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HomeNewsAbuja Imam suspended for anti-govt sermon, PDP fumes

Abuja Imam suspended for anti-govt sermon, PDP fumes

The Chief Imam of Apo legislative quarters Juma’at mosque, Abuja, Alhaji Nuru Khalid, has been suspended after stating in his sermon last Friday that the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), had failed.

The opposition Peoples Democratic Party, however, criticised the move, insisting that the suspension was evidence that the Buhari regime was as repressive as that of Benito Mussolini in fascist Italy of the 1940s.

According to BBC Hausa, Khalid’s suspension was announced in a statement by Saidu Dansadau who is the chairman of the mosque committee.

Khalid had, in his sermon, lambasted the government for its inability to effectively tackle the country’s security situation.

He had also called on the electorate not to vote for any politician who cannot guarantee the safety of lives and properties.

In the statement confirming Khalid’s suspension, the mosque committee said the sanction was due to his call for Muslims not to vote unless questions had been answered.

The committee also described the cleric’s stand as “un-Islamic”.

 “I would like to inform you that you have been suspended from the Imamship of the Parliamentary Mosque in Apo Abuja area from today April 2, 2022 until further notice,” the statement reads.

“This step was taken because of the provocative Friday sermon on April 1, 2022 where you advised people not to vote in 2023 until the politicians answer some questions.”

But the National Publicity Secretary of the opposition PDP, Debo Ologunagba, described the suspension as uncalled for and repressive.

He said it was obvious that Nigeria had returned to the days of Decree 4 when it was a crime to make any public speech criticising or embarrassing the government.

“This is reminiscent of Buhari’s Decree 4 which states that even when you publish the truth, it remains a crime if it embarrasses a public official. That is how journalists were also arrested in 1984.

“This is an assault on the freedom of speech which is a constitutionally guaranteed right. We will respond more comprehensively on Monday. But this is nothing but fascism and we caution the government to stop this,” he said.

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