The Bauchi State government has suspended indefinitely, an Islamic Cleric, over alleged incitement in his preachings.
The suspension was contained in a media statement signed by the Commissioner, Ministry for Religious Affairs and Social Welfare, Ahmad Jalam, and addressed to the Islamic Cleric, Malam Abubakar Idris, Azare, Katagum Local Government Area of Bauchi State which was obtained by our correspondent on Thursday.
According to the statement entitled: “Violation of the ethics of Preaching and Sermons in the state,” the Cleric was found to have been castigating companions of Prophet Muhammad in his preachings.
This, the government said, was capable of instigating violence which will lead to the breakdown of the law and order in the state.
The government, therefore, suspended him from preaching in any part of the state.
The statement read in part, “The attention of the Bauchi State Government has been drawn to the manner of your preaching and sermons.
“The report revealed that you are castigating the companions of our noble Prophet Muhammad (SAW) while conducting your preaching.
“This attitude is a clear violation of the conduct and ethics of preaching, that is capable of raising people’s tension and certainly lead to the violation of law and order which the Government may not tolerate.
“Consequently, you are suspended from conducting preaching and leading congregational prayers in any part of the State in the interest of peace.”
Meanwhile, reacting to the suspension, the Chief Imam, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, Dr. Mansur Yelwa, commended the state government for taking the bull by the horns.
He said that such Clerics who preach against mainstream Islam should be clamped down on time to avert citizen engagement in jungle justice for blasphemy.
Yelwa, an associate professor of Arabic Studies said, “This is a very good initiative from the government in my view because it is something that requires urgent action here in Bauchi, because of fear of what happened in Kano State.
“I read the report of the government and I met one of the representatives of the government panel who went to Azare to see things. They found out that the man was preaching inciting sermons, particularly against the belief of the mainstream Muslims (who belief that the Prophet is sacred).
“The cleric was reported to the Emir of Katagum who consequently called the attention of the state government. He was taken to the Emir’s Palace in Azare for questioning and he confessed to the allegation. They ordered that his preaching centre and mosque be closed pending the outcome of the investigation. This is a good idea.”
In Sade town of Darazo Local Government Area of Bauchi State, a young man who was accused of blasphemy was seized from the Police Station where he was kept, beaten to death, and subsequently burnt to ashes in front of the Police station. – Punch.