Two Islamic organisations were offered $3 million by the past administration to secure their members support the re-election of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, an official has said.
Abdullahi Shuaib, the Coordinator of the Conference of Islamic Organisations, CIO, stated this on Saturday at the 22nd National Islamic Training Programme NITP, held at Odosengolu near Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State.
Mr. Shuaib said the CIO and The Muslim Congress, TMC, rejected the money after they were offered under the label of “religious fund.”
“It is not a secret, they came, offering us over $3 million,” he said. “We said no….It came through their proxies to us and we said no. And today we have been vindicated.”
Mr. Shuaib, who is also the Executive Director/CEO, Zakat and Sadaqat foundation, an arm of TMC, added that “it is not even part of our own culture to take bribe. We prefer to go hungry than to collect a bribe from somebody and then eat what is unlawful”.
Expatiating on why the money was rejected, the official added that “because we know very well that it was bait; it was a poison and you cannot eat and dine with the devil and think the devil will not come after you.
“We said clearly no. It is completely un-Islamic. All those organisations that actually took and swallowed the bait, today, they all know what it means for them to have allowed the devil and themselves to eat and dine with the devil.
Nigeria’s former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, who is currently being prosecuted for mismanagement of about $2.1 billion security funds allegedly gave over N4 billion of the money to ex-governor of Sokoto State, Attahiru Bafarawa, to distribute to Islamic organisations.
Apart from Messrs. Dasuki and Bafarawa, others being prosecuted in the scandal include ex-PDP Chairman, Haliru Mohammed, and Raymond Dokpesi, the owner of Daar Communications.
Mr. Shuaib condemned all those who collected the funds from the ex-NSA.
“It is morally wrong, it is unethical for any organisation, either Muslim or Christian or traditionalist to have indulged in that reckless looting of treasury, the common wealth and there is no way they can exonerate themselves because they have desecrated the house of God because they symbolise the House of God and they have desecrated it and it is a sacrilege and it is wrong.
“Ethically it is wrong, morally it is wrong, socially, it is wrong, economically it is wrong, legally it is wrong. And I think, we should allow the long arm of the law to catch up with them and let the law take it cause over them.”
At the formal opening of the programme on Saturday, the President of TMC, Luqman AbdurRaheem, listed bad governance, corruption, and godlessness as some of the factors responsible for the challenges facing Nigeria.
He said the problem will remain until Nigerians imbibe positive attitudinal change in their activities.
“Our change is different from the APC’s change and PDP’s transformation agenda. Rather it is more all-embracing because change in Islam is rooted in morality, piety and goodness.
“‘We need Muslims with a clear change vision, a comprehensive Da’wah programme, having fixed priorities and well defined strategies to change Nigeria for the best,’’ AbdurRaheem said.
On Boko Haram, Mr. AbdurRaheem said the TMC and other Islamic organisations in Southern Nigeria have used education to defeat extremism.
“If you look at The Muslim Congress and other responsible Islamic organizations in the South West, you see that we have been able to give our youth proper education,” he said. “So, it is very difficult to lure Muslims in South West to some of these criminal activities because all our organizations are registered by government.”
“There is need for collaboration and idea sharing, that is why we are not limiting our activities to South West. As we speak, we have established a branch in Abuja, a branch in Niger and within the last week we are also working with our brothers in Yobe State who have seen the need to associate with the responsible Islamic organization.”
The cleric also made reference to the clash between the Nigerian Army and the Shiites community in Kaduna in which scores of the group’s members were killed.
“We are not anti-state. Any organization that is anti-state, it means building a state within a state, and that is terrorism. We should respect military; we should respect the police, because they are there to protect lives and property.
“Once you said you don’t recognize them, then you have problem. That is what happened to Shiites in Nigeria. So, you don’t indoctrinate your people.
“Let them be informed, let them be educated. So that where you and government clash on ideological ground, you go to court.”
“For instance, if you look at the issue of Hijab, we are court, with some other organization. But in some part of the world, they will start demonstrating, killing, causing commotion, that is terrorism. We don’t allow that in our own organization.”
In his lecture on the theme of the camping programme -‘Change: The Islamic Approach’, the guest speaker, Abdulateef Sulaiman, asked Nigerians to be patient and ready to bear the consequences, pains and sacrifices resulting from positive change.