Tag Archives: Muhammad Bala

I won’t apologize for supporting Fulani – Gov

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Bauchi Commissioner for Environment and Housing, Hamisu Shira, has said that Governor Ortom was covering up his non-performance with excuse herdsmen’s activities.

Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed, has said that he will never apologise for opposing profiling of patriotic Fulani herders as killers and kidnappers.

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Mohammed had last week said that “herders who carry AK-47 around do so to defend themselves against cattle rustlers that are rendering them bankrupt.” The position generated mixed reactions across the country.

Speaking yesterday during the official launch of the 2020/2021 annual livestock vaccination campaign at Galambi Cattle Ranch in Bauchi, Mohammed said no tribe or group was free from criminality, so labelling a particular tribe was unfair and would breed disunity in the country.

Reacting to his Benue counterpart, Samuel Ortom, who asked him to apologise for defending carrying of weapons by herders, he said the Fulani, over the years, had been making so much sacrifice in their pastoral life, adding that the supply of beef would not have been possible without herders’ contribution.

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His words: “We kicked against the profiling of the Fulani as killers and kidnappers. We have no apology for what we have done because what we have done is to say the truth, that there is no tribe or group that is free from criminality. We are not saying that to spite anybody or spark unnecessary controversy, we have made our point.

“Nigerians have discussed it and I am happy to say that, from all indications, majority of sensible Nigerians have appreciated what we have said and that is the point. I need not mention anything of this matter for fear that controversy will be escalated, I will listen to voices of reason and keep quiet about it.”

He called on the Fulani to make their communities free of criminality.

“They must make sure that they fish out the bad eggs from among themselves because criminality is criminality. In as much as we will protect them from being profiled badly, they should make efforts to show that majority of them are good citizens, contributing positively to the growth and development of Nigeria,” he said.

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ALSO, Bauchi Commissioner for Environment and Housing, Hamisu Shira, has said that Governor Ortom was covering up his non-performance with excuse herdsmen’s activities. He urged Ortom to prioritise good governance in Benue like his Bauchi counterpart.

“This is a governor that could not afford to pay salaries while the workers resorted to demonstrations,” Shira said.At a press conference yesterday, the commissioner lamented that Ortom was distracting Mohammed with his comment.

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#Newsworthy

Corruption: ‘Dogara, Fabricator of lies’ – Gov Bala accuses

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Bauchi State Governor Bala Mohammed has debunked all allegations leveled against him by the former Speaker House of Representatives, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, describing them as fabricated lies.

The Governor made his remarks on Tuesday while receiving members of Dass/Tafawa Balewa/Bogoro Constituency on a solidarity visit to him in Bauchi.

Dogara represents the constituency at the Federal House of Representatives.

The former Speaker had accused Governor Mohammed of diverting a N4.6billion loan, inflating contracts sums, and mismanagement of local government funds, among other claims, as grounds for his defection to the APC from the PDP.

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“It is a very regrettable development, it is unfortunate, because he is a young man that we so much love and appreciate, including me. Even now I don’t harbour any malice against him,” Mohammed said.

“But he came to show his true colours as a pretender, as a fabricator of lies against my person, who has helped him to reconnect and recapture his mandate as a member of the House of Reps. after being expelled by my adversary, the former Governor.”

The Governor also assured leaders of the PDP in Nigeria that Bauchi remains “intact” for the party.


#Newsworthy…

Outrage over arrest of HAN’s leader. [Nigeria]

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Beyond Kaduna State, northern Nigeria, where the supposed ‘crime’ was committed, there has been an outrage over the arrest of Mubarak Bala, a man who allegedly blasphemed against Islam.

Bala, the president of the Humanist Association of Nigeria, was arrested by the police on Wednesday afternoon at his residence in Kaduna State.

His arrest, many believe, was in connection to his recent outburst against Islamic Prophet Muhammad (SAW) in a Facebook post.

Spokesman to Kaduna State police Mohammed Jalige in a phone conversation with our correspondent said he “can confirm to you that he has been arrested and he is in police custody.”

“I cannot tell you about where he is (whether Kaduna or Kano State custody) but he has been arrested.”

