The Kano State Police Command organised a Qur’anic recitation competition for its operatives in the spirit of community policing, the Command’s Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Abdullahi Kiyawa, has said.
Kiyawa stated this in a telephone chat with our correspondent on Friday, saying the competition was the first in the state and the command intends to make it an annual affair.
Takai Divisional Police Officer in the state, SP Mahi Ahmad, had emerged as the overall winner of the competition which started on Wednesday and ended on Thursday. About 40 police officers reportedly participated in the competition.
Ahmad and other winners in the competition reportedly received different gifts including television sets, refrigerators, fans, bicycles, and copies of Qur’an.
However, Kiyawa said on Friday that the Qur’anic competition was “a welcome development.”
Confirming the competition, he said, “Yes, it is true; a DPO emerged the overall best winner.”
“Normally, we call Imams to sensitise police officers on religious perspectives and how to work diligently. It is something that we started in the spirit of community policing.”
Kano State with over 15 million people is the most populous state in Nigeria. The North-West state has Islam as its dominant religion though there are Christians and other religious practitioners in the state. The Kano State government led by Governor Umaru Ganduje through the Islamic police Hisbah had in recent times enforced stringent Sharia laws upon all residents of the state including Christians. The Ganduje administration is infamous for destroying millions of bottles of alcohol and scores of beer parlours in the state.
Qur’anic recitation competition pointer to Islamisation – Activist
An activist and leader of human rights group, Concerned Nigerians, Deji Adeyanju, lambasted the command, saying the Qur’anic recitation competition was a pointer to those alleging the Islamisation of Nigeria.
In an interview on Friday, he said the development was a sad one and could only happen during the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).
Adeyanju said, “This is really a sad and unfortunate development and the only reason why this is happening is that Buhari is the President because if you look at the Police Act, things like these are prohibited, things like these are prohibited under the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria with specific reference to Section 10 of the 1999 Constitution as amended that there shall be no state religion.”
He called for the sacking of the Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba; the Commissioner of Police in Kano, Samaila Shuaibu-Dikko; and other officers involved.
“It is sad, despicable and unfortunate. In saner climes, these are things that should get the Inspector General of Police, the Commissioner of Police and others sacked immediately but here anything goes.
“Those who are talking about the plans to Islamise Nigeria, these are the pointers that they use in canvassing their arguments. Things like these further divide the country and not unite it and Nigeria is a multi-ethnic, multi-religious nation and this is why these Islamic fundamentalists must be mindful and we have them everywhere in the Nigerian Army, in the police, in the SSS, they are everywhere and that is why you can have a terrorist sympathizer as a minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“The people culpable should be sacked with immediate effect and deradicalise those who need to be deradicalised in the security agencies because they should not be involved in extremism,” Adeyanju said.