By Ibrahim Ado-Kurawa
Abduljabar Nasiru Kabara has confirmed that he is a Shiite. But there is need to examine the trajectory of Shiism in Nigeria and their strategies since they first manifested as internationalist propagandists.
Sunni Islam is predominant in Nigeria since the arrival of Islam in the Sudan. Shehu Usman Danfodio and his successors reinforced this position.
In 1979 Ayatullah Khomenei led the Shiite Revolution in Iran, which he called Islamic Revolution. He gained the sympathy of many Muslims across the world because of American antagonism towards his Shiite State.
In Nigeria many students sympathized with the Iranian cause. One of such students was Ibrahim Yakubu (aka ElZakzaki). He recruited many followers in the university not in the name of Shiism because at that time he did not profess to be Shiite. He was more inclined to Muslim Brothers (Ikhwan of Egypt and Syria) and he used their books for preaching and propagation of his ideas.
Even Khomenei at that time did not insist all Muslims should become Shiites. In fact the Iranians even pledged to edit and translate the literature of the Sokoto leaders.
This was in the formative stage. It was a deliberate action that enticed innocent people who thought Khomenei was genuine. I visited Iran in 1983 and since then I realized that their aim was not Islam but Shiite propagation and recruitment for Iranian imperialist expansionism.
All the rhetoric against the USA is only a deceitful deviance. After all Iran is now a major financier of terrorism and other high stake crimes such as drug dealings and laundering of counterfeit currency. These are not Islamic actions.
Many student activists visited Iran but ElZakzaki became the focal person. Abdulkarim Kaura Namoda met Khomenei who promised and directed that Nigerian version of Hizbollah terrorist organization should be founded under his command. This did not materialize because of his rivalry with ElZakzaki.
Gradually ElZakzaki transmuted and became a full Shiite. The Islamist political activists deserted him and his Shiism became public knowledge.
Others who went to Iran to study returned as Shiites some were trained as theologians while others in the natural sciences.
Shiites were recruited from the rural areas and from the urban vulnerable. They established their cells in many states of Northern Nigeria. The Shiite Republic of Iran and its clients supported Shiite groups across the country. They established schools in many parts of Northern Nigeria. They commenced the recruitment drive.
The first targets were Islamists in educational institutions where they recruited as much as they could. The next targets were followers of Sufi brotherhoods (Darikas).
The reason for targeting them was political as most of them were against Saudi religious propaganda. This was the soft point of people like Abduljabar and some of them were eventually converted.
Meanwhile Ibrahim ElZakzaki became the de-facto leader of Shiites in Nigeria even though some who were trained in Iran resisted because of his intellectual deficiency. They even claimed that they are apolitical and that they have nothing to do with ElZakzaky’s confrontation with the State.
The incapacitation of ElZakzaki has created a vacuum up for the grabs. Abduljabar is about to fill that vacuum. He has requested Iran to support him. This is a clear manifestation of his agenda. He uses misrepresentation of Islam propagated by orientalists, out right lies and virulent narratives to entice the many ignorant and unemployed youths.
This was the same strategy used by Maitatsine earlier and ElZakzaki, who subsequently eliminated Abdulkarim Kaura, the Zamfara prince who eventually became a psychiatric case.
Abduljabar’s agenda is to recruit as many gullible people into Shiism as possible. This could be achieved through the mass media by exploiting the intellectual and material weaknesses of the society and the secularist contradictions of the Nigerian State.
He falsely claims, through his postures that he wants to purge Islam of adulteration according to him as a result of the lies fabricated against the Prophet (SAW), which have remained in the books of Ahl Sunna. He claims that all the Ahl Sunnah are misguided and by extension Shaykh Nasiru Kabara his father who lived as a scholar of the Ahl Sunna doctrine and never challenged the books of Hadith, Fiqh or even the Ash’ari School of Theology.
All these according to the claims of Abduljabar must be discarded. And he has nothing to offer apart from disjointed quotations since he is not even grounded in Fiqh.
Sometimes when it suits him, he condemns the great Muslim Jurists who espoused the rules of Fiqh. His aim is to confuse the listeners and eventually recruit them into deviant Shiite doctrine since most of them are ignorant.
Abduljabar is not a scholar but a propagandist so he assumes everyone is ignorant. There is nothing original or scholarly in his ranting.
