Around September 2015, El-Rufai shut down the following Christian institutions: Theological Seminary of Northern Nigeria, (TSNN), Shalom Comprehensive College, Assemblies of God Church Nmbare, Assemblies of God Church (Jerusalem) and Assemblies of God Church Evangelist Hospital – all in Saminaka of Lere Local government area of Kaduna State. El-Rufai claimed his decision was to avoid the eruption of violence among factions of the congregations whose leadership tussle was for personal interest with little concern for the common good and the peace and security of Kaduna State.
The statement ‘an idle mind is the devil’s workshop’ is axiomatic here. We wondered how idle the state government must have been amidst the myriad of problems confronting the state, to begin to bother about internal church crisis when we have bodies of church elders and Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) to look into such issues, except if the governor closed the churches and her institutions with satanic ulterior motive given that he was notorious for anti-Christian statements and hate speeches against Christians.
In order to discourage us from observing his demonic ulterior motive against the church, the governor went on to threaten us, through his media assistant, that the Kaduna State Government will not tolerate the use of religion and ethnicity to cause crisis in the state.
Yesterday 28 October 2016, more than a year after and during the juma’at prayers, dispute over Imam disrupted the Juma’at prayers. After the first Raka’a by the deputy Imam, Mallam Ibrahim Isa, the police came in shooting rubber bullets and tear gas, and people got injured as they scamper for safety. The pandemonium was barely down when the Secretary General of Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI), Dr. Khalid Abubakar Aliyu and his followers went into the mosque and started another prayer. The youth got wind of it and went in to disrupt the prayers too. The Newspaper is already recognising Dr. Khalid as the interim Imam even where there was a deputy Imam Ibrahim Isa.
Even the blind can see that this leadership tussle was for personal interest with little concern for the common good and the peace and security of Kaduna State. Since Muslims and a mosque are now in the middle of this, Governor El-Rufai has the ample opportunity now to demonstrate to us that our notion that the closure of churches was borne out of ill motive against the church and not for security reasons was wrong. He has another opportunity to show us that the Kaduna State Government will not tolerate the use of religion and ethnicity to cause crisis in the state by shutting down the Sultan Bello Mosque too.