By Abdulrahman Yunusa
Fighting terrorism through scholarship avenue by thorough appliance of counter terrorism philosophy by the Ulamas could be the fastest way to end this gloomy scenes of terrorism in our country.
First of all, its of greater important to know that Knowledge is light, knowledge is power, knowledge is everything and above all knowledge is life. Its a fact that Man can’t move forward possibly without having a positive knowledge in this world, but holding knowledge and knowledgeable people dearly by the men of power is both curse and a blessing. It’s a curse when they misuses their psychological gift in torturing others or in assisting injustice to thrive and its blessing when knowledge accompany power to deliver well in development course of a society and act a just manner at all social realms.
Ulamas are said to be psychological players of their adherents, they have the whims and tactics to change the way their followers think or view things in a short period of time for they are respectful in the eyes of their followers. They are such an outstanding pillars upon which the roof of every religious society supported by. They further have the magic to manipulate things aptly and change narrative of every kind, so shouldn’t be used by our government in fight against terrorism if they really mean business?
Perhaps, Holding ulama of different religion and of different sects tight by the government of a given country is very paramount and it plays a vital role in the development of the society and it enormously contribute a lot in tackling insecurity situation of the society but only when they are given power to tell truth to authority without fear or favor. I said this because they are among the elites class who masses revere the most upon other elites.
Take away the idea and philosophy of pampering leaders from the religious clerics by making them independent and by equipping them with strong viable philosophy that will deter them from romancing politicians or leaders dearly. Engage them in go petty petty business that will assist them earn a living, such can help them shun power houses except if they are suffering from gluttonous disease of gathering wealth.
As Sheikh Ismaila Idris ( The founder of Izala ) once said ” Man Madda yadahu bala rijilahu ” meaning he who send his hand and collect a gift from people can’t step his leg to tell them the truth. That’s the virtual truth that every cleric should imbibe in his/her mind, stay away from those crooks, don’t seek to see them except when there is a crucial issue in the polity then they can be allowed to meet them and brief them.
By being such, it would earn them an unprecedented and unflinching respect from those men of power. But failure to act this way, failure to abscond the jury of power men by the Ulamas, it create a big loophole in the society as the capable hands of righting the wrong politely are now having dinner with the crooks. This is unbecoming practice of the people of their caliber. Its kills our society and it tarnish their image and relevance both religiously and socially.
However, even if it appears must to take part in the political journey with politicians, then i don’t view it necessary for the Ulamas to follow the men of power blindly for what they have in their possession is more worth than the power in eyes of every true wise and well discerning mind.
Thus, take the political journey of Sheikh Abubakar Gumi in the politics, he has been in the circle till the moment he met with the crusader of reputation ( Gen Buhari ). Despite Gumi being a jurist, Khadi and respected Islamic scholar he took part in the jury politics with the main motive of bringing change within such dirty realm. There was even a time when Sir Shehu Shagari hear that Gumi is seeking an appointment with him, he said he uses to feel anxious because he knows he have goofed in some areas that’s why Sheikh is at his door to remind him.
Furthermore, come to this Era of modern democracy, there is an allegation that Malam Ibrahim Khalil of Kano was once and appointee in Kano Govt under Ganduje reign but when the dollar pocketing saga took place, he then singlehandedly and silently took himself away from the government he view as corrupt. If that happens to be true, then that’s the kind of religious people we need to be associating power men not their opposite. Apart from him the sunni circle we do have some scholars of high repute that they never get compromised for worldly sake, Sheikh Ja’afar of a a blessed and Malam Albani Zaria can be included.
And for the side of Dariqa discipline, I couldn’t mention anyone because everyone knows them to be abominable of such juicy positions for they believe often ” Power corrupt the best ” so in that regards they don’t mind to be venturing themselves in the political affairs rather they choose to take a side outside the circle. That’s commendable for the people of their type, and such tradition is not something new for even Maulana Jalaludden Rumi cited in his book ” Fihi ma Fihi ” that its not good decision for Islamic scholar to be visiting power terrains. Also, even if they will actively take part in the political game I’m pretty sure the likes of Sheikh Aliyu Harazimi of Kano, Sheikh Umarul Futi can be exceptional for being sufist with extra passion in ascestism.
Then if that should be the case, change is inevitable as sociologist stated and it’s the rule of nature. Context matters when dealing with such sensitive matters, what is considered as taboo 1000 years back might be acceptable in today’s world looking at how things change fast. Some can still uphold the old teaching and some can shift and all can’t be accused but all that matters is the kind of role they would play there.
Therefore, in Nigerian contemporary political setting, clerics should be taking a part in the politics even if it would be passive because they have a role to play there. As its obvious to all that today’s political nature has turned to gutter one, then none among respectful clerics can afford to partake in such awful journey for the fact they can be maltreated at any time by the power mongers when they go contrary to the path of their bosses.
Though despite of that awkward nature of our politico-religious relationship in our political settings Sheikhs and pastors should be dedicating their precious time to partake in such dreadful journey for they have a role to play. As we can see the country is now bleeding incessantly from every angle, yet powerful religious sheikh like Reveren Mbaka, Sheikh Dahiru Usman Bauchi, Sheikh Jingir, Dr Gumi and the rest are now voicing their voice out hysterically lamenting on the state of the nation.
Meanwhile after going in such pitiable manner they also dare to speak in harsh tone to the government by accusing her in letting the issues at hand going unabated and they caution the govt that whatever wrong happen to the country the government should take responsible of it. They sound that fearless simply because they view how deteriorating the country is becoming day by day and it reaches to an extent where even politicians are lamenting upon the mess we are going through.
However, as they government seems turn dumb to their words, the Ulama being one of the most gargantuan societal pillars they have a role to play in countering violence with their system of preaching. I said this because we all know how respectful and impactful those Ualamas are in the eyes of their followers, they can use their pulpits judiciously to kill the fire of terrorism in their areas.
Let Govt use them at this critical moment to coax and cajole their followers to shun any act of violence or terrorism as how sheikh Tahir did just recently while counter attacking Dr. Gumi strategy in his attempt to tackle the ravaging issue of banditry using negotiation system in Northwest.
Government should seek their hands in to this fight for it’s now obvious govt can’t fight this fight alone. As Malala Yousouf perfectly said ” With gun you can kill terrorist while education you can kill terrorism “. She have it right being her a survivor and victim of terrorism she stand in a better position to recommend a solution to such nasty experience because she was once shot at head by Taliban terrorist group yet sustained the injury and later because an ardent international figure by advocating literacy.
We can use teachers to change the seemingly unchanging narrative at our own side.
Abdulrahman Yunusa is a Public Affairs Analyst.