Every student not even scholar knows that Christianity, Islam, Shiism have their epistemology. They have the rules upon which they establish their beliefs. So if anyone wants to reform any practices of any people that claim to be adherents of these faiths he must follow the established rules.
For example when Martin Luther decided to reform the Church he did not challenge Trinity or the fundamental practices approved by the early Church.
Those engaged in polemics against Christianity can bring so many phrases that contradict each other in the Bible. Such polemics can even prove that the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD was a later contrivance presided by unbaptized Christian and it made Trinity the Final Doctrine of Christianity.
But no Christian will ever accept this as a reason to discard Trinity or even shake his faith in it. This is because Christ said to Simon the fisherman: “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16: 18).
According to Christian teaching the Holy Spirit guided the institution of the Church after Christ and it has final authority on Faith hence it promulgated all the important creeds especially that of Chalcedon in AD 451.
It was the Church not Christ that decided what should even be in the Bible. Thus “St. Paul in writing letters to the congregations of disciples in Rome and other centers had no idea that he was helping to construct a New Testament” of the Bible (Wilfred Cantwell Smith The Meaning and End of Religion Fortress Press Minneapolis 1991 p. 94). In this respect Shiism is closer to Christianity than Islam because it was created after the Prophet (SAW).
In Islam not Shiism, there is no clergy or Church as in the case of Christianity. There are certain principles outlined which all scholars know and they use them to discern any issue hence it is possible reach consensus without any meeting.
This was how every issue was resolved since the time of the companions. As it is clear now on the blasphemy of Abduljabar, when he equated himself with the Prophet (SAW) in widely circulated video.
Shiism, on the other hand is different as it was invented after the Prophet (SAW) because of politics. Everything revolves around their Imams who are infallible and they came after our beloved Prophet (SAW). Anything that does not elevate them must be interpreted to have that meaning.
Some Shiites do not even pray the Juma’a because the Imam of the time is hidden until Khomenei elevated his own status to that of Velayat-e Faqih, a new concept in Shiism, which he introduced to assume the role of the representative of the Imam and he directed them to pray.
His authority to his followers is similar to that of the Pope hence he made decrees in absence of the Imam who is the supreme Shiite authority.
So the positions of Ahl Sunnah on the Qur’an and Hadith are different from those of the Shiites but Abduljabar will never say this. Because his aim is to use his fraud to hoodwink the ignorant and disconnect them from the Sunnah and then introduce them to his Shiite false doctrine that was invented after the Prophet (SAW).
The Qur’an is the Word of Allah and is recited by Muslims as revealed, to our beloved Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). Qur’an is unadulterated and has remained as revealed ever since and it shall forever remain because the Muslims have the Qur’an in their memory. Not all Shiites believe this. This is because of their hatred for Sayyiduna Usman and the fact that their false doctrines cannot stand if they accept the Finality and Divinity of the Qur’an (Word of ALLAH).
Anyone who doubts the authenticity of the Qur’an is not a Muslim. Some Shiites, who did not reach the level of kufr (unbelief) do not out rightly reject the Qur’an but misinterpret its meanings whenever it does not satisfy their desires.
But this is more difficult for them to openly declare hence the only strategy is to attack the Hadith literature and generate confusion in the minds of the ignorant and the gullible. If Abduljabar succeeds in this adventure he will begin to openly attack the Qur’an.
Sunnah is the sum total of the “divinely guided” life style of the Prophet (SAW) as transmitted through an impeccable chain of narrators in authentic Hadith. It includes all his statements and actions “as well as the statements and actions of others done in his presence which did not meet his disapproval. Hadith is the record of actions and sayings of the Prophet (SAW).”
Hadith, is also the record of sayings and actions of his companions done in his presence” (Philips, A. A. B. 1995 The Evolution of Fiqh: Islamic Law and the Madh-habs Riyadh p. 29), which he approved. Hadith therefore is the record of the Sunnah.
Scholars of Ahl Sunnah have categorized Hadiths and the majority of the Muslims accept these categorizations. There are scholarly disagreements on Hadiths and also critiques of all Hadith collections. Analyses were done before using them for any Shari’ah rulings, which are accepted based on the principles outlined over one thousand years ago.
One of the most important differences between Ahl Sunnah and deviant Shiites is in the principles accepted for authentication, rejection of Hadith and using them to make legal judgments.
Yet Shiites with evil intention such as Abduljabar quote Hadith authenticated or rejected by Ahl Sunnah, make additions, misinterpret them and even translate the Arabic wrongly where possible since it is all about polemics not principles of knowledge.
