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Alleged blasphemy: Group warns against arrest of Bauchi Islamic cleric, Abdulaziz

The Bauchi State government and security agencies in the state were on Monday warned against any attempt to arrest a popular Bauchi-based Islamic scholar, Imam Dr Idris Abdulaziz, over alleged blasphemy of Prophet Muhammad (SAW).

The Bauchi State chapter of Jama’atu Shababil Islam gave the warning at a press conference held at the secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Bauchi.

Led by its chairman and the secretary, Dr Salisu Isah Sa’idu and Mal. Ibrahim Muhammad, respectively, the Islamic group further warned against any move capable of plunging the state into a religious crisis.

While saying that holding grudges against opponents after winning the recent election in the state is uncalled for, the Jama’atu Shababil Islam declared that the state Governor, Senator Bala Mohammed ought to have realised the fact it is only Allah who gives power to whoever He wishes and takes sovereignty from whom He wishes as well.

“We wish to call the attention of His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Bauchi State, Sen. Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed to know that Allah, the disposer of affairs is the one who gives power to whoever he wishes and takes sovereignty from whom he wishes as contained in verse 26, of surah (Ali-Imran), and therefore holding grudges on opponents after winning re-election is uncalled for.”

”His Excellency should be informed that there is a global conspiracy against Ahlus Sunnah and the implementation has begun at national level and now in his state. We, therefore, wish to call on him not to allow himself to be part or be used as a tool for the conspirators for whatever reason,” the group said.

While asserting that Bauchi State is a Muslim state with over 75% of the population belonging to the Sunni sect, the group noted that Ahlus Sunnah clerics in the state have been doing everything possible to ensure the state remained peaceful, including putting their lives at stake.

According to the group, “His Excellency should as a matter of national security concern stop the planned arrest and intimidation of Imam Dr Idris Abdul’aziz for the continued peace that our dear state enjoys.”

It then charged the police to exercise due diligence and professionalism in handling the matter, submitting that in situations where sectarian strife exists, conflicts erupt if not handled properly and justly.

“The police should know that no secular dictates could be used to intimidate any of our scholars, invalidate any fundamental of Sunnah for whatever reason, or render inconsistent the clean ‘Tauheed’ that we hold dear. The matter should be channeled to the appropriate Islamic establishment for resolution,” it stated.

Abdulaziz was reported to the Bauchi State Shariah Commission and the State Police Command by a coalition of politicians and members of an Islamic sect, Fityanul Islam following a statement he made while giving explanations during Tafsir in the holy month of Ramadan, which was given diverse interpretations.

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