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Opinion

Please, Stop The Confrontation, Dialogue Instead!

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By Imam Murtadha Gusau

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy.

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all creation—may He extol the Messenger in the highest company of Angels and send His peace and blessings upon him—likewise upon his family, Companions, and true followers.

Dear brothers and sisters! Please what do you know about the words “Confrontation” and “Dialogue”? Confrontation is a situation in which there is anger between people or groups who disagree because they have different opinions. And a “Dialogue” can be briefly define as a written composition in which two or more characters are represented as conversing; or a conversation between two or more persons; or an exchange of ideas and opinions; or a discussion between representatives of parties to a conflict that is aimed at resolution.

Respected brothers and sisters! In today’s article, we shall have a look at how we, as Muslims, should act between ourselves and towards people of other faiths and what our relationship with them should be. We will see that the Qur’an teaches us to accept and respect diversity. Accordingly, as faithful Muslims we should be concerned to engage in dialogue. By “engaging in dialogue” I mean making an effort to get to know people of other faiths and cultures and to interact, speak and work with them in a respectful and friendly manner.

We are reminded in the Qur’an that Allah Almighty has created us in different nations and groups on purpose. Allah Almighty says:

“O mankind! We have created you from a single (pair) of male and female, and made you into nations and tribes, so that you may know one another (not so that you may despise each other). Surely the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is the one best in piety, righteousness, and reverence for Allah. Verily, Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware.” [Qur’an, 49:13]

From the above verse we can see that Allah the Almighty with infinite wisdom has created different nations and groups with a purpose for them to learn and know about each other. It is us humans who create disorder and divide different nations and communities with our ideologies and our perception of right or wrong. However, to us Muslims, it should be clear that plurality was intended and that a difference of belief, opinion or race is not and must not be a destructive divider of people.

Nowadays people are divided even on the most trivial of things; therefore we need dialogue between these people to help them unite around values that bind them together rather than concentrating on their differences.

It is we human beings who insist on people having the same views and the same opinions; it is not the will of Allah Almighty. It is stated in the Qur’an that:

“If your Lord had so willed (and withheld from humankind free will), He would have made all humankind one single community (with the same faith, world view, and life-pattern), But (having free choice) they never cease to differ.” [Qur’an, 11: 118]

We should, therefore, reflect on and understand this verse in order to apply it in our everyday life.

We all have free will, and Allah Almighty has allowed us to choose our own paths and to make our own decisions.

These might be right or wrong, and we as Muslims have an obligation to try and help our fellow humans and try to explain things to them. However, we should not interfere in their lives nor think ourselves better than others.

Allah Almighty has created us with differences, with different beliefs and opinions; we should live out our faith to the best of our ability in piety but not force others to do the same. Faith comes from Allah Almighty and Him alone. Another verse in the Qur’an says:

“If your Lord had so willed, He could have made mankind one People: but they will not cease to differ. Except those on whom your Lord bestowed His Mercy: and for this did He create them.” [Qur’an, 11:118-119]

Another verse expresses the same idea that:

“For every one of you did We appoint a law and a way, and if Allah had pleased He would have made you (all) a single people, but that He might try you in what He gave you, therefore strive with one another to hasten to virtuous deeds.” [Qur’an, 5:48]

People belong to different social and ethnic groups, and this should not be used as a means to establish a sense of superiority over one another. Superiority can be measured not according to Allah-given characteristics such as race, colour, tribe, region, language or descent, but only according to the values that people gain through their own will, which the Noble Qur’an terms “at-Taqwah (fear and respect of Allah).” The Prophet (Peace be upon him) clearly underlines this fact in his Hadith:

“O people! Remember that your Lord is one, your father is one. An Arab is not superior over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab is superior over an Arab; also a white is not superior over a black nor a black is superior over a white except by at-Taqwah (fear and respect of Allah).” [Ahmad in Musnad]

Beloved servants of Allah! What we learn from these verses and Hadith is that Allah Almighty intended diversity and that it is not possible for everyone in the world to believe in the same religion.

Dear brothers and sisters! That is why dialogue is absolutely essential in our lives if we are to live in peace and harmony with others. We should learn to interact and work with each other as one human race, to have respect for all regardless of differences. Islam is a faith that accepts and embraces plurality. We can live out this aspect of our faith through dialogue with people of different faiths and cultures.

