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Nigeria: Two traditional chiefs sacked because of a prayer for President Buhari

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Two traditional chiefs have recently been dismissed from office. A punishment they suffer for soliciting prayers so that President Buhari wins the presidential election of February 2019.

On November 23, Alhaji Julde and Ummaru Bappayo, two traditional chiefs, held a religious service in Deba District in Gombe State. Purpose: To pray for Muhammadu Buhari so that the incumbent president of Nigeria wins the presidential election of February 2019.

This however did not go down well with the Emir of Deba. “I was ordered to inform you that as of November 23, 2018, you are suspended from your duties as district chiefs by His Royal Highness, the Emir of Deba for serious misconduct,” reads in a statement. Letter written in Hausa by Saidu Mele, Acting Secretary of the Emirate of Deba.

Acknowledging the facts, however, the two authorities seem offended by this decision. “It is true that we were suspended for having organized the Zikr (act of faith to get closer to God in the Muslim religion, ed) and to have prayed for our dear president. I do not know why it’s a problem,” says Alhaji Julde.

Julde also believes that it is the governor Ibrahim Dankwambo, re-elected in 2015 at the head of Gombe who instructed the emir of Deba to suspend them.

Denial by the governor and the emirate

Information denied by the governor. “It’s not true,” Umar Nafada, the governor’s communications adviser told Premium Times, via Whatsapp. “But, I will get back to you to confirm or deny the information that they were suspended for organizing a prayer for the President of the Republic,” he said.

However, according to Premium Times, Nafada did not respond to a reminder that had been sent to him.

Opinion shared on the side of the emirate. “To my knowledge, no district chief has been suspended for political reasons,” said Modu Chokali, a cabinet member of the Emir.

Gombe is one of only two Northeast states ruled by a member of the Democratic People’s Party ( PDP ), the main opposition party in Nigeria.

And after losing the primary against Atiku Abubakar, Ibrahim Dankwambo resolved to support Atiku Abubakar in the upcoming presidential elections.

In Africa, it is not uncommon for the political elite to mix religion with politics. The case recently in the DRC where many candidates in the elections of December 23 put forward their Christianity during the campaign.

It is also in Africa where, when they express reservations about governance for example, religious are severely criticized for their interference in politics.



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