Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, on Sunday declared that there would be a debate between Sheikh Abduljabar Nasir Kabara, an Islamic cleric who was banned from preaching for alleged incitement, and other scholars who challenged him.
Kabara, whose mode of Islamic teachings is considered incendiary by some scholars, came under scrutiny because of his interpretation of some prophetic sayings adjudged as controversial.
His opponents accused him of questioning the authenticity of those prophetic sayings and even denouncing some companions of the prophet. In reaction, the state government debarred him and shut down all his seminaries, backing it up with a court order.
But fierce criticisms trailed the government’s decision, which prompted the governor to invite Kabara. It was gathered Kabara told Ganduje he never preached outside the Islamic books which had been written for over 400 years ago.
The cleric said those against him are the ones who have deviated from the real Islam. He pleaded with the governor to organise a debate between him and the scholars challenging his preaching, it was learnt.
After a meeting between Ganduje and Islamic clerics from all Muslim sects on the need to allow for dialogue between Kabara and other scholars, the governor accepted that the debate should hold in two weeks’ time.
Prominent scholars from all sects, Commissioner for Religious Affairs Muhammad Tahar Adam, Chief of Staff to the Governor Ali Haruna Makoda and former gubernatorial candidate Malam Saluhu Sagir Takai attended the meeting.
The Nation gathered that armed personnel who had taken over the cleric’s home and mosque have been withdrawn.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary (CPS) Abba Anwar, Ganduje said the state government will provide the venue, security and other requirements for the debate.
The statement reads: “After a meeting with the governor, resolutions were made and the governor accepted a dialogue among the parties, as a response to Sheikh Abduljabar Nasir Kabara’s call for justice.
“It was agreed that all sects of Muslim would be represented at the meeting. Some prominent scholars would also be invited from outside Kano State to witness the debate.
“Governor Ganduje also accepted that the dialogue would be aired live on all radio stations, local and foreign.
“All the Muslim sects involved have been given two weeks to prepare their points of the argument for the purpose of engaging Sheikh Abduljabar Nasir Kabara, in the much-awaited debate.”
The governor urged the people to remain calm and peaceful while awaiting the dialogue.