By Uzair Adam Imam
Mixed reactