The Chief Imam of Apo Legislative Quarters Juma’at mosque, Abuja, Sheikh Muhammad Khalid, has again lamented the spate of insecurity in Nigeria.
The Muslim cleric said President Muhammadu Buhari administration has been telling lies to Nigerians that there is an improvement in the area of security since it assumed office in 2015.
Sheikh Khalid appeared in a viral video recently, where he heavily criticized the Buhari-led government.
The popular cleric had told President Buhari and the All Progressive Congress, APC to return the country to how it was in 2015.
According to him, terrorism and all sought of criminal activities have gained more wings under the incumbent government than the previous administration.
Speaking in a recent interview with Solomon Odeniyi, a reporter with The Punch, Sheikh Khalid said he stands by his words that the president is not doing well in all areas as claimed by his supporters.
The cleric when was asked if he is not afraid of speaking against the government, said no.
Sheikh Khalid said he is in the right direction and hence there’s no need for fear. According to him, his religion charges him to be just and that he must do.
“If I said things like this during the (Goodluck) Jonathan administration and I don’t want to say it now because I share the same religion and ethic inclination with the President, then I am a hypocrite,” the cleric said.
He added: “My take is that we are all Nigerians and we deserve to live in peace. I believe a lot of things must be done in this country and must be done very fast.
I have been to Rwanda and saw what happened there. In Nigeria, we are actually playing with fire. The killings in the country are taking the shape of genocide and that is why people are dying on a daily basis.
More people are being killed in this government than the previous administration. Make your research and juxtapose it with the number of people that were killed during the last administration.”
Sheikh Khalid Insists that Buhari government has been telling lies about being victorious in the area of insecurity.
He said: “Where is the improvement when our children can no longer go to school in some parts of the country and some states are under the control of bandits? In the North-East, especially, a serving governor’s convoy was attacked.
Then (during the Jonathan era), it was only a few states that were under the control of Boko Haram. Now, tell me, how many states are safe in the country? Even his (Buhari’s) state Katsina is not being spared.
Kankara Local Government Area is in his state; in Zamfara State, there are about five local governments that have become no-go areas. There are some places you can’t go without an escort in Borno State. Other regions are also contending with one form of insecurity or the other. If it is not bandits, then unknown gunmen are wreaking havoc.
Insecurity is worse under him (Buhari), let us tell him the truth. If he cannot improve, let him take us back to how it was in 2015.
Comparing numbers of schools attacked and school children abducted under ex-President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s regime to this present government, Sheikh Khalid said he can no longer pray for Buhari.
He said the only prayer he can offer for the President is for him to take action, not for him to neglect his responsibilities.
The cleric spoke further saying; “Look at how we shouted when the Chibok girls were abducted.
How many have we witnessed under Buhari and we are not telling him to bring back our schoolchildren and put an end to this scourge? Can you tell somebody in Kaduna, Zamfara and others that there is an improvement? A lawmaker in Katsina State said for the fear of being attacked he cannot go to his constituency; and he is not the only one.
Many of these people have no peace of mind and you call that an improvement? Yes, some people will disagree with me because they have two passports, they have where to run to if things completely get out of hand; they are not being sincere.”
Responding to the questions of being afraid or not that the government may come after him, Khalid said: “I have been asked this question several times and I have been telling people that I am not afraid. Am I doing something wrong? I have not attacked any personality on the basis of his character or behaviour.
I am only speaking out my mind because I want the country to be safe for all. In that preaching that went viral, I prayed for him (Buhari) that if he wants to fulfill his promises, may almighty God help him. Why is nobody talking about this? Although, I also said if he does not want to fulfill his promises, may almighty God deal with him.
If he comes after me, that is an affirmation from him that he does not want to make good his promises to Nigerians. I want the almighty to use me to show Nigerians whether he wants to fulfill his promises or not. If anything should happen to me, then it is a confirmation that the President, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), does not want to keep his promises.
When asked to affirm his statement which suggested the president is being Ill-advised. The cleric said; “Yes, of course. Let me use the issue of agriculture in the country as an example. They have made him believe that all is well with the sector, whereas the prices of food in the market are skyrocketing.
The situation is telling us that the money devoted to agriculture is going somewhere else. He is receiving stories that there is bumper harvest and that Nigerians can feed with N30. The same thing is happening with our security; he is being misguided, or else how can bandits overpower the government?
There have been hypocrites in every administration, including his; he needs to checkmate this and not come after me for saying things must be in order.
Odeniyi puzzled Sheikh Khalid that as a Cleric, Isn’t he supposed to be praying for the President instead of criticising him?
Khalid in response said: “The truth is that we can’t substitute actions for prayers. But pray for him to do what? I can only pray for him to take action, not for him to neglect his responsibilities.
Prayer does not work that way and that was why I said if he wants to fulfill his promises, God should help him. Besides, we have been praying for him before now, what is the result?”