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Leo Igwe, the chairman of the board of trustees for the Humanist Association of Nigeria, an NGO where Mubarak serves as president, expressed worries over his safety.

Igwe said his concern is that Mubarak will likely be handed over to the Kaduna State police where he will be charged for blasphemy, a crime that carries death sentence as punishment under the Sharia Law.

He appealed to the Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai to help secure Bala’s release.

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The beginning
On Monday, April 27, Mubarak compared popular Lagos pastor and president of Synagogue Church of Nations Prophet TB Joshua to Prophet Mohammed.

“There’s no difference between prophet TB Joshua (S.A.W) of Lagos and Muhammadu (A.S.) of Saudi Arabia, it is better for our Nigeria to be terrorism,” Bala said wrote on his Facebook page.

In another post, Bala said, “Whoever believes religion has been duped – If you cant take blasphemy against Islam, criticizism of its doctrines, this page is not for you. I have not even started ooo.”

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His posts were greeted with threats of arrest for blasphemy in the comment section. Unbothered about his stance against Islam, Bala said the threat was from ‘morons’ who should know better.

Days later, a group of lawyers petitioned the Kano State Police command to prosecute Bala for insulting Prophet Muhammad.

There was also an online petition on change.org by one Halima Sa’adiya Umar who asked Facebook to close down the account of Mubarak Bala. The petition seemed to have been deleted on Thursday evening when The Guardian checked.

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However, a petition for his release was launched on the same platform on Wednesday by the International Association of Atheists Inc. The association is also using the petition to raise legal funds for Bala.

But, who is Mubarak Bala?
Mubarak Bala is an atheist known for his interest in anti-religious beliefs.

“Religion insults human reason and conscience, duped me that I have another lifetime,” Mubarak said in his Facebook bio. A graduate of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, according to the information on his Facebook page, Bala is the pioneer of a humanist movement.

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Prior to his university education, he attended Hassan Ibrahim Gwarzo Secondary School, Sallari, Kano State.

In one of his Facebook posts, Bala said he is “Flooded by inquiries on how to join our humanist movement.

“Answer is simple, leave religions, faith &a dogma, embrace science/reason.

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“Whoever believes religion has been duped If you cant take blasphemy against Islam, criticizism of its doctrines, this page is not for you,” Bala said.

In June 2014, he was allegedly held at the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital by government officials who claimed he was a psychiatric patient against his wish.

Communicating by email and Twitter from a secreted smartphone, Bala, according to International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU), was able to raise the alarm that he has been held at the government hospital.

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The IHEU in 2014 said it was “deeply concerned about the case, for the welfare of the detained man, and the human rights violation that his detention represents.”

Bala in the post on IHEU website said he was detained at the hospital on the grounds of a “personality change” because he had become an atheist despite being raised in a Muslim family.

“And the biggest evidence of my mental illness was large blasphemies and denial of ‘history’ of Adam, and apostasy [sic], to which the doctor said was a personality change, that everyone needs a God, that even in Japan they have a God. And my brother added that all the atheists I see have had mental illness at some point in their life,” Bala said.

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What the Quran says about blasphemy
The Quran does not directly prescribe any earthly punishment for blasphemy. It advocates a non-violent response if the doer of the act is a non-muslim.

Statements of blasphemy are related to mocking and abusive words to Muslims and Prophet Mohammed.

“When you hear God’s revelations disbelieved in and mocked at, do not sit with them until they enter into some other discourse; surely then you would be like them,” Quaran 4:140 says.

Why we are prosecuting Bala- Lawyers

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The group of lawyers prosecuting Bala through a legal firm S.S. Usman & CO accused him of taking advantage of the freedom of expression guaranteed to him by the constitution to incite violence through statements against Islam.

“Among such stuff is calling the Prophet of Islam Muhammad denigrating names like pedophile. terrorist. among other statements that will …ultimately provoke them to take law Into their hands which may ultimately result Into public disturbance and breach of peace,” the lawyers said in a letter to the police.

Although Section 38 of the Nigeria Constitution guarantees Bala freedom of expression, the lawyers believed he erred by denigrating Muslims in his statement.

