Buhari’s Dangerous Sectarian Fight

Despite spirited denials by the presidency and certain paid agents who are made and promoted to pose and pretend as Shi’ites, President Buhari has taken the country on a downward whirlwind of dangerous sectarian divide with the purported declaration of the Islamic Movement as terrorist group and therefore banned.

First to sound the warning was by Justice Gabriel Kolawole, then of the Federal High Court Abuja, who while delivering judgment in the case for the enforcement of the fundamental rights of Sheikh Zakzaky and the wife in December, 2016 said “the escalation of this crisis, I want to hazard a guess by way of obiter remarks, may have been the result of invidious, perhaps unobtrusive acts of intolerance by the greater majority of Muslims who recognize, practice, observe and belong to the “Sunni Islamic School of Thought”.

He further said, “the Applicant as the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria – which I understand, belongs to the “Shiite School of Islamic Thought”, and this Court, without being equipped with any reliable demographic data, it seems that the greater majority of Nigerian Muslims belong to the “Sunni School of Islamic Thought”.

Justice Kolawole however cautioned that “ut the important and fundamental issue which needs to be emphasized, is that by the provision of Section 38(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (CFRN), 1999 As Amended, the said Constitution by virtue of the provision of its Section 1(1) being the ground norm to borrow this term or classification from Hans Kelsen (1881 – 1973) in his “Pure Theory of Law”, on which the State, which Section 2(1) of the same Constitution states that “Nigeria is one indivisible and indissoluble sovereign State to be known by the name of the Federal Republic of Nigeria” is one that recognizes and guarantees “Right to Freedom of Thought, Conscience and Religion”which right also carries with it, a concomitant right in every citizen, not only to differ when it comes to issues of faith and religion, but it includes the “right to change his religion or belief, and freedom (either alone or in community with others, and in public or in private) to manifest and propagate his religion or belief in worship, teaching, practice and observance”.

It is in this regard, that I was of the view that this case is better settled “politically” rather than through the judicial process which by its nature, has limited capacities in being able to address fundamental issues of faith based on religion.

In the same vein, Professor Ango Abdullahi, a Chieftain of Northern Elders Forum believes Buhari’s fight against the Islamic Movement is purely sectarian.

He was asked “Is there something else about this group (IMN) that is making government afraid, something else people don’t know?”

Professor Ango Abdullahi replied that, “It is all about inter-sectarian rivalry and government has decided to be against them in favour of the sect that is against them. There are Islamic sects that are against the Shi’ites group and apparently these other groups have the ears of the authorities and that is why the authorities are virtually against Shi’ites because other sects are against them and that is very shameful.”

Last year, the Saudi Crown Prince caused a stir in international circles when he stated that they were responsible for the Zaria massacre and the continued detention of the leader of the Islamic Movement, Sheikh Zakzaky.

A DW Hausa news site online reported in April, 2018 that (translated):
There are ongoing disputes over Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman’s claim that his country has succeeded in undermining the influence of Iran and its allies in Africa. In an interview with The Times of America, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman said his country had gone to Africa to reduce Iran’s influence in the continent, so far as it failed to defeat the country. Iran in Africa with about 95%.
Dr Zayeed Al-Amri, a member of the Saudi Institute for Strategic and Crisis Management, commented on the prince’s policy, saying that “the prince’s purpose here is to declare his plans for the enemy.” Saudi Arabia has failed to crack down on Iran’s military intervention in Yemen, Somalia, Djibouti and Sudan as it undermines its efforts to establish a Hezbollah militia in Nigeria and prevent Ibrahim Zakzaky from taking power in the country. However, some think that Saudi Arabia is punishing and inciting itself to overpowering Iran’s claims of power in Africa at the same time as the Salvation Army. Reducing capital investment in Africa and declaring war on the ideology of Wahhabism, but Iran, on the other hand, is pushing for a closer relationship with Africa and providing science and technology education for African students at present. Iran’s foreign minister Muhammad Javad Zareef has arrived in Senegal on a state visit to Africa.

This is why Dr. Amani al-Taweel from Egypt’s Al-Ahram Research Center expresses concern about the two countries’ ongoing religious tensions in Africa to achieve their goals of occupation in the region. Dr. al-Taweel says that “Saudi Arabia is no more a threat to the spread of Wahhabism in Africa than to any other trade and diplomatic relationship.”

Analysts say that as long as African countries do not share religious and political or diplomatic ties with Saudi Arabia and Iran, there is no doubt that the struggle for the name of religion in the African continent will go far enough. she suffers from inter-ethnic violence, poverty challenges and disease.

Neither government denied this claim.

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