22 July 2018

Nigeria: Govt Keeps Us Out of Reorientation of Boko Haram Suspects - Islamic Scholars

The Supreme Council for Shari'ah in Nigeria on Sunday lamented that the federal government was excluding Islamic scholars (Ulamas) from the process of deradicalising captured suspected Boko Haram members.

The council said the ulamas and Islamic organisations are the major stakeholders that should lead the process‎.

It said since the insurgents are claiming to be Muslims, the best people to tackle their ideology are Islamic scholars.

The Assistant Secretary of the Council, Auwal Abdulsalam, spoke with journalists in Kaduna on behalf of the council shortly after a meeting on Deradicalisation Agenda of Boko Haram Extremists in Nigeria.

The meeting was organised by the council in partnership with ‎ King Abdullah Bin Abdul'aziz International Centre for Inter-religion and Inter-cultural Dialogue.

Mr Auwal said the meeting's aim was to find a way for the scholars to be involved in the deradicalisation process of the federal government.

"We believe the only way to end this problem of insurgency is to include the ulamas in the deradicalisation process," he said.

According to him, Muslims are the most hit since the Boko Haram crisis began 10 years ‎ago, in terns of property and lives lost.

He explained that the council's aim was to ensure the federal government succeeds in the deradicalisation process.

"The ulamas and Islamic organisations have been completely excluded mainly in deradicalising prisoners of Boko Haram that defected from the group and in all the process.

"We felt that the ulamas and the Islamic organisations are the major stakeholders because the Boko Haram are claiming to be Muslims.

"They are claiming to use the scriptures from Islamic faith to unleash their terror. So I think the right people that can change the narrative, that can counter their Ideology are the real Islamic ulamas and Islamic organisations.

"But we realised that these major stakeholders are completely excluded from the process," he said.

The secretary said the council was not aware whether at the local level some scholars were contacted.

"Which is why our council which is an umbrella organisation of all mainstream Islamic organisations in the country and looking at the composition of the meeting you can see that they are ulamas from all over the country.

‎He, however said the council was satisfied with the current fight against the insurgency by the federal government.

"This particular administration succeeded in degrading the insurgents and it is true that the number of the attacks has drastically reduced.

"So in other words, I will say yes, progress has been made but a lot have to be done. This is because just last week there have been lot of attacks on the federal troops and few bombings here and there so we think a lot needs to be done."

‎He further urged Muslims to practise Islam as it should be practised so that God can get the country out of this crisis.


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