This is because they have no Hadith collections to use in authenticating their heretic interpretations or engage in polemics but only have the fabricated sayings of their Imams and fabricated or misinterpreted Hadiths of the Ahl Sunnah.
The Shiites are able to engage in these evil actions because the Ahl Sunnah revere all the companions and most of the Shiite Imams therefore it is easy to find traditions in the collections of Ahl Sunnah that are attributed to these pious leaders.
It is a similar case with Christians it is an article of Faith of Ahl Sunnah to believe in the Prophets mentioned in the Bible even though Christians do not believe in our beloved Prophet SAW.
So why is Abduljabar different? He claims that he wants to purge Islam of contradictions according to him people are leaving the Faith because of such contradictions. Therefore he has appointed himself as a reformer, committed to refining all the corpus of knowledge of the Ahl Sunnah.
This is deliberate to deceive the gullible. In his rhetoric he does not adhere to any principles. And he is not able to outline his own new principles since he does not even have the capacity to do that.
For example Al-Sayid Sabiq decided to write Fiqh Sunnah because he was not satisfied with the principles of the Schools of Islamic Law (Madhahib) and Shaykh Nasirudeen Albani wrote Sifat Salat Nabi because he was not satisfied with the description of many scholars.
Abduljabar on the other hand is only interested in creating confusion not even the critique of the Hadith collections. He claimed that he studied Bukhari with his father Shaykh Nasir Kabara but was that how he taught him?
Abduljabar is totally disrespectful to our beloved Prophet SAW because he does not adhere to the principles outlined in Ash-Shifa of Qadi that has been in Kano and continuously used for over 500 years.
His father Shaykh Nasiru Kabara was very proud of Ash-Shifa and lived by its teachings. Based on the rulings in Ash-Shifa part four the chapter on ‘The Legal Judgment As Regards the One Who Characterizes Oneself with the Prophets’ Qualities”, Abduljabar should be indicted and punished for committing this blasphemy.
Some people are claiming that Abduljabar should be allowed to continue with his heresy because Nigeria is a democracy. But every democracy has certain values.
For example nobody dares to deny that there was Holocaust or even criticize Jews or the Lesbians and Gays (LGBT) in the Western countries. This support to LGBT is unchristian but it is strong in the West.
This is because “the Europe once coterminous with Christendom is now post-Christian and neo-pagan” (Roberts J. M. 1996 A History of Europe Oxford p.583) hence they elevated their desires above God’s prohibitions.
Muslims can never accept elevating man above Allah’s Law. Therefore in Kano, according to the position of Ahl Sunnah it is a crime to denigrate the Prophet (SAW) his family and companions. Those who oppose this position are either Shiites who want to damage the reputation of the Sunnah or ignorant people.
Some of the Shiites, including the terrorist organization IMN and their sympathizers are angry that all Ahl Sunnah are united against Abduljabar so they invoke polemics against Ibn Taimiyah and Saudi-Iran rhetoric to seek support.
The IMN Shiite agents of Iranian imperialism in their naivety think they can gain the sympathy of the Tijaniyya followers they mentioned in their release. They will never because the Prophet (SAW) is too important to Ahl Sunnah.
But to these Iranian imperialist agents their politics is more important than the integrity of the Prophet (SAW) because politics invented theology in Shiism. They use the Prophet (SAW) only for political gain as Khomenei did.
They claim that Abduljabar has denied his insults against the Prophet (SAW), that this reason why he should be tried before a competent court, not to be exonerated by terrorists like, the IMN. All Ahl Sunnah are united including those they mentioned in their press statement this is the position of the truth because our beloved Prophet (SAW), his family and companions are more important than any sect or affiliation.
Is there any need to engage Abduljabar in a debate? All the issues concerning critique of Hadith have been discussed and understood by Ahl Sunna for over 1200 years culminating in the magisterial work of Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani (1372-1449).
Abduljabar’s positions are very clear. He is Shiite. So there is no need to debate with him. The only thing that needs to be done is for him to face trial for blasphemy nothing more. If he is found guilty he should be punished according to the Shari’a Penal Law of Kano State.
There is need for decisive action against him. This is not an infringement on his religious freedom. There is difference between religious freedom and criminality.
