Kano state governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has challenged Islamic cleric, Sheikh Abduljabbar Sheikh Nasir Kabara to compete with him if he thinks he is popular.
Ganduje, who faulted the claim by the cleric that his ban is political motivated, challenged him to the political battleground.
“He is lying that this decision has to do with politics. That he is commanding his people to go and register, let them do it. There is a political battleground, let him come and compete with me and see what will happen.
“Because he gathered some people clapping for him all the time that makes him proud that he has people. We are presently doing registration too, let us see who will win. God always help those that stand by the truth,” the governor said in an interview with BBC Hausa Service.
The governor said the state government will not allow one person to ignite crises and tamper with the peaceful coexistence in the state.
“We are watching carefully all his activities. The security operatives are very careful of what he is doing and as you can see, we have taken action.
“We have just started, provided what he is doing will tamper with the peaceful coexistence in Kano. So, the security operatives are doing their job to ensure that peace is maintained in Kano and I hope people will understand this,” Ganduje said.
On why the government did not honour Kabara’s opinion to give chance for debate or dialogue, the governor said, “How did government ignore him? Let me tell you he is a deceiver, how did government come into this matter? The time he challenged and abused the Ulamas, is it the government that asked him to do that?
“The reason why government intervene in the matter is because he said anybody that go near his place should be slaughtered.”
Reacting to the cleric’s claim that the state commissioner of education has confirmed that he was deprived his right, Ganduje challenged the cleric to bring evidence that the commissioner said such a thing.
“We want him to bring the audio where the Commissioner has said this if he is not lying. Secondly, we have seen a video where he said anybody that went to his place should be slaughtered. This is an act of igniting crisis and Kano state government will not allow this to continue.”
Kabara, who has always been considered too controversial with his messages and reported attacks on the companions of Prophet Muhammad PBUH in his messages, told Daily Trust the order was issued because he worked against Ganduje during the 2019 general election.
The election, which was keenly contested, which led to a runoff before Ganduje, who ran under the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC, defeated the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Abba Kabir Yusuf.