The Apo Legislative Quarters Juma’at mosque in Abuja has suspended its Chief Imam, Sheikh Nura Khalid, for criticising the government over the deteriorating security situation in Nigeria in his Friday sermon.
The renowned cleric, during his sermon, criticised the Buhari administration for failing to address the security crisis and the high number of killings in Nigeria.
In the sermon, Sheikh Khalid outlined the steps the masses should take if the government allows them to continue being killed, by refusing to go to the polls.
According to him, “The position of the Nigerian masses is only one: Stop killing us and we’ll go to the polls; let us continue to be killed and we will refuse to go to the polls, since you have nothing that is your priority now but elections”.
In a message sent to the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Hausa service, the chairman of the Mosque Committee, Senator Sa’idu Muhammed Dansadau, said they suspended the cleric because of his provocative sermon, which was organised by the committee.
The statement read: “This is to inform you that you have been suspended from the leadership of the Legislative Quarters Juma’at mosque in Apo, Abuja, from today, 2/4/22 until further notice.
“This step was taken because of the provocative Friday sermon on 1/4/22, whereby you advised people not to vote in 2023 until the politicians answer some questions instead of advising the faithful to go to the polls to eliminate those who oppose God, the electorate, and the country”, adding that Sheikh Khalid’s sermon was anti-Islamic.
In the statement, the committee said it has appointed new clerics for the mosque, saying Malam Mohammad will henceforth officiate during sermons, while Malam Abdullahi will lead the Juma’ah prayers on Fridays.
There was no immediate response from Sheikh Nuru Khalid regarding the committee’s decision to suspend him, and efforts to contact the teacher did not yield any positive result as his phone was switched off.
Sheikh Nuru Khalid has repeatedly criticised the government for the deteriorating security situation in the country, and his sermon comes in the wake of an attack by gunmen on an Abuja-Kaduna-bound train on Monday, in which the number of people killed and those abducted is still unknown.
In his sermon, he quoted someone who said that “security has become a business in Nigeria, the blood of the poor has become a campaign tool in this country, and as elections draw near, the spate of killings increase”.
“We have been impatient for a long time – our roads are bad but we have been patient; cost of living has skyrocketed, but we remained patient, we are patient; looting of our monies have continued, we still remained patient; however, to even let us live our lives now is becoming impossible possible!”
According to him, all that is now left for the ordinary Nigerians is to abstain from voting until the killings stop.
Recall that last year, the cleric trended on social media after a video of his sermon criticising President Muhammadu Buhari went viral.