He can be Shiite or an atheist but if denigrates our beloved Prophet SAW he is a criminal as far as the Law of this land is concerned. He should not be allowed to use public platform to propagate Shiism using out of context quotations and outright lies.
The Americans stopped Trump’s hate propaganda in the social media so those who look up to the West for guidance even there, they have red line. The red line in Muslim societies is the integrity of our beloved Prophet SAW. There is no place for that blasphemy in Kano State the choice was made over 1000 years ago just as one cannot go to Iran and propagate anti-Shiism of any kind.
The strategy of Abduljabar is to use rabble-rousing, creating confusion and finally offering Shiism to his audience. Most of his listeners are unaware that Shiism was invented after the Prophet (SAW) because of politics.
Their politics created a new theology for them based on the supremacy of their Imams and belief in them is an article of faith in Shiism.
Therefore the Iranian imperialist agenda is to confuse innocent people through this propaganda of people like Abduljabar who misinterpret, wrongly translate Hadiths and interpolate with outright lies.
Through this, they hope to recruit as many as possible and a gain foothold for imperialist Iran in the largest concentration of African Muslims. This must be stopped.
Kurawa is a public commentator in Kano.
President Tinubu: Stunts of the Salesman
By Abdulaziz Abdulaziz
It was pin drop silence. All heads turned to his side of the hall listening as the man gently, but firmly, made a case for his country to this crème de la crème of the Saudi Arabian economic bureaucracy and business community. He grabbed attention with an off the cuff speech that exuded confidence, authority, assurance and truthfulness. It was a little wonder his audience followed through and nodded all through!
The setting was the Saudi-Nigeria Business Summit and the speaker was President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. It was a forum held on the sidelines of the recent Saudi-Africa Summit held in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia.
President Tinubu went into the meeting hall at the JW Marriot Hotel in upscale Riyadh as the President of Nigeria. By the time he picked the microphone he quickly wore the garb of a chief salesman for a product he is excited to market.
It was an effortless exercise in sophisticated arts of marketing and advocacy. It was a presentation from the heart that was as unpretentious as it was unscripted. He spurned out the facts and the figures, reeled out the justifications and tickled the boardroom chiefs where it mattered without appearing weak or pitiable. It was a classic case of economic diplomacy and salesmanship at the highest level.
Since the beginning of his campaign for office, one of the most frequent words on his lips has been “prosperity”. President Tinubu is a prosperous man. His life is tinged with footsteps of prosperity, from the corporate world where he was a successful businessman to the prosperous political career that was capped with his election to the highest office in the land.
It had not always been rosy for him. He had told his story again and again to motivate the younger generation and inspire the country. He had toiled to reach the top. He knew the pains of want and starvation, and the sweetness that comes with economic liberation and prosperity. It is the latter that President Tinubu is desperately working to see that all Nigerians have tested.
He had the lifelong ambition to lead his fatherland. He has fulfilled this ambition. He could, if he chooses, stay back and enjoy the pecks that come with it and pass the time in office. But because the ambition was not a vain one, President Tinubu is up and doing. “I campaigned for it. I begged for the job. I even danced to get elected. There is no excuse!” That is his mindset and the philosophy of leadership for him, and it is for this mindset that he is willing to go to any length to ensure that he bequeath to Nigerians a prosperous country that everyone desires.
It was in his quest for this objective that the President chose to use his time in Riyadh to address the country’s top boardroom chiefs. It turned out to be not just another meeting or a boring address from just another President. It was dazzling interaction that stole the minds of almost everyone in the room, by their own admission.
“We came with high expectations but you have exceeded them,” said the Saudi minister of investment, Khalid Al Falih, who moderated the three-hour session, after the rousing applause that greeted President Tinubu’s address to the Saudi business community. The minister had in his welcome address spoke about how they had followed President Tinubu’s campaign promises and how he started off with the “boldest economic reform agenda in decades” for Nigeria, likening it to happenings in Saudi Arabia.
Mohammed Abunayyan, Chairman of Saudi’s ACWA Power confessed to being “inspired and motivated” by the President promising to see how his company can make foray into Nigeria. In the same vein, Abdulrahman Alfaqiq, the CEO of Saudi oil trading company, SABIC, promised to upscale their business relationship with Nigeria due to the assurances he got from the top. They were just a few of the many who spoke in glowing terms about the President and in optimistic sense of the new business environment being created by President Tinubu for domestic and international investors.
