Date: 30th Muharram, 1443 AH
8th September, 2021
The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), under the leadership of its President-General, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, CFR, mni, observes with delight the unfolding political currents in Kaduna state. The Council considers the development as a glimmer of hope for constitutional democracy and a mark of integrity on the part of the electoral and political leaderships in the state, with specific reference to the recently conducted local council elections.
Before now, only very few discerning Nigerians have an iota of respect for the state electoral process because of the prevalence of the syndrome of “who pays the piper calls the tune”. More often than not, the prefix of the “Independent” Electoral Commission is missing and it is always a zero-sum mindset for the party in power on whom the electoral umpires depend to announce results. Those who head such electoral commissions also know that many people don’t have any respect for them as they are always in cahoots with politicians in power to rob people of their votes and declare whichever party in power as having almost if not 100% of all position in contest.
However, the Government of Kaduna state under Governor Nasir El-Rufai has raised the bar in providing an ample example of how elections should be true reflections of the wishes of the electorate in the local council elections held on September 4, 2021, in the state. Apart from nudging the Kaduna State Independent Electoral Commission to come up with a fool-proof voting process, which led the Commission to adopt the electronic voting system, the Governor went ahead to declare that his party did not have to win everywhere and that his government would “allow the people of Kaduna state to elect who they want.”
At the end of the counting so far, the results of 17 Local Government Areas have been announced out of which the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) won in 15 councils while the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) won in two.
The outcome of the Council election, as announced by the Chairman of the State Electoral Commission, Muhammad Sani, is that the Governor lost even his own ward to the opposition party. While this appears as a loss to the Governor as a politician, the gain of superintending over a credible electoral process is more significant to him as a leader and public servant ultimately than an electoral setback. As a matter of fact, it was a big gain to democracy and the Governor deserves commendation. Allah, to whom all good deeds should be dedicated, rewards His servant for sincerity in public office and He will reward him more than anyone else can.
The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs reckons this development as a fresh beginning in the conduct of elections by our state electoral commissions. We urge other state governments and state electoral commissions to borrow a leaf from the Kaduna State Government and Kaduna State Independent Electoral Commission by toeing the path of honour and ensuring cum institutionalising the sanctity and integrity of the electoral process.
There is no disputing the significance of good politics to the well-being of the society. Religious freedom, economic development, healthy environment, human security, peaceful coexistence, good governance and general progress are offshoots of political choices and policies. The Council is convinced that if Nigeria gets her politics right at all levels, everything shall be all right across the board, with positive multiplier effects on the society.
Using the Kaduna example as a metaphor, therefore, the Council calls on Nigerians, Muslims especially, to always do the right thing and do their things right in order to serve as models in line with the Qur’anic injunction of being the ‘best ummah’ (Q3: 110). This applies not only to politics but also to the personal life of individuals.
The Council earnestly looks forward to observing more positive developments in the polity while praying that Allah relieves the country of the yoke of its current challenges.
Arc. Zubairu Haruna Usman-Ugwu
Director of Administration