At an official function earlier this year, His Excellency Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State sworn by the Holy Quran that he was not aiding banditry and challenged everyone to do the same.
At the height of misunderstanding between the Zamfara State House of Assembly and two (2) of its members who were later suspended, the members sworn by the Quran that they were not aiding banditry, the video clips went viral on social media.
At the inauguration of his cabinet members few days ago, the governor subjected his Commissions to swear by the Holy Quran that they were not aiding banditry.
I am personally in support of the government in taking any measure within the spirit of the law to stop the bloodshed in Zamfara State. My concern is the incessant swearing by the Holy Quran by politicians in Zamfara State at the slightest provocation. The practice is getting out of hand. It is a show of disrespect to Allah SWT and abuse of the oath. Holy Quran is too sacred to be toyed with.
People of Zamfara State are more interested in peace than the oath. A serious government, rather than the indiscriminate application of the oath, will deploy the necessary investigative mechanisms to fish out the bandits and their sponsors. Zamfara is a sharia state. Under sharia legal system, there are principles guiding oath.
The most dangerous aspect is that they made almost general denial in the oath, giving the impression that they do not have any business with the bandits. This is too suicidal. For any top- ranked person, within the government and security circle, to claim that he has no relationship with the bandits, is to say the least, playing with our sensibilities.
How did the government dialogued with the bandits? Who were the intermediaries between the government and the bandits at the dialogue? How did the government secured the release of the captives from the bandits? There are more questions than answers on this.I am not suspecting anybody. I am simply giving a word of caution, more particularly to our leaders and to remind them that Holy Quran is too sacred to be politicized.
If this ugly practice is not addressed, a lot of people will be forced to take the oath to save their appointments and names. In doing so, they are subjected to unnecessary danger.
On the two suspended members of the House, having taken the oath, there is no point to subject them to any investigation. That will amount to double jeopardy.
If the government truly believes in the oath, the members should be absolved of any criminal liability and allow them to resume their duties without any hindrence.
I am appealing to our Ulamas, elders and concerned citizens of Zamfara State, to call our leaders to order, to stop the abuse of the Holy Quran, before we find ourselves in a more serious disaster than we are experiencing today.Wa’iyazu Bil Lah.
Galadi is a former Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association, Gusau Branch (covering Zamfara State) and President of Bello Galadi Foundation.