6 April 2022
Corpses don’t vote: #BringBackOurGirls backs Sheikh Nuru Khalid
Our movement read with consternation, the suspension of the Chief Imam of the Apo Legislators’ Quarters Central Mosque, Abuja, Sheikh Nuru Khalid. Abuja. Sheikh Khalid is a long-standing friend of our ChibokGirls, their parents and our movement and has on numerous occassions paired with Cardinal Onaiyekan to amplify the call for the rescue of the abducted children.
He has over the years honoured our invitations and delivered lectures, led prayers, participated in street marches, repeatedly lent his voice to the cause of our Chibok girls, Leah Sharibu, insecurity and terrorism in the country, girl-child education, endangered education, the sanctity of human life, the primacy of citizenship, etc.
The egregious episode of his suspension followed his sermon on Friday 1 April, wherein he drew a connection between prayer and action highlighting the failure of governance that has led to recurring injury and kidnap of scores of citizens.
The respected Sheikh further condemned the disdain of citizens by the political class which only mines the people’s electoral value during elections.
Typically Sheikh Khalid spoke with the candor — a trademark for which he is generally known.
In his words citizens should give a message to Nigerian politicians by saying: ‘Let us be killed; we will not come out to vote since it is only elections you people know.’ According to media reports, the Steering Committee of Apo Legislative Quarters mosque characterised his message as ‘inciting’ and not according to ‘Islamic tenets.’ The Committee added that the Sheikh failed to ‘show remorse’ and on 4 April relieved him of his duty.
As a Movement that has championed the importance and role of the #OfficeOfTheCitizen in our democracy, we absolutely and unequivocally endorse the message of Sheikh Khalid. The substance of his message is undoubtedly validated by the recent terrorist attack on the Abuja–Kaduna train in which scores of people were killed, many wounded and others kidnapped.
The appropriateness of his message is unassailable in the light of the usual detached and nonchalant attitude of President Muhammadu Buhari to massive tragedies that befall our citizens.
What could be more chilling that the fact that 9 days after the Abuja–Kaduna train attack that killed up 60 persons, with 163 passengers and 7 crew members missing, the President has still not publicly acknowledged the tragedy.
Sheikh Nuru Khalid is the latest victim of a reprobate political class insistent on muzzling the voices of reason and conscience.
As a Movement founded on the values of integrity, empathy, equity, sacrifice, etc we identify and laud this Truth-Teller whom we have come to know for many years.
Truth telling comes at a price and persecution. We are inspired that Sheikh is one of the many truth teller.
We are confident that history will be extremely kind to Sheikh Nuru Khalid for staying consistent on the matters that concern citizens. We celebrate the Sheikh and stand with him, as always.
For and on behalf of #BringBackOurGirls