This was not the first time and certainly not the last. In September, the President’s participation at the G20 Summit in New Delhi, India, was a potpourri of achievements. He maximally used the time to network with the right people and seek out investments for Nigeria.
It was, in every sense, a bumper harvest for the country as the President came back with a basket full of goodies amounting to billions of dollars in investment pledges. Most of the commitments are in areas dear to the heart of the President and at centre of our quest for development. These include the $3 billion promised by Jindal Steels for iron ore processing to aid Nigeria’s drive for industrialization, Skippersells’ plan to invest $1.6 billion in the power sector by building 2000MW power plants across the country in 4 years, Indorama’s pledge for $8 billion expansion of their petrochemical facilities in Rivers State, a billion
dollars secured by the Defence Industry Corporation Of Nigeria (DICON),
The President’s last trip to Germany for the G20 Compact with Africa Summit also garnered as much fruits with the signing of the $500 million gas and renewable energy pact with the German government, among others.
As a young man, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu was trained as an accountant. He was a very good student, his records show, who finished from the Chigaco State University with flying colours. In the aftermath, he pursued strings of career opportunities in Accounting and Auditing. He left his job on his own volition and ventured into politics. But in his new job President Tinubu is demonstrating that beyond his training in Accountancy, as omo iyaloja he has imbibed not a few skills from his revered mother and notable businesswoman to apply in his bid to market Nigeria to investors and the larger international community.
Abdulaziz is Senior Special Assistant to the President on Print Media. He’s on X @AbdulFagge
MTN Scholarships: Transforming Lives of Nigerian Students
In the corridors of Bayero University, Kano, two exceptional students from the Department of Chemical Engineering, Abdussalam Ojoshobo Adejo and Obeyemi Adebiyi, are shining examples of the transformative power of the MTN Scholarships.
Initiated by the MTN Foundation, these scholarships, have become a beacon of hope and opportunity for Bling students and those pursuing Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) courses across Nigerian universities, polytechnic and colleges of education.
MTN set up the Foundation in 2004, and commenced operation in 2005, with the goal to provides platforms and opportunities for their scholars to connect to their aspirations and realise their potential from which the nation will benefit.
MTN made it a point of duty to have youth development as a pillar for the Foundation, and one of the ways to express the commitment is through scholarship.
The Foundation Executive Secretary, Odunayo Sanya said “Till date we have given about 12,700 scholarships, expended the sum of N3 billion for indigent students who are science-based in the last ten years.”
Telling the success story, Abdussalam Adejo, currently in his fourth year of study, hails from Kogi State. His journey with the MTN scholarship began as a dream nurtured during his secondary school days.
Witnessing a senior student receive the prestigious scholarship at the Federal University Minna, Niger State, fueled Abdussalam’s determination to strive for academic excellence and secure the coveted award.
After completing his second year at the university, Abdussalam navigated the rigorous application process, ensuring he met the required Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) threshold of 3.5.
The competition, as he describes it, is fierce, with an estimated three thousand or more applicants annually from various institutions nationwide.
“Despite the competitiveness, I was lucky to be among the less than five hundred selected applicants,” Abdussalam adds.
Abdussalam’s dedication paid off, earning him a spot among the select few who received the scholarship in 2022.
“The offer comes with a payment of two hundred thousand Naira every semester from the year of award till your final year, and for you to renew that scholarship, it’s not an automatic payment; you have to maintain a certain CGPA of 3.5 above for the subsequent levels,” says Abdussalam.
Additionally, MTN sponsors specific courses, offering opportunities for students to enhance their skill sets without financial constraints.
“Some of those courses that we have taken open my eyes. I participated in an Internet of Things, I also took a course on cybersecurity, I took a course on soft skills development.
Basically, it has really contributed positively to my life, and I am happy to say that there has been a lot of improvement after the scholarship,” Abdussalam emphasizes.
Reflecting on the impact of the scholarship, Abdussalam attests to its life-changing nature. Financial burdens were alleviated, allowing him to focus on his academic pursuits and excel in his studies.
The scholarship served as a catalyst for personal growth, eliminating the need to seek financial support from his parents.
“Once you remove financial challenges from students, fifty percent of his problem has been taken care of,” Abdussalam states.
“It has been 80 to 90 percent motivation to my life both in academic and career growth,” he concludes.
He extends a heartfelt thank you to MTN for bringing smiles to the lives of students through the foundation’s commitment to education.
