By Francis Sardauna
The Katsina State Governor, Aminu Bello Masari, has admonished Islamic clerics and traditional rulers to shun inflammatory utterances capable of disrupting his administration’s readiness to end banditry and kidnapping orchestrated by those he termed illiterates.
He opined that an atmosphere of bitterness and rancour, caused by inflammatory comments cannot foster the kind of development which citizens of the state are yearning for.
Masari, who spoke on Tuesday during a two-day training for Juma’at Imams organised by the Katsina State chapter of the Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI), said if the clergies can centre their sermons on peace as enshrined in the glorious Qur’an, rivalry, violence and drug abuse among citizenry will be averted in the country.
He said: “The biggest problem is that those who have the religion don’t even know it and all the forests that we have in the state are occupied by them and they call themselves Muslims.
“And most of the Imams are the ones entering these remote villages to perform wedding and naming ceremonies for them. Therefore, Imams and traditional rulers did not do what is expected of them
“Surprisingly, most of the Imams don’t even know what they are preaching during Friday sermons. They don’t deliver message where is expected of them, if they are taking messages to where is suppose to, the problem of drug and other substances abuse wouldn’t have been rampant in this country.”
On his part, the Emir of Katsina, Dr. Abdulmumini Kabir Usman, challenged the religious leaders to avoid tendentious and partisanship sermons in order to ensure harmonious co-existence in the state.
According to the traditional ruler, lack of unity and religious tolerance are the bane of banditry, kidnapping and insurgency bedevilling the northern part of the country.
Speaking earlier, the National Secretary of JNI, Sheikh Khalid Abubakar Aliyu, called on Islamic clerics in the country to avoid indivisible comments during their sermons, saying unity and peaceful co-existence should remain their cardinal principles.