This Friday article was prepared and sent to you from my admission bed here in the National Hospital Abuja, Nigeria. Once again, I’m very grateful for your words of encouragements, your supports, concerns, prayers and Du’as. And please still your kind supports, Du’as and prayers for quick recovery, cure and Shifa are needed.

Thank you so much all, Wa Jazakumullah Khairan, ameen.

O Allah, guide us with those whom You have guided, grant us well-being among those You have granted well-being, be an ally to us along with those whom You are an ally to, and bless what You have bestowed upon us, and save us from the evil of what You have decreed. For verily You decree and none can decree over You. He whom You support can never be humiliated. Glory is to You, our Lord, You are Blessed and Exalted.

O Allah, we ask You for all that is good, in this world and in the Hereafter, what we know and what we do not know.

O Allah, we seek refuge with You from all evil, in this world and in the Hereafter, what we know and what we do not know.

O Allah, we ask You for the good that Your servant and Prophet has asked You for, and we seek refuge with You from the evil from which Your servant and Prophet sought refuge.

O Allah, we ask You for Paradise and for that which brings one closer to it, in word and deed, and we seek refuge in You from Hell and from that which brings one closer to it, in word and deed. And we ask You to make every decree that You decree concerning us good.

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all creation; may Allah extol the mention of our noble Prophet Muhammad in the highest company of Angels, bless him and give him peace and security―and his family, his Companions and all those who follow him correctly and sincerely until the establishment of the Hour.

Murtadha Muhammad Gusau is the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah and the late Alhaji Abdur-Rahman Okene’s Mosques, Okene, Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via: gusauimam@gmail.com or +2348038289761.

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Opinion

The Rise of Shaaban: An Unstoppable Force Taking Kano’s Political Arena By Storm

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By Daha Tijjani PhD

 

 

 

The political arena is a place where only the strongest, most resilient and most determined individuals can succeed. It is a place where only the bravest can stand, where the odds are often stacked against them and where they are constantly mocked and underestimated. But it is also a place where a true leader can rise, overcome adversity and emerge victorious, proving their doubters wrong.

(Dr) Shaaban Ibrahim Sharada is one such individual. When he first expressed his intention to run for the House of Representatives in 2019, many people laughed at him. They said he should focus on being the President’s Personal Assistant and that he was wasting his time. But Shaaban was determined. He was not one to be underestimated and proved them all wrong by winning the election.

Now, he is facing the same challenges as he gears up for another major political contest, the gubernatorial elections in 2023. The same elements who doubted him in the past are saying he should not run and should focus on being a House of Representatives member. But Shaaban is not one to be deterred. He has done his homework, is well-prepared, and is determined to prove his doubters wrong once again.

Similarly, when he joined the relatively unknown Party ADP, he was mocked too. But now the momentum and music are changing. It wouldn’t be incorrect to say that at least no voter in Kano is unaware of his candidacy. This is a feat to be celebrated, considering that this party was barely unknown in Kano State just five months ago

Shaaban is a visionary leader, unmatched in his dedication and passion for serving the people of Kano. He possesses a unique combination of local and international experiences that make him exceptionally well-equipped to lead the state towards a brighter future. With his meticulous attention to detail and unwavering commitment to excellence, Shaaban ensures that every task is completed to the highest standard. His hardworking nature and tireless effort to deliver on his mandate make him an inspiring figure.

The youth and undecided/swing voters will play a significant part in the upcoming election. So congratulations and good luck to those thinking that only their die-hard voters can make them win. The number of undecided voters greatly outweighs those. Shaaban is doing his best to win over these voters. It is evident from data from INEC that the youth constitute more than half of the voters in Nigeria, more so in Kano. For the youth, it is evident that some of the successful leaders we had in Kano and Nigeria at large were all in the same age bracket as Shaaban when they achieved what they achieved. If this antecedent is anything to go by, Shaaban can replicate their successes, given the chance.

In conclusion, the people of Kano need a determined leader who will work tirelessly to bring growth and prosperity to the state. Shaaban is the epitome of such a leader and is ready to prove his worth to the world. Any attempt to underestimate him would be at the peril of the doubters, as he is poised to give the top brass a run for their money. Don’t miss out on the chance to witness history in the making, as Shaaban, the Kano’s Game-Changer for 2023 elections takes the political arena by storm.

