Abductors of the Kaduna based Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Adam Algarkawy and three of his students have finally released them after spending nearly three days in captivity and after a ransom was reportedly paid. It would be recalled that Sheikh Algarkawy and three of his students were kidnapped at their Islamic foundation farm three days ago while all efforts largely by his students and other concerned Muslims to secure their release was not successful as the kidnappers reportedly requested for a whooping N100 million as the price tag for their release. After series of negotiations with the kidnappers according to one of the student at the Islamic Centre that pleaded not to be mentioned, the abductors reduced their demand to N20 million and threatened that if the total sum did not reach them by the end of today (Sunday, 5th August), they will kill all their victims.
As efforts was being intensified to secure their release mainly by the students of the Centre and after series of reports by this and other papers that criticises Governor Nasir El-Rufai for his government’s inaction and seeming lack of concern, the government was then prompted through it’s spokesman, Samuel Aruwan to go on air and also reach out to DESERT HERALD, assuring that they are on top of the situation. They also promised to visit the Centre the following day to sympathise with them and to gather as much information as possible so as to ease the facilitation of Algarkawy’s safe release.
Leaders of the Algarkawy Islamic foundation Centre have confirmed to DESERT HERALD that since then they heard nothing from the Kaduna State Government and that even the promised to visit them was shelved. As the N20 million negotiations was concluded with the abductors, this paper can also confirmed that El-Rufai was duly informed through his SSG and his spokesperson to assist the Centre in whatever way possible but they lamented that nothing was done by his government up to the last moment.
As the threat to kill Algarkawy is becoming real by the dreaded kidnappers, the Centre according to credible sources had to disposed it’s property (where they got below N6 million) in addition to tasking themselves to raised the remaining balance. The source said up to the last moment, there was no single contribution or effort by the Kaduna State Government as they assured. He said, “Mr. Aruwan’s claim during his radio interview that they are doing something or could not do much because the governor is not in town then is the height of hypocrisy and it shows that we don’t have a government in Kaduna and at the centre. Many of us will still cannot believe how an important person that contributed immensely through his teachings, and by way of empowering his community, will be so abandoned by a so called democratic government”.
The Jama’atu Nasrul Islam, JNI, which is the umbrella body for all Muslims in Nigeria under the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar as well as the Jama’atu Izalatul Bidi’a Wa Ikamatus Sunnah, JIBWIS were all silent throughout the period of Algarkawy’s travails. None of the important Muslim bodies even release a simple statement to criticise even the abduction or to call on the government to intervene. “Their lacklustre attitude in situations they supposed to be active as leaders speaks volume of the type of leadership we have under JNI and JIBWIS. It’s unfortunate if a scholar like Algarkawy can be ignored. They will perhaps only talk if he was killed. You can imagine what the views of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, will be if it’s a pastor or any other important person of the church is involved. Certainly, there must be immediate statement from CAN and they will intimidate the government both at state and federal level to act. And they must act. Where is the millions JIBWIS are getting and wasting? It is very sad indeed”, DESERT HERALD publisher, Malam Tukur Mamu lamented in an interview with this reporter.
Also, a renowned Kaduna Islamic scholar and leader of late Sheikh Abubakar Mahmud Gumi Islamic Institute at Sultan Bello Mosque, Kaduna, Sheikh Dr. Ahmad Gumi expressed concerned about the development during his weekly lesson of Muwatta Malik at the mosque today. Sheikh Gumi who made the statement shortly before Algarkawy was release said “government will be held responsible if anything happens to Malam Algarkawy. It is very unfortunate that no one is talking. Those that supposed to intervene clearly did not care. I was told that the kidnappers have requested for millions of naira before they will release him. It is the government that suppose to pay this money and it must be immediate. It is their responsibility to protect lives and properties. I have said this before that the life of one Islamic scholar is different and above the life of any one that is not. More so if that scholar is consistent with the teachings and practice of our beloved prophet. Just see how Sheikh Algarkawy was able to bring his people, the community together and under Tauhid. He has brought peace and security in his community. We know that even the youths that used to misbehave like sara suka cannot do so if they know that they will be reported to a scholar they respect. We have seen that under Algarkawy. It is totally unacceptable to allow poor students to source for money for his release. There’s no amount of money even if it is N1 billion government will pay that is too much for his release. They created the situation we are in today. This is where security votes should be use. What will you expect if it is the relative, son of the president, governor or a top government functionary that was kidnapped? Wouldn’t they not act? What type of democracy is this when the worse can happen to people that are considered ordinary and they will be left to their fate? Nobody cares. The former government are even more responsive in situations like this. It happens to me when I was arrested in Saudi Arabia. They tried very much to intervene. The northern governors then even wrote official letters and show so much concern. We are now far backward under a supposed Muslim president. They didn’t care. They have no regard for scholars that strict themselves to the teachings of Islam. They only listen to scholars that are sycophants, scholars that tells them only what they want to hear, scholars that cannot look to their faces and tell them the truth, tell them what Allah said. Whenever you tell them the truth they will say you don’t like them. If the government is concerned and committed, Algarkawy wouldn’t have spent one day with the kidnappers. We as scholars are handicapped. We don’t have the money otherwise we will not wait for this clueless government. We will have paid whatever ransom is to ensure his release. It happens to us during the Ramadan. We have to give all the money we collected for Zakkat to kidnappers to rescue two of our brothers. There is simply no government in today’s Nigeria. And when you say it they call you names”.



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