaching, we call on Governments at all levels to assist in making live bearable to the downtrodden. Likewise, business moguls should review downward the prices of goods and services-as an act of Sadaqah (alms giving), such that every ordinary man could afford.
The meeting prayed for all deceased brethren and called on all Muslims in the Country to use the Ramadan period for intensive prayers for the well being of the Country and the President. In the same vein, pray for all leaders in the Country for Allah’s guidance, protection, good health, peaceful coexistence and tranquility in Nigeria. In addition, the meeting also called on the rich to feed the poor and intensify issuance of charity to the needy, most especially the internally displaced persons (IDPs) spread across the Country.
By and large, the meeting wished all Muslims an accepted Ramadan fast.
Dr. Khalid Abubakar Aliyu