Kano won’t tolerate religious extremism – Ganduje

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Governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Ganduje, has warned that his government would not allow religious extremists to start a violent crisis in the state again.

Mr Ganduje stated this while addressing Islamic clerics at the Abacha House, Government House in Kano.

This follows the ban imposed on a popular Islamic cleric, Abduljabbar Kabara, for alleged public incitement.

The governor recalled the havoc caused by the Maitatsine crisis in Kano and spoke of how negative religious perceptions gave birth to the Boko Haram crisis in Maiduguri.

The Maitastine crisis, which occurred between 1979 and 1980, was triggered off by the activities of the followers of a Kano-based Cameroonian cleric, Muhammad Marwa.

Over 5,000 people were believed to have been killed in the crisis, including Mr Marwa and several police officers and soldiers.

“In Kano, we won’t allow the repeat of Maitatsine and we will not treat Mr Kabara’s threats with kids’ glove as was done with his accomplice in Zaria,” Mr Ganduje said in an apparent reference to Ibrahim El-zakzaky, the detained leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (Shi’ite).

The Kano government had earlier shut down Mr Kabara’s mosque and centre across the state following alleged derogatory comments the cleric made against Prophet Muhammad’s companions.

Mr Kabara is controversial for his religious commentaries and lavish spending on his mostly youth followers.

“We are appealing to you to use your pulpits to preach and caution your followers because those planning to foment trouble are living with us and the government will not fold its hands and watch things deteriorate to violence,” Mr Ganduje said to the clerics.

He said the government was determined to ensure peaceful coexistence in the state and called for the support of the people.

“This is a war and we cannot fight it alone because you are fighting someone whom many of his followers believe is doing the right thing,” he said.

The governor said it has enough evidence on Kabara’s activities and lamented that the people did not act early to stop him.

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