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Niger Coup: UK University Don praises Sheikh Lau, Ulamas for peacemaking

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Niger Coup: UK University Don praises Sheikh Lau, Ulamas for peacemaking

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A UK based Critical Infrastructure Protection consultant has lauded the noble efforts of a Nigerian Islamic cleric, Sheikh Bala Lau and some Ulammas, over their intervention to broker peace between the Nigerien military junta, ECOWAS and the Negerien populace.

Abdalla said, the Bala Lau-led Islamic mediation team has succeeded in quenching the embers of war that would have engulfed the area and had also made the difference in halting unnecessary shedding of blood in the country though mediation and constructive engagement.

Abdalla made this known in a press statement made available to newsmen over the weekend.

Yakub Abdalla pointed out that the actions of the clerics was consistent with Islamic injunctions and typically reflects the humanity and humane culture of the African people.

Yakub said, “Peace in Islam is an eternal constitution. The principle of Islam is peace and coexistence, not conflict, violence and war.

“Islamic peace-making therefore is a teaching and tradition that transcend divisions. ‘It may be that God will grant love [and friendship] between you and those whom ye [now] hold as enemies. For God is Oft-Forgiving, Most-Merciful’ (Quran 60:7).

“I am writing today because I realize that after the Prophet of Islam (SAW) every other leadership in nations has been by elections. Even in monarchy like Saudi Arabia and other Islamic nations there is always limited democracy, a conferment of leadership by the kingmakers that represent various interest groups in the society. Even here in the UK, we have limited elections because we do not elect our king or Queen but are conferred through kingmakers that represent interest groups.

“The challenge we have in Niger Republic and every other forceful government is the conferment through the barrel of the gun.

“The threat to life of a person or group of persons through lethal means, except as a means of defence, is not only cowardly but callous in all ramifications.”

Pointing out the fault line that comes along with a barrel induced government, he said, “Niger and other countries in their shoes have done the wrong thing, denying their own people the right to be represented. The military are currently dishing out menu of what they believe Nigeriens want, whether it right or wrong. In this coup No.8 in Niger Republic, they would have known that their best days were the civilian days.

There have been seventy-eight coups in West Africa since 1952 with severe lack of continuity and unbearable economic consequences.

“Every time there is a coup in West Africa, some colonial masters or the common culprit, the CIA is accused as responsible. The cause of action usually is to run to another colonial master who will continue the pulverization of our lands and resources. West Africa has no independent political philosophy and most times it is impossible to measure success of governments in the region.

“All our countries are copycats, plagiarising constitutions of western nations while trying to live Middle Eastern or far eastern lifestyle. We are not English, French, Arabic, Chinese, or Russian. We have very serious identity crises.

“Unlike other nations we are Africans who have our mother tongues, community based values, and respect for our elders. We have various religions, but in these identity crises most of our leaders adhere to a main and minor religion. Many would go to churches or mosques and also go to some diabolical covens, clairvoyants, or psychic readers. For Africans it is always God plus; the very reason why IZALA was formed in 1978.

“We are unique in our own ways in West Africa. We are not the only set of people that are unique; Britain is the same. When they could not reconcile who they were with federalism they went for Parliamentary system. They retained their king and commoners’ representative. They accepted a class system based on their own uniqueness. Africa must evolve its own system of government that will include all and respect all, irrespective of colour or creed.

The recent flurry of activities therefore, and the dash to Niger Republic by Sheikh Bala Lau the leader of Jama’atu Izalatil Bid’ah Wa Iqamatus Sunnah also called JIBWIS and the ULAMAS from Nigeria is in the pursuit of what Allah SWT has commanded, PEACE, is not only extraordinary but highly commendable.

“Their role was to do whatever is their power to bring about peaceful negotiation and discussions to resolve the issues that brought about coup d’état in Niger.”

Outlining what he considers as the success of the Bala Lau peace mission, he said, “Their aim was to enable reasonable dialogue that will diffuse rather than exacerbate Nigerien issues. Speaking to people that were involved in the process, I believe that Sheikh Bala Lau and the ULAMAS have achieved three things:

“1.They stopped the shading of blood, which is inevitable in wars.2.They have proven that Peace cannot be achieved through violence; it can only be attained through understanding.3.They have earned the respect of Nigeriens, Nigerians, and ECOWAS.”

He concluded that, “What shall we then say of Sheikh Bala Lau and the ULAMAS? They have shown us that peace demands greater heroism than war. It demands greater fidelity to the truth and a much more perfect purity of conscience.

“Niger Republic is mainly Muslims and Sheikh Bala Lau has shown us that when conflicts are approached in the Islamic way, it has the unlimited capacity to bring peace.

“However, the work for Sheikh Bala Lau has just been cut out for him. Peace demands the most heroic labour and the most difficult sacrifice. We plead with him and the ULAMAS to continue on this path of difficult sacrifice until we see real peace in Niger Republic; a peace that will be without loss of life and carrying its people along in all processes of governance. May Allah SWT make it easy for you all.”