“I am happy to say that there has been a lot of improvement after the scholarship. I am grateful to MTN for putting smiles on the faces of students through the scholarship from MTN foundation.”
Obeyemi Adebiyi, another beneficiary from the Department of Chemical Engineering at Bayero University, shares a similar sentiment.
Originating from Osun State and residing in Jigawa, Obeyemi echoes the narrative of how the MTN scholarship has profoundly influenced his life.
“Actually, having the scholarship and been expose to the opportunities that has come with the scholarship, because for you to even renew your scholarship there is skills you need to obtain which you need to submit result of that skill, may be you take programming course you need to submit the certificate like at least two, which is part of the requirement.” Obeyemi stated.
“Now gaskiya, I am energise after the scholarship, I feel like sky is my limit, because I don’t have that monetary worry that will limit some of the I can do, it has been a life changing experience after the scholarship, I am super charge.” He emphasizes.
The MTN Foundation Scholarships continue to serve as catalysts for academic excellence, breaking barriers and fostering a brighter future for BLIND and STEM students in Nigeria.
Tinubu and Ganduje Shouldn’t Play with Fire in Kano
By Farooq A. Kperogi
In a predictable, premeditated, and carefully choreographed judicial charade, the Court of Appeal on Friday upheld the verdict of the Kano State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal that reversed the electoral triumph of NNPP’s Governor Abba Yusuf of Kano State. I sincerely hope this assault on justice isn’t the spark that ignites an inferno in Kano—and in the country.
The signs had been evident since early October that a predetermination had been made that irrespective of the facts, the flawed, preplanned judgment of the election petition tribunal must be preserved at all costs.
For example, on October 6, the Head of the Legal Department of INEC in Kano State by the name of Suleiman Alkali wrote a curious letter stating that INEC, which had declared NNP’s Yusuf as the validly elected winner of the governorship election in Kano, was no longer interested in defending its declaration.
“I have been instructed by the commission headquarters that INEC as an umpire has no reason to appeal any judgment,” he wrote. “Consequently, the National Commission in charge of Legal Services and National Commissioner in charge of Kano zone directed that the appeal be withdrawn and all processes for all appeals should be forwarded to the Kano Office.”
In response to the jolt and outrage that the letter generated, Sam Olumekun, INEC’s National Commissioner and chairman of its Information and Voter Education Committee, said Alkali wasn’t authorized to write the letter, pointing out that the letter had “since been withdrawn and the officer reprimanded.” We weren’t told the nature of the “reprimand” because it was a lie.
That was exactly what played out when INEC acted in cahoots with Ahmed Lawan to steal APC’s Bashir Machina’s Yobe North Senatorial District primary win, which the Supreme Court affirmed in a shameless show of what I called judicial banditry.
(Retired Justice Musa Dattijo Muhammed quoted his colleague’s quotation of my abrasive censure of the Supreme Court in his parting shots at his colleagues even though he and his colleague didn’t give me credit— and slightly misquoted me. I said in a February 6 article titled “Lawan and Supreme Court of Shameless Judicial Bandits” that “Nigeria’s Supreme Court is, without a doubt, a rotten gaggle of useless, purchasable judicial bandits. The highest bidder gets their judgement.” Dattijo used “voter” where I used “rotten.”)
Anyway, on September 5, 2022, an INEC lawyer by the name of Onyechi Ikpeazu, SAN, had filed an affidavit at the Federal High Court to discredit the result of its own election that had declared Machina as the winner of the Yobe North APC senatorial primary election.
In the aftermath of the shock and fury that attended this, Festus Okoye, at the time INEC’s National Commissioner and chairman of its Information and Voter Education Committee Festus, repudiated Ikpeazu’s affidavit and said, “the Commission will review its quality assurance protocols, including the preview by appropriate ranking Officials of all processes filed on its behalf to ascertain their correctness in all material particulars with all reports and all information at its disposal before their presentation so that a situation like this is not repeated.”
Well, that situation was repeated in Kano in October this year, almost exactly a year later. It seems to be a well-practiced pattern. INEC first flies a kite, sees how high it flies, then crashes it. But the whole point is to prepare the minds of the public for what is being hatched so as to minimize its shock value when it finally materializes.
If the outcome of the Ahmed Lawan and Bashir Machina case is any guide, it means INEC is deeply complicit in Ganduje’s chicanery and plot to steal Yusuf’s governorship. It might also mean that the “judicial bandits” I talked about at the Supreme Court are waiting in the wings to feast on another stolen electoral dinner. I hope I am wrong.
