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Abduljabbar Vs Kano Scholars, State Organized Dialogue: Right Step In The Right Direction


By Abdulmumin Giwa 

It is my personal opinion that the decision by the Kano state governor Abdullahi Ganduje to organize a debate between Sheikh Abduljabbar Nasiru Kabara and a merger of the scholars of the two major Muslim sects in the state, Izala and Tarika, as a brave stance. 

It is brave because it enhances the state government's level of civility and regards to the principles of conflict resolution while it gives it a just and fair image in the eyes of the public.

Initially I disagreed with the position taken by the government when it danced to the tune of the merger of scholars and identified itself with it where it clamped down on Sheikh Abduljabbar, taking actions that clearly infringed on his fundamental human rights. 

Earlier, I unequivocally called on the Kano government to change its stance where I sighted a single example that necessitated that. I am please that it has heeded to such call.

Now that the state government has adopted the democratic ethic of allowing every person to exercise his rights as embedded within the Constitution of the federation, I would like the government to also ensure that the accused person, Sheikh Abduljabbar, be allowed to point at those he wishes to debate with based on their accusations against him, which they have done in public, those who have publicly accused him of insulting the prophet and his companions and even pulled the government to their side.

The government must also insist, as a condition of the debate, that everyone participates in person as no representative should be allowed. All scholars involved must therefore attend in person. 

More so, the government should also not introduce restrictions in the process of the debate in order to avoid presenting itself in a negative form or be accused of being biased and unfair. 

Sheikh Abduljabbar is the one being accused of insulting the personality of the Prophet of Islam and his companions by the merger of scholars, they should therefore read out such accusations and ask him to defend them, with all of them making reference to the generally accepted books.

As earlier mentioned, the principles of peace broking have placed dialogue in the fore to ensure the resolution of conflicts. This should have been the first step taken by the government, but better late than never. Therefore the dialogue should not be restricted, all issues should be brought to fore and discussed to logical conclusion.  

Should the merger of scholars refuse to debate in person with the embattled Sheikh Abduljabbar, the government must then allow him to continue with his activities as usual and consider any further attack on his person by the merger of scholars as a breech of peace in the state punishable by the powers of the state executive. 

Finally, the sitting arrangement of the debate should be formal. The coordinators should be seated facing the audience, while the scholars will be seated on the right and the left of the coordinators facing each other. A podium should be set in the middle facing the audience and the television and radio stations. 

Indeed, the action taken by the state government is the right step in the right direction and should be hailed as just and fair. This is a major tool of achieving peace and tranquility in not only Kano state but Nigeria in general.

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