By Abba Gwale
A renowned Islamic scholar, Sheikh Ahmad Lemu, has died in the early hours of today at his home in Minna, Niger state, according to his daughter, Maryam Lemu.
Sheikh Lemu, who chaired Federal Government’s committee on investigation of post-election violence in 2011 was among the most respected Muslim clerics in the country.
Sheikh Lemu served in the field of education for more than half a century, during which he undertook various teaching and educational responsibilities.
Sheikh Lemu was born in Lemu (Niger state), Nigeria, on 21/12/1929.
He received his early education at the Quranic school in 1932, followed by the elementary school (1939), then the intermediate school (currently the Government College) in Lemu, from which he obtained his intermediate school certificate in 1948.
Late Lemu joined School of Shari’a Law (currently the School of Arabic Studies) in Lemu from which he obtained Middle (1950) and High (1952) Teachers’ Certificate (Level Two) in Arabic Language, Islamic Studies, Shari’a Jurisdiction and General Education.
In 1954, he went to United Kingdom to study at London University’s School of African and Oriental Studies.
He also obtained certificate of General Education (Advanced Level) in History, Arabic, Hausa and Persian Languages in 1961, and Bachelor’s Degree (Honors) in African and Oriental Studies in 1964.
He started as a teacher of Arabic language, English language and Islamic studies at the Government Secondary School in Bida, between 1953-1960.
In 1960, he became senior teacher of Arabic Language, Islamic Studies and Education, and supervisor at the School of Arabic Studies in Kano, then Director of the school and Deputy Director of Government Secondary Education in 1965.
He became Dean of the Arabic Teachers’ College in 1966, Senior Inspector of Education in 1970 and Chief Inspector of Education for Sokoto State in Northwestern Nigeria between 1971 – 1973.
Sheikh Lemu was a renowned Islamic scholar, known and respected by West African Muslims and throughout the Islamic world.
He was a composed intellectual, a devout Muslim and an advocate of moderation, justice and open-mindedness. He was also a strong supporter of women’s rights. His relentless efforts to advance Islamic education,
development and Da’wa (call to Islam) are evident from his publications, countless lectures, seminars and classes, and active participation in national, regional and international Islamic conferences and events.
He was a member of several international Islamic organizations worldwide, and author or editor of many books and school references which aim, along with his lecturers and classes, to promote and re-enforce the proper understanding of Islam and expand knowledge of the Islamic creed