Daha Tijjani PhD,
Is a public commentator 

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Opinion

Naira redesign: Emefiele’s contaminated seed

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Yusuf Babangida Sulaiman

 

 

 

 

 

It is most unfortunate that pockets of protests have organically emerged across cities in Nigeria all in disagreement with the CBN’s draconian approach to the implementation of Naira Redesign and resulting Cashless Policy.

I have always thought that allowing an individual to serve 2 terms of 5 years each as Governor of Central Bank makes them a huge security risk, talk more of that someone being a leftover from the previous PDP government and a champion of numerous ill-thought policies reputed to cause difficulty.

In some parts of Nigeria today, citizens have resorted to use of CFA Francs, particularly in towns with close proximity to foreign borders. This is indeed an affront to Nigeria’s sovereignty caused by the stubborn whims of a man trapped by his own bubble of taking his pound of flesh against an honourable process that produced an honourable man to lead Nigeria. It is an assault on Nigeria’s might and stature that citizens device solutions using currencies of neighbouring countries just to improvise ways to bypass Emefiele’s watery policy. This underlines the inadequacy of preparedness and thinking that went into the policy before it was rolled out, of course because it is deliberately more emotional than implementable.

When we listen to outcries over this policy, there are numerous common positions that are expressed, ranging from lack of basic cash to undertake day to day running, to unavailability of online infrastructure to handle enormity of migrating transactions and to attitudinal lags in banking relationships.

Nigerians have had to endure transaction failures with little to no alternative means of settling bills, all because the CBN Governor has defied global best practice by insisting that the policy must rid the entire country of old Naira notes within the span of 3 months, which is possible to achieve but at the price of impoverishing people and destroying livelihoods and completely halting trade and commerce.

I will continue to insist that with every additional day that Mr Emiefele sits atop the chair as CBN Governor, the country stands a huge risk of losing its economic gains and at this point all of its gains, as citizens fail to understand how an ill-prepared policy is this intensely and quickly pushed down our throats.

There is no justification for the speed with which this policy is pursued, especially as peer review shows patterns of near exact changes in various countries with similar economic and social situation as Nigeria’s.

We are at a loss and in deep surprise as to the lack of depth and preparedness that went into the policy roll-out as all activities around easing the implementation of the policy have clearly labelled the entire exercise as an afterthought.

The staff of the CBN are posted to commercial bank branches policing the compliance with withdrawal limits of Naira alongside law enforcement agencies in a display of enormous waste of manpower.

These are the kinds of occurrences that lessen the country’s productivity and cause stunted outlook for personnel. In addition to all of this, operators of money agency services have come under severe scrutiny as their lines of business may no longer be feasible to operate under the new conditions.

We cannot play deaf to cries of the common man as well as the cries of the elite. This policy is apparently a leveller in its apportionment of inconvenience, particularly due to the short span provided for full compliance.

Governors Ganduje and El-Rufa’i have expressed their reservations as per the approach and shortage of sincerity demonstrated by the CBN, religious scholars have pleaded for a steadier and more considerate approach, traders and artisans have asked for more time as they have become cash strapped and their trade is being suffocated.

Yet the PDP and its Presidential Candidate have argued fiercely in support of such a policy out of sheer wickedness. One then wonders what informs such a position even as citizens lament, but it is not a surprise as the PDP for the first time have found a glimmer of hope in Mr Emefiele’s antics.

Finally, the Nigerian President should listen to the honest voices of those speaking boldly, as against the whispers of masked palace marauders. It is untenable that a policy of government is celebrated by no one but the opposition and driven by no one but a leftover of the opposition. In plain terms, Mr. Emefiele must not survive the fallout of this contaminated seed that he has rooted; he should pay the price of irreversible inconvenience, hardship and torture inflicted on Nigerian citizens by vacating his seat immediately.

Hon. Yusuf Babangida Sulaiman
Member, Kano State House of Assembly (2011 – Date)
Gwale Constituency

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Opinion

Naja’atu Muhammad: When the handwriting becomes clear

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Yusuf Babangida Sulaiman

 

 

 

It would take so much more than paid trips from one TV station to the other and from one campaign stage to another to undo the enigma that is Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. But for a person like Naja’atu Mohammed, once she partakes in one’s endeavour and it births success, then she snaps and builds a firebrand of emotions to try to dismantle such a story of success that she was a part of.

