By Yusuf idris Gusau
The attention of the All Progressives Congress APC in Zamfara State has been drawn to the most unfortunate Zamfara State government circular of Restructuring of Government Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) signed by the permanent secretary cabinet affairs, Lawal Hussain and shared to the public for immediate implementation.
We read and observed that the circular is anti Shari’ah and the progress of Islamic teachings in the Shari’ah practicing state which is move ever made in the state by its chief executive as being initiated and implemented by present governor Dauda Lawal Dare which is the quiet and gradual dismantling of Islamic structure without recourse to the possible implications of the actions.
The scrapped Islamic Shari’ah component include, Qur’anic Recitation and Tajweed Agency, Sharia Research and development Commission, Public Complaint Commission, Anti Corruption Commission, Directorate for Qur’anic Schools and Islamic organisations, Islamic Preaching, Jumaat Mosques and Eid Praying Grounds Establishment Regulation Commission.
Even if the governor considers himself an Abuja boy, he should know that he is now the governor of Zamfara State where close to 100 percent of the citizens are Muslims and on which foundation the state has been able to attain stability.
It is now crystal clear that the governor is all out to sprinkle acid in all the segments of Islam in the state starting with the sacking of the Ulama Consultative Council from the government house and reallocating the secretariat to his wife who has no known constitutional role in governance.
The Ulama Consultative Council secretariat was situated at the Government House because it played key role in advising the governor as well as drawing his attention on matters of governance in the purview of Islam so that he will not falter in being fair to all and sundry. But the governor who felt he could single handedly change the law because nobody can challenge him decided to expel the council from the facility, reduce their powers by throwing the high ranking scholars who are vast in Islamic jurisprudence to the Ministry of Religious Affairs and not giving them an office or any role.
The governor needs to know that the Ulama Consultative Council (UCC) was established in order to monitor all the laws that are to be passed by the State House of Assembly to ensure that they comply with Shari`ah; to give Islamic Fatwah that will guide the Government in its activities; to prepare examinations and interviews for new intake Shari`ah Court Judges; to advise the Governor on important and complicated issues; to supervise the activities of Shari`ah implementing agencies as well as all other Government agencies in order to ensure Shari`ah compliance; to guide Pilgrims to and back from Saudi Arabia and to assist in resolving complicated disputes.
The UCC is made up of highly responsible scholars and activists from among the society as well as members of the university community, from inside and outside the state.
The UCC has always been directly under the office of the governor, with its office inside the government house.
Now Governor Dauda Lawal has removed the UCC from the governor`s office and domicile it under the ministry for religious affairs as a Parastatal. It has been booted out of Government House, with the whereabouts of its new office still uncertain.
Again Qur’anic recitation, memorization, Tajweed and other related matters that shape the people especially youths to be of good religious background has suffered in the new negative policies of the governor against Islam as the QUR`ANIC RECITATION AND TAJWEED AGENCY which was established in 1999 to improve Qur`anic memorisation and Tajweed among Youths, prepare Musabaqa, lead Tahajjud prayers in Mosques throughout the state during the month of Ramadhan and was established by law, the governor unilaterally abrogated the law without recourse to the House of Assembly and now only a department in the Ministry for Religious Affairs.
Similarly, the Shari’ah Research and Development Commission has faced the Dauda fangs where he disbanded it thereby throwing it to the winds the legal mandates of the commission backed by the state House of Assembly laws which is to among others carryout research on the position of shari’ah on important and contentious issues concerning the public and to suggest ways of developing Shari`ah implementation in the state for the good of all. It is made up of highly reputable, respected, and responsible scholars but now reduced to something only the governor can explain or name.
With these actions of the governor therefore, the likelihood of an Islamically qualified person or person’s to guide the governor or the government alright will no longer be feasible while moon sighting on the Islamic calendar, normal and acceptable prayer timings, annual coaching of intending pilgrims upto the end of the exercise, ensuring understanding and cooperation among the Muslim umma, acceptable prayer grounds among other good Islamic setting will now be absent consequent upon which vices will begin to show their ugly faces into our already fragile communities.
The scrap action didn’t consider the future of the over 20, 000 staffs of the affected Sharia Commission and their family members.
We condemn this in strong words of displeasure, and we call on the governor to immediately restore all the scrapped Sharia implementation commissions in the state
He should know that governance is about improving the welfare of the citizens not creating unnecessary hardship and not for profit maximising.
He should try to understand the difference between Public sector administration and that of Private sector before taking any expensive action of such nature.
Yusuf Idris Gusau
APC Publicity Secretary