Vanguard (Lagos)

Nigeria: Only Spiritual Leaders Can Make Peace to Reign - Sheikh Adangba

interview

SHEIKH Abdulraman Sulaiman Adangba is the National Missioner of an Islamic society known as Al Fatih - Ul - Quareeb Islamic Society of Nigeria. In this interview, he described the Islamic sect known as Boko Haram, currently terrorizing innocent Nigerians in the North as non-Muslims and believes that President Goodluck Jonathan should rather have stayed back to sort things out instead of the jamboree to Brazil. Excerpts....

What is your reaction to the current crisis in Kaduna?

It is very pathetic and disgusting seeing things like these happen in Nigeria at a time that we need a good growth. It is something that is unwanted and it is totally condemned especially when it is attached to Islam and the Muslim of which I am one of them; because the Islamic divine constitution which we use is a unified one and it never changes. It is the same from here to Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, Bahrain to America amongst others; it is still the same thing. It is very bad. It warns us not to kill because if you kill a soul unjustifiably it is like you kill all mankind. So, how can someone come up and say he is fighting for Islam or God who you did not see and kill people created by the same God. It is really very bad and unrealistic.

What then is your advice to leadership of Boko Haram?

Let me tell you something, the Boko Haramists are not Muslims. The people perpetrating these atrocities on the platform of Islam understand that there is volatility in religion. When you bring two religions together and you allow commotion between them and they start fighting that is the end of it. They want to institute a forum where there will be pandemonium, fear, destruction in the land and that is what they are looking for. Although, an Islamic Sect called Boko Haram existed since 1990 and its members were into Islamic propagation without causing problem with anybody.

But when it got to point when the politicians started using them, we found that they have gone beyond the limit that an ordinary Islamic sect goes; and that is the transgression limit. You done go beyond the transgression limit, where somebody abuses or does something bad to you, you are not expected to retaliate. If one fights you or attempts to kill you, then you can defend yourselves, but who is fighting them now? NOBODY!

When Yusuf was caught in 2009, the footage was shown on Al Jazeera of how he was brutally killed. He was shot and shattered with gun shot. He was naked before he was killed. He was caught in the afternoon, made a statement towards evening and before morning he has been killed. Can you see the level of injustice? And nobody is talking in this country; even the government.

Number two; former President Obasanjo went to visit his in-law to solicit for him but the person he went to visit to solicit for peaceful co-existence, was killed within 24 hours in cold blood. When we watched the footage, we could see that he was tied to a running car on one side and another car on the other side and the cars started moving and he was torn to pieces. You could imagine that inhuman treatment to a fellow human being; just because they are going to get some facts from him and everybody would know the root causes of what is happening in that part of the country. And they have not stopped ever since till now.

A lot of security reports have been given and more so the reports that are in green-white-green-yellow paper and because the Muslims will not talk. I am sorry to say it you Press people will play down on things because they don't have any other place to work. What we are saying here; is that if we say the truth, it is not only those that are affected alone that will suffer; all of us will suffer it. Something that is happening in the North must be relayed accordingly; the Kano riot claimed numbers of the Muslim clerics.

Before now in the Maiduguri axis where the whole thing started, a lot of Muslim clerics have been killed; no paper carried it the way it is. Some central mosques were being attacked; people were killed while praying. Out of 17, only two were reported. Why doing that? There should be fair reporting. Let people know so that we don't instigate ourselves against ourselves. Who wants to die?

These people will carry their children and run out of the country. When they come back, their children who are trained abroad, will come and be our rulers. Their children study outside the country because they have all the money. We don't have. They have the money and everything to rule but we don't have anything. We suffer to eat, we suffer to drink, we suffer to power our houses with electricity, to have good roads. Even while we are sleeping, they bomb our house. A time will come, if nothing is done, that they will bomb our house while we are sitting and you will not be able to do anything.

The Boko Haram, we don't know but the government knows them, because the president has told us that they are in his cabinet. The government knows them because they are in the army, military and everywhere all of them surrounding the governance of Nigeria, why not fish them out? Something must be wrong somewhere and somebody is putting a square peg in a round hole.

It is only the spiritual leaders in this country that can make peace to reign and do you know why because we are close to the grassroots and everybody will listen to us even when we are lying. The Muslim and Christian leaders should come together for what I call RNC. Do you know what I mean by that? It is different from SNC--Sovereign National Conference. Before a sovereign national conference can succeed there has to a Religious National Conference (RNC) which is totally different from National Sovereign Conference.

The government has failed us. Look at the star Boko Haram in the petroleum sector. Another Boko Haram is in the financial sector. The subsidy debate is going to die a natural death now. If there is a RNC, where all religious leaders should come out and shout that our government has failed us; when you have decided to kill us because you are in a position, what are we talking about. When we come out of RNC, we will have almost 100 per cent of the people following us.

Do you really believe that government is handicapped over this issue?

I will not believe that and I will never believe that. Government is not handicapped. If some people are not above the law in this country as he had been telling us, which is a lie, then some people should have been brought to book. Why the dilly dallying? Why the stage play? There have been petitions. There have been probe panels. Where is the action? Some people are behind it; no matter how hard they are and government said they are in the cabinet, military, air force, police, SSS who are they? Are you telling me government is handicapped? That is a multi-million question. If we ask who they are there are no answers.

Why do you think the government cannot act?

In Nigeria nobody goes into government to make sacrifice, everybody is going in to make money. While making money and you want to say the truth people will threaten to expose you and you will shut up. The bottom line is that the government of Nigeria is totally corrupt. And from all indications it is showing glaringly that government is not ready to tackle corruption in its entirely, but to cover corruption our faces and allow corruption to take place.

Let me explain this when government made the fuel subsidy propaganda January this year, after investigation we found out that N5.3 trillion was taken by a clique of people and government spends N1.3 trillion yearly for subsidy and that means these people take subsidy three times without doing anything.

And the government takes the money and return it back to the subsidy and reverse the fuel price to N67 per litre. They will tell us they get the money but we don't know where the money goes to. We don't know, they don't return the money. They will pack the money which they may not even spend. We hears some stories that some high ranking ministers in Nigeria are buying houses in Geneva for over $30 million and Germany and nobody is talking about it. You want to tell me that such ministers cannot be asked questions?

Why the nation is on fire our president is in Brazil for Earth summit....

I saw in the papers where he said it was a schedule visit. Where is the schedule? You should have put your house in order before you consider any foreign trip. If your house is burning and you go to the market, it would have burnt by the time you return. I believe that the Brazil trip is a market and we are going there to sell our wares but because we don't even have wares to display there I think the trip is unwarranted; if your house is on fire.

You are going the Brazil at a time when your development index rating is said to be taking a nose dive. Again, we are going for an earth summit with 116 persons accompanying the president. They are going to take a whole plane. I do know what we are going to do with that large entourage. Are we going for a Commonwealth Games or are these people all going to be talking there. How are we going to feel when we touch down at the Rio de Janeiro Airport. I think he is on a very hot seat and he needs to be on ground to sort things out instead of this trip.

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