It happened with Malam Ibrahim Shekarau after the miraculous success of 2003, and with Buhari after the 2015 victory. This is the tendency that she has carried and a toga on which she has travelled all of the years of her diminutive politicking.

In Kano, most people take the statements of Hajiya Naja’atu with a pinch of salt as she has become the proverbial boy who cried wolf. She is reputed to say so much, with little substance, in squeaky high pitch tones and in repeated uncoordinated sequence. How she is always the sole knower of her cherry picked truths remains a mystery, because her accounts of stories are not known to ever carry credible corroboration. When a person gets indulged for so long, they being to imagine infallibility in their folly, but there comes a time when they strike the wrong sensitivity, then they feel the sting of a stark reality and get forcefully recoiled into their shell.

Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Ex-Oil Sector Finance Guru, Ex-National Lawmaker, Former Governor of Lagos State, Consummate National Politician and APC Presidential Candidate is a man whose political sagacity, depth and acumen have been applauded even by his archest opponents.

History cannot be re-written out of the bitterness of a dramatic persona like Hajiya Naja’atu, giving laughable stories claiming Asiwaju could not answer her question regarding his plans for the North. One can see how intensely she has pushed the narrative of her meeting Asiwaju in London with so much scorn as that is all she can show even after auditioning so much for prominence in the PCC. In hindsight, the PCC in its wisdom ensured that prominence would be gained through demonstrable capacity and substance, not via fabricated stories and a career-long history of emotional fire-spitting.

For every thousand members of the opposition that raise false concerns about the state of health of Asiwaju, there are few patriotic neutrals with genuine questions, and for the benefit of such nationalists, we restate the avowed mental and physical readiness of Asiwaju to mount the saddle of Nigeria and dare the odds by squarely facing the problems that bedevil the country.

The man is on the most daunting and exhausting campaign train across the country, religiously abiding by the schedule and maintaining an amazing capacity to lead private and public stakeholder engagement sessions. Once we see people like Naja’atu discussing “firmness of grasp of a tea cup” as issues that matter in a Presidential Contest, we are comforted by their exit from our midst.

As there is no room for such trivial discourse at a time when our mount of the country’s leadership saddle is imminent, and our need is of minds that are focused, intellectually enhanced, versatile and unconventional.

It is easy for a discerning mind to predict array of actions of a person, especially when their politics in renowned to be transactional. As the issues raised around Asiwaju’s health have become stale and with Nigerians growing even more uninterested in such hogwash, Hajia Naja’atu has faced the shrinking crowd with tales of Asiwaju inducing APC Governors to get the party’s Presidential ticket. As the aforementioned also evaporated quickly and with the crowd asking probing questions, she started to wander her fires to the direction of the legendary Mahmud Jega, whom she accused of recently acquiring a house in Abuja, after which I have wondered under what section of the law such a private citizen would be penalised.

It is obvious that the saliva in the mouth is drying up, the squeakiness is getting stiffer and the high-pitch of the tone lessens all because the impact of the attacks on Asiwaju’s person is not piercing the right holes. Even the opposition is sulking at the flop the expected fire brand has resulted in. Having granted Hajia Najaatu space on stage to perform the pre-auditioned opera, yet people see through the antics and recall same woman selling Buhari so covetously in 2003 & 2007, lambasting Buhari in 2011 while promoting the ACN, and in 2003 fiercely vilifying the Atiku that she today claims is messiah of the North.

The handwriting on the wall is absolutely clear that Asiwaju will work only with those capable of delivering value, enabling national cohesion and driving a unification agenda for Nigeria. Those whose politics is reputed to be about denigrating accomplished personalities and spitting ethnic bias whenever convenient will not gain desired prominence.

As indigenes of Kano, and ambassadors of an enormous heritage, only the best of us will lead us, speak for us and represent us in the march to deliver the most promising Nigeria of our lifetime, one to be led by Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the Jagaban Borgu.

Hon. Yusuf Babangida Sulaiman,
Member, Kano State House of Assembly (2011-Date)
Gwale Constituency

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