Sheikh Nuru Khalid, the Chief Imam of Apo Legislative Quarters Mosque, has chastised President Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) for allowing criminals to govern a region of Nigeria.
While addressing congregants during his Friday sermon, the cleric criticized the president for his failure to combat banditry in the country in a viral video.
The Imam vowed that if Buhari does not return Nigeria “unified and free of bandits,” Allah (God) will punish him.
The North-West and central states of Nigeria have seen an increase in violence by heavily armed bandits who raid villages, steal cattle, and kidnap large groups of people.
Years of tensions and tit-for-tat raids between farmers and nomadic herders over grazing area and water resources are at the base of the violence.
However, since the emergence of criminal groups under Buhari’s rule, bandit attacks have become more common. The majority of them are based in huge forests in the Nigerian states of Kaduna, Katsina, Niger, and Zamfara.
“Go and inform the president that under his regime, some people are issuing threats to local communities, demanding that they pay a certain amount of money or face attack,” the Imam, who spoke in Hausa, was quoted as saying.
“And they’d collect the money and announce on the BBC that they (the bandits) would be paid this Friday [in order to avoid attack].”
“Tell the president that there is a country to which we owe loyalty and a section of that country that we don’t know about, which is ruled by bandits.
“Either the president should return the country to a state where bandits aren’t killing people in the first place — as he did when he assumed power — or Allah (God) will deal with him.
“This is the message,” says the narrator. This is something I’m saying in a public venue that’s being live-streamed for everybody to see. I accept responsibility for my statements and am prepared to face whatever consequences come as a result of promoting Nigerian peace and togetherness.
“Mr. President, we don’t want to hear about people being killed under your watch. We don’t want to hear about our soldiers’ cowardice, such that they are attacked at their base.
“In a video, you said that Nigerian military have the patriotism, training, and discipline to combat all forms of criminality in the country. You stated that if elected, you will provide them with the necessary help to combat insurgency in a timely manner.
“A promise made is a promise kept, Your Excellency. If you don’t have any counselors to remind you of this, we’ll do it for you. If you are truly willing, we are praying to God to assist you in fulfilling this promise.”