A top Muslim Cleric in Kaduna State, Sheikh Abubakar Sadiq of the Salamatu Mosque along Bashama road, Tudun wada Kaduna has severely berated the Kaduna State Governor, Mr Nasiru Ahmed El-rufai in the pulpit while delivering a Friday sermon. This is perhaps the sternest criticism of the Governor yet from the religious circle since becoming the Governor of Kaduna state in mid-2015.
The Scholar criticised the popular characteristics of arrogance by which the governor has come to be identified in his rule. “You, nobody can talk to you? No one can tell you the truth? There is nobody you respect?” He then declared that they too will not respect him! “By God, we also have no respect for you! We don’t respect you!”
When he turned to some specific actions and inactions of the governor, he observed that, “In the whole of Nigeria, there is no place that kidnapping is as frequent as in Kaduna state” and added that “we hold you responsible in your position as the governor.” The Scholar rhetorically asked the governor, “why is kidnapping prevalent in your state?” He said that “in the whole of Nigeria, there is nowhere robbery is as rampant as in Kaduna state. Once it is evening and you dare to follow Abuja road, only God can save you. If you follow Jos road, only God can save you. Follow Niger Road, only God can save you too. Birnin Gwari is even a grave yard!”
The Cleric asked El-Rufai, “What will you tell God about the trusts of people He entrusted on you on the day of Judgement?” He stated that “No day that the sun rises and sets but someone is robbed, someone is kidnapped? At the same time you want to sack 20,000 workers. And you expect us to keep a blind eye? By God! You are deceiving yourself. I swear to God, Governor you are deceiving yourself. By God, you are deceiving yourself!”
The scholar, in a rare show of courage from such quarters declared, “We will continue to criticize you till our death. It is either one of two things; if you are told the truth, you either kill or send to prison. By God, we are ready!” He added that, “By God! We must tell you the truth, because you are an unjust ruler! You are unjust! You have nothing to tell us. We were surviving before you came; now too we are surviving and we will survive beyond you.”
When he turned to another infamous quality widely associated with the governor, the scholar told the governor, “We endured all your lies because we know your tenure will surely come to an end one day. All that is not sufficient for you until you impoverish us and make us wretched?”
Turning to his fellow scholars in the sermon, he derided them by calling them “useless unjust clerics, betrayers – you refuse to tell him the truth and call him to order? Who is governor? Useless and nonsense governor! Were you not the ones that campaigned that he should be elected? He is doing blunders, aren’t you supposed to tell people the truth about him? You shut your mouths for paltry stipends? The meagre thing you will be given will neither increase you nor quench your hunger!”
As if to make a disavowal from them, the scholar said, “We are loudly telling you, either change your ways or we vehemently pray against you. You can’t draw lessons from the death of Yakowa? The way you said you fought someone and he died, so too will we pray to God that you too die! We will rather the governor dies than the masses to be pushed to wretchedness.”
He concluded, “It is better you die because you are completely useless! You are a liability to the state. Everyone is afraid of you? By God! We don’t fear you!”
This is quite an unusual sermon from people that often compete in praise singing in the name of sermon for crumps that will be thrown their way. We wait to see how this will cope with the obvious sequel to this vehement criticism of a governor that is full of himself.
Listen to the audio recording of part of the sermon below: