By MUHAMMAD IBRAHIM
The Ulama Forum has held a special discussion on security situation in northern Nigeria. This was as a result of the current deterioration of the security situation, especially in the North-East, North-West and parts of North-Central of Nigeria.
Ulama Forum is a collaborative forum consisting of Muslim Scholars, expert medical personnel, academics, researchers and other professionals along with leaders of Muslim organisations. The objectives of the Forum include communication and collaboration between Ulama, discussions with experts, close monitoring of issues happening in our society and extensive research to unravel Shari’ah rulings for the purpose of offering proper advice to all segments of the society on religious and social issues in the country.
The forum released a communique of an online discussions on security situation in northern Nigeria organised by Ulama Forum via zoom and whatsApp held between shawwal 23 – Zul Qa’dah 2, 1441H (June 15 – 24, 2020).
It could be recalled that the Forum published a Communique on SHARI’AH POSITION ON COVID-19 which was released on May 29, 2020 and shared widely, and published in three National Dailies.
“The Ulama Forum condemns in no uncertain terms, all forms of banditry, criminality and atrocities committed by any groups or individuals under any guise and calls upon them to, as a matter of urgency, repent, drop their arms and submit to the rule of law.
“The Ulama Forum held series of discussions via ZOOM, with a view to exploring ways and means of supporting and strengthening the efforts of the authorities towards overcoming the problem and finding lasting peace in the region and the country in general.
The discussions focused on the situation of people in the areas affected by these insurgent and criminal activities and the various efforts by previous and current governments to remedy the situation. Participants took notice of the successes recorded and challenges faced in confronting various forms of insurgency and criminality in these regions.
“The discussions continued via WhatsApp groups. A draft of this communique was developed and validated via ZOOM on Wednesday, ZUL QA’DAH 2, 1441H (JUNE 24, 2020).
The participants observed several issues, arrived at key resolutions and recommendations to security agencies, Ulama, community leaders, and the general public.
“Incessant killings, sexual violence and wanton destruction of properties have forced a large number of the residents of these areas to flee their homes, live in constant fear and uncertainty, leading to collapse of economic and educational activities, and an astronomical increase in the number of orphans and widows.
The forum added that the “Government has made a lot of efforts to overcome all forms of insurgency and criminality in the North and the country in general. But, despite that, the efforts have failed to provide adequate security to overcome the challenges especially in the North-East and North-Western parts of the country.
This, coupled with the lack of adequate information from relevant authorities and the apparent absence of positive community engagement on the issue, made the residents of these areas and the people of the North in general, dissatisfied with the efforts.
“Ignorance, drug and substance abuse by the youth, lack of basic social amenities, abject poverty, unrealistic ambitions, and collapse of Alternative Dispute Resolution mechanisms at various levels are among the major factors leading to the degeneration of the security situation in the North.
“The number of people killed, abducted or kidnapped, married women and young ladies raped or molested/defiled, children orphaned and communities displaced since the beginning of the security crises in the North is frightening and growing exponentially.”
The participants in the meeting resolved that “security is amongst the issues that leaders must give utmost priority to, especially because people need an atmosphere of security, peace and tranquility more than they need health, food and drink. Peace and tranquility are the backbone of survival and progress of any society.
The participants, in order to contribute towards overcoming the security challenges and mitigating its impact on our society, recommended advice to people in authority at all levels, advice to security agencies, advice to the communities and advice to the Ulama.
Some of the participants are Prof. Mansur Ibrahim Sokoto Sokoto, Dr. Bashir Aliyu Umar Kano, Dr. Abubakar Muhammad Sani B/Kudu Jigawa, Dr. Khalid Abubakar Aliyu Kaduna, Prof. Salisu Shehu Bauchi, Prof. Ahmad Bello Dogarawa Kaduna, Dr. Muhammad Alhaji Abubakar Borno, Barr. Ibrahim Muhammad Attahir Gombe, Dr. Abubakar Saidu Gombe, Engr. Ahmad Jumba Bauchi, Dr. Ibrahim Jalo Jalingo Taraba, Hajiya Rahma Musa Sani Nasarawa amongst others.
“The Ulama Forum has reiterated that the need to go back to Allah in humility and repentance, shunning all forms of sins and vices, performing abundant Istighfar, Salat-alan-Nabiy and constant recitation of the Quran.
Furthermore, the Forum prays to Allah SWT to bring an end to these security challenges, give our leaders the ability to take appropriate measures that will solve the current problems and prevent their recurrence in the future.