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By this, the lawyers said Bala is liable to serve a jail term by erring against section 210 of the Penal Code of Kano State which says “Whoever by any means publicly insults or seeks to incite contempt of any religion in such a manner as to be likely to lead to a breach of the peace, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years.”


Bala is not alone


In 2015, a Shariah court sentenced nine people to death for insulting the Prophet Muhammad in Kano State.

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The accused, who were all Muslims, had pleaded guilty, the head of Kano’s religious police, Aminu Ibrahim Daurawa told BBC.

The alleged offense was committed at a religious gathering in honor of Sheikh Ibrahim Niasse, the Senegalese founder of the Tijaniya sect, which has a large following across West Africa.

The nine, eight men and a woman, were reported to have said that “Niasse was bigger than Prophet Muhammad,” which triggered unrest.

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Their trial was done in secret after a section of the court was burnt down by angry protesters. It is not known if the offenders appealed the sentence.

Nigerians react
Bala’s arrest has stirred a mix of reactions from Nigerians, especially on Twitter. Issues around his ordeal birthed different trending hashtags – #FreeMubarakBala, #Blasphemy, and #MubarakBala.


#Newsworthy…

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[Nigeria] Police give details on HAN leader’s arrest.

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The Kaduna State Police Command on Wednesday confirmed the arrest of Mubarak Bala.

Spokesman to Kaduna State police Mohammed Jalige in a phone conversation with our correspondent said, “I can confirm to you that he has been arrested and he is in police custody.”

“I cannot tell you about where he is (whether Kaduna or Kano State custody) but he has been arrested.”

Bala, the president of the Humanist Association of Nigeria, was arrested by the police on Wednesday afternoon at his residence in Kaduna State, Jalige disclosed.

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Although Jalige did not speak about the reason of the arrest, it is not unconnected to Bala’s recent outburst against Islamic Prophet Muhammad (SAW) in a Facebook post.

On Monday, April 27, Mubarak compared popular Lagos pastor and president of Synagogue Church of Nations Prophet TB Joshua to Prophet Mohammed.

“There’s no difference between prophet TB Joshua (S.A.W) of Lagos and Muhammadu (A.S.) of Saudi Arabia, it is better for our Nigeria to be terrorism,” Bala said.

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In another post, Bala said, “Whoever believes religion has been duped – If you cant take blasphemy against Islam, criticizism of its doctrines, this page is not for you. I have not even started ooo.”

His post was greeted with threats of arrest for blasphemy in the comment section. Unrepentant of his stance against Islam, Bala said the threat was from ‘morons’ who should know better.

Days later, a group of lawyers petitioned the Kano State Police command to prosecute Bala for insulting Prophet Muhammad.

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Bala is not new to issues around blasphemy by government and private citizens. In June 2014, he was held at the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital by government officials who claimed he was a psychiatric patient against his wish.

In a post on International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) website said he was detained at the hospital on the grounds of a “personality change” because he had become an atheist despite being raised in a Muslim family.


#Newsworthy…

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HAN Leader Arrested In Kaduna Over Alleged Blaspheme. [Nigeria]

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President of the Humanist Association of Nigeria (HAN) Mubarak Bala has been arrested.

He was picked up by security operatives in Kaduna on Tuesday.

Leo Igwe, Chairman, HAN Board of Trustees, raised the alarm in a statement.

Igwe confirmed that police officers, who were not in uniform, took him from his residence.

Bala is being detained at the Gbabasawa police station in Kaduna.

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His arrest has been linked to “blasphemy”.

A group of lawyers had petitioned the Kano State Police Command to prosecute Mubarak for insulting Prophet Muhammad on his Facebook page.

One S. S. Umar signed the petition.

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However, there is also an online petition on change.org.

One Halima Sa’adiya Umar started the petition asking Facebook to close down the account of Mubarak Bala.

“All of us at the Humanist Association of Nigeria are deeply worried by the arrest and detention of our president, Mubarak Bala”, Igwe noted.

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“Mubarak Bala will likely be handed over to the Kano State Police Command, that will prosecute him for blasphemy, a crime that caries a death sentence under sharia law,” it said.

The Humanist association urged the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu and the Kaduna Governor, Nasir Elrufai, to intervene and ensure his immediate release.


#Newsworthy…

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