Press Statement: The Ta’awunu Human Rights Initiative (THURIST) is aware of a purported suspension of the Chief Imam Apo Mosque by the Mosque committee of Apo legislative quarters Abuja following a Friday sermon by the Imam calling Nigerians not to vote in the 2023 General Election if insecurity is not defeated by the Government.
Sheikh Nuru Khalid the suspended Chief Imam of Apo Mosque Abuja was reported to have said by video evidence that “Nigerian masses should resort to only one term which is – protect our lives, we will come out to vote; let us be killed, we will not come out to vote, since it’s only elections that you people know,” a statement crystal clear to be justified from the killing spree spreading like a wild fire everywhere in Nigeria.
It is unbelievable that despite the increasing insecurity in the country and the recent Kaduna train bombing, politicians in Nigeria refuse to succumb to criticisms, waylaying free press and barricading freedom of expression.
It is important to state at this juncture however, that such politically motivated suspension in a country guided by the rule of law is totally outrageous, fallacious and fictitious as the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which is the grund norm excuses all Nigerians on expression of personal opinion, Public opinion and Free press as provided inter alia by Section 39(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended that “every person shall be entitled to freedom of expression, including freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information without interference …”.
Notably, the enactment of the Freedom of Information Act (2011) in Nigeria has enhanced the enjoyment of rights to freedom of information thereby strengthening people’s right to opinion and expression. We doubt what the mosque committee will tell a court of competent Jurisdiction to justify their suspension in the event of such.
Ta’awunu Human Rights Initiative (THURIST) condemn in the strongest term the suspension of Chief Imam Sheikh Nuru Khalid by the committee of Apo legislative quarters Abuja as such suspension smells more of impunity and abuse of power by the concerned authority.
To this effect we demand a reversal of the suspension and reinstalling the Chief Imam to his rightful position.
Barr. Sulaymon A. Tadese