The Islamic Movement in Nigeria has called on the Governor of Kano State, Dr. Abdullahi Ganduje, to drop the charges of blasphemy against the embattled Kano-based cleric, Sheikh Abduljabbar Nasiru Kabara, and release him.
This is contained in a press statement released by the President, Media Forum of the Movement, Ibrahim Musa, on Monday.
Musa insisted that Sheikh Abduljabbar is neither a member of the IMN nor the Shiite group.
“He is neither a member of the IMN nor Shiite. We reacted simply because he is a Muslim,” the IMN spokesperson said.
The Islamic Movement in the statement went further to state that their reaction became necessary in view of the fact that the Nigerian Constitution has guaranteed citizens religious right of their choice.
“Sheikh Abduljabbar Kabara’s rights as guaranteed in the Nigerian Constitution include the right to freedom of religion and conscience and freedom to worship, teach, practice, and observe his religion of choice. Arresting and charging Sheikh Abduljabbar by Ganduje government is a serious violation of these rights and we strongly condemn it as it should be condemned by all well-meaning Nigerians irrespective of their religious affiliations,” said the statement.
It further argued that the much talked about religious debate between Sheikh Abduljabbar and the coalition of Kano clerics was a sham and staged-managed.
“We have closely followed events with regards to his differences of understanding and opinion with these Kano-based coalition of clerics and how the Ganduje-led government took sides by closing the Sheikh’s school and mosque without first substantiating the accuracy of the allegations against him.
“He was lured into engaging in a ‘debate’ with these government supported clerics that turned out to be a secret trial, in which those who accused him of heresy were the prosecutors and the judges at the same time. The so-called ‘debate’ was clearly designed from outset to favour the coalition against the embattled Sheikh. It was held behind closed-door populated by only those who were openly opposed to him,” according to the Islamic Movement.”
Hence the Islamic Movement called on Ganduje to drop all these phony charges against the Sheikh and restore his fundamental human rights immediately, adding that the Sheikh has as much rights as the coalition of clerics opposed to him to preach as each understands.