Satisfied with the death sentence passed on Yahaya Aminu Sharif who was convicted of blasphemy by an upper Shari’a Court, the council of Imams in Kano, on Friday, challenged the state Governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, to sign the execution warrant of the convict to serve as a deterrent.
Sharif, a 22-year-old Muslim and Kano native was last Monday found guilty of blasphemy against the prophet of Islam, a capital offence under Shari’a jurisprudence and was sentenced to death by hanging.
Although the convict has 30 days to appeal the judgment, chairman of the council, Sheikh Muhammad Nasir Adam, said the government should be courageous enough to adhere to the court judgment regardless of political sentiments.
Adam, who spoke with journalists in Kano, applauded the dexterity of the court in arriving at the judgment, saying it was in line with the tenets of Islam.
The Islamic scholar explained that Islam is a religion of peace and tranquility, but noted that it specified ways and manners of life.
He cautioned those kicking against the judgment to refrain from any act capable of generating religious intolerance in the country.
“Let me commend the judge for taking the hard but right decision on the judgment because Islam frowns at passing derogatory comment on our prophet. We also want to believe with full confidence that the Kano State government will sign, without hesitation, the execution of the convict. We have firm conviction that the government will sign it so as to serve as an example,” he said.
Also, Chief Imam of Shiekh Mohammad Ja’far Adam Central Mosque, Sabuwar Gandu quarters, Shiekh Abdullahi Gargamawa, further urged Ganduje to endorse the execution of Sharif without further delay.
Gargamawa, who lent his voice in favour of the court judgment during Friday’s Juma’at sermon, said the government should muster courage and respect the sanctity of Shari’a laws.
The chief Imam, who cited relevant verses of the quran, argued that the penalty held against Sharif was an affirmation of Islamic laws.
CAN, Civil Society Forum React
In his reaction, the state Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Adeolu Samuel Adeyemo, said blasphemy in Christianity is an unforgivable sin no responsible faithful should attempt and encouraged residents irrespective of religious affiliation not to violate the rules and tenets of the Holy Scriptures.
Although the CAN chairman said the recent Shari’a court judgment was strictly an Islamic affair, he posited that religious tolerance should be upheld for a harmonious atmosphere to reign in the society.
“For us in CAN, the judgment of the Shari’a court is according to Islamic law and so we don’t have objection to it because it is according to the position of Islam.
“So, our interference is not relevant. Now, if you want to know the position of Christianity about blasphemy, I will say there is what you can blaspheme about and what you cannot. And the Lord Jesus said blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is a grievous sin that has no forgiveness. That is the position of Christianity,” he said.
Also reacting, the Civil Society Forum in Kano challenged those opposing the judgment of the Shari’a court to explore the appropriate legal means rather than toeing the path of lamentations and threats.
Legal adviser of the forum, Mustapha Idris, said the Nigerian constitution was clear about every court ruling and judgment, adding that the Shari’a court judgment could be challenged at a higher court.