The second indication that this appeal court judgment was a well-rehearsed theater came when the appeal court completed its deliberations on November 6 but deferred its judgment until November 17 and then requested that security be heightened in Kano in anticipation of the publicizing of its judgement. Only people in a dry run for the abortion of justice ask for anticipatory protection from their potential victims.
As I pointed out in my September 23, 2023, column titled “Why the Kano Verdict Can’t Stand,” it is apparent that former Kano State governor and current APC national chairman Abdullahi Ganduje has resolved to damn all consequences and use the federal might at his disposal to wrest the power that his party and his flunkey lost to Rabiu Kwankwaso and his son-in-law in the governorship election.
“APC appears intent to get back through judicial manipulation what it lost through the ballot box,” I wrote. “It’s a higher-order, more sophisticated, and less primitive version of the broad-day electoral heist they perpetrated in 2019 after former Governor Abdullahi ‘Gandollar’ Ganduje lost to the same Abba Yusuf.”
In a defiant disregard for potentially untoward consequences, Ganduje—of course, with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s blessing—has decided to pull all strings to snatch judicial victory from the jaws of electoral defeat.
As I will show shortly, both the election tribunal and the appeal court are not even pretending to be fair in their judgments. They have already been handed a verdict and mandated to fish for evidence to justify it. The verdict, of course, is that NNPP’s Abba Yusuf must go and must be replaced by APC’s Nasiru Gawuna.
In rhetorical studies, we call that finalism, that is, a conclusion in search of evidence. Psychologists call it “motivated reasoning,” that is, tendentious interpretation intentionally designed to produce a predetermined outcome. Philosophers call that armchair hermeneutics, that is, reasoning that ignores the evidence.
The Daily Trust reported Justice Moore A. Adumein as predicating the nullification of Yusuf’s victory on the fact of his not being a member of the NNPP when he was nominated by the party. “As rightfully found, Yusuf Abba was not a member of the NNPP at the time he was purportedly sponsored by his party and he was not qualified to contest the March Governorship Election,” Justice Adumein reportedly said.
Yet, in quashing the election of APC’s House of Representatives member Musa Iliyasu Kwankwaso and reinstating NNPP’s Yusuf Umar Datti as the validly elected member to represent Kano’s Kura/Madobi/Garun Malam Federal Constituency seat, the same appeal court said two weeks ago that “the issue of membership of a political party is an internal affair, which no court has jurisdiction on,” according to the LEADERSHIP newspaper.
I had thought that this was settled law. As I wrote in a previous column, “A May 26 Supreme Court ruling also says rival parties have no right to question the validity of the internal decisions made by other parties unless they can prove that they suffered demonstrable harm as a result of the internal decisions another party took. So, the Kano governorship election tribunal’s verdict on this issue will be as dead as a dodo upon appeal.”
The question now is, why is NNPP’s Yusuf being held to a different standard? I get that Kwankwaso and Yusuf didn’t handle their victory well. Instead of being happy, their victory roused destructive vengeance and mean-spiritedness in them. But that’s no reason to steal their legitimately earned victory.
I am certain that NNPP will take this case to the Supreme Court. If the Supreme Court is guided by its precedents, which is never guaranteed, I have no doubt that it will invalidate the judgements of the lower courts.
But this is clearly not a legal issue. It’s a battle for political supremacy in Kano between Ganduje and Kwankwaso in which Ganduje is deploying the courts as cudgels to fustigate Kwankwaso.
My advice for President Tinubu is to be very watchful because this is really treacherous territory. Righteous anger over obvious injustice—on top of ongoing existential torment in the country—can spark violence whose consequence we can’t predict.
Farooq A. Kperogi is a Professor of journalism and emerging media at Kennesaw State University, U.S.A
This article was first published on his Facebook page.
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Gov. Yusuf flag-off settlement of death benefits, gratutity to Kano pensioners
World AIDS Day: 46,732 persons living with HIV in Kano – official
President Tinubu: Stunts of the Salesman
Dangote bags Second NECA’s Lifetime Achievement Award
Why Kano Tribunal judgement cannot stand
A Day to remember for CP Gumel
A Deep Dive into Kano State 2023 Education Sector: Observations and Call to Action
Kano announces visiting day for boarding schools
Tinubu and Ganduje Shouldn’t Play with Fire in Kano
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