The Supreme Council for Shari’ah in Nigeria (SCSN), has described the decision of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), to withdraw its invitation to Kaduna State governor, Nasir El-Rufai, as one of the speakers in the forthcoming conference as irresponsible.
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The withdrawal of the invitation to the governor, which has generated reactions from groups and individuals, followed a petition signed by over 3,000 lawyers, who accused the governor of human rights abuses and inability to stop killings in Southern Kaduna.
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The Shari’ah Council, in a statement by its Secretary-General, Nafi’u Baba-Ahmed, stated that the decision of the NBA was beclouded by religious and political sentiments.
The Islamic body stated that “the NBA has clearly taken sides in the Southern Kaduna crisis contrary to it’s members training and what it loudly preaches without listening to the narrative from the other side”.
“The decision taken by the NBA to disinvite Malam Nasiru El-Rufai, the Executive Governor of Kaduna State as one of the speakers at its virtual annual conference is to be charitable, regrettable and irresponsible of an institution of which I had hitherto been a proud member for over 40 years,” it said.
“This unfortunate development has cast a terrible smelly smear on the NBA which, until recently, was controversially regarded as representing the best ideals of justice, equity and the good conscience of the society.
“We want to believe that the decision taken is not representative of all its right-thinking members for clearly, it has already taken sides in the Southern Kaduna crisis, contrary to it’s members training and what it loudly preaches without listening to the narrative from the other side.
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“Clearly, lowly narrow political and religious sentiments have beclouded the judgement of the leadership of the NBA forgetting the most basic principle of their training and that its members cut across all sides of the divide.”
Baba-Ahmed expressed pain over the decision by the Jigawa State branch of the NBA to boycott the conference, adding that “we also believe it is not totally unjustified in the circumstance.”