KANO State government has banned an Islamic cleric Sheikh Abduljabar Nasir-Kabara from practising as an imam after finding him guilty of inciteful preaching that could lead to a breach of the peace.
Over recent years, religious spats have been very common across Nigeria with extremists inciting their followers to violence. Of late, the situation has become more explosive as a result of Muslim Fulani herdsmen whose cattle have been destroying farmlands across the mainly Christian Middle belt and southern Nigeria.
Several states have already outlawed open grazing and over the last week, Fulani herdsmen have asked to leave communities where they have been engaged in criminals activities like kidnapping, rape, murder and banditry. This has led to fears that there may be retaliatory expulsions across northern Nigeria, leading to tit-for-tat ethnic cleansing.
To forestall this and prevent the situation spiralling out of control, the Kano State government has banned Sheikh Nasir-Kabara from preaching. Muhammad Garba, the Kano State information commissioner, said that the government considered the cleric’s mode of teachings as incendiary.
Mr Garba also announced the immediate closure of all schools run by the cleric, pending investigations by security agencies. He said that the measure was one of the resolutions taken by the state executive council at its meeting on Wednesday.
“The council directed all broadcast stations and social media platforms to stop airing preaching, sermons and any other religious discussions likely to cause a breach of the peace of the state,” he added. According to the commissioner, security agencies had been directed to ensure full compliance and take decisive action against erring persons or groups found flouting the order.