Sheikh Nuru Khalid has finally been relived of his duties as the Chief Imam of Apo Legislative Quarters Juma’at Mosque in Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja.
The cleric was suspended on Saturday after he criticised the Nigerian government for failing to tackle insecurity and protect citizens. Khalid, had during his sermon last week Friday, condemned recent attacks and killing of innocent Nigerians by terrorists, particularly the bombing of the Abuja-Kaduna train.
Senator Saidu Muhammed Dansadau, Chairman of the committee, accused the Sheik of inciting public outrage. But public affairs experts have since condemned the suspension, describing its as a clear move to stifle citizens right to express themselves and hold government accountable.
But, in a letter dated April 4, 2022, the mosque committee told Imam Khalid that he had been relived of his duties at the mosque.
“We regret to inform you that from today the 4th day of April 2023 you have been disengaged from the services of the above-mentioned mosque. This action is occasioned by the non-remorseful attitude you exhibited following your suspension on 2nd April this year.”
“Akamakallah, you know better than me by the teaching of Islam, the essence of administering punishment is to correct behavior. Unfortunately, your media reaction to the suspension creates the impression that you are not remorseful, NOT to talk of humbly reflecting on the consequences of your utterances. Leadership demands a great sense of responsibility. If our words do more harm than good to larger interest of the country or the public. We have a responsibility to maximum restraint for the good of public. It is obvious however , that you don’t seem keen to modify your Friday sermon to be reflective of the votality of security situation in the country.
“You are an influencer; your words carry a lot of weights, you words can make or mar our situation. Your words can be taken advantage of by mischief makers, those responsible for these security challenges or enemies of the country for their devilish agendas. As leaders of the mosque we have a sacred responsibility to avoid utterances that are capable of making a bad situation worse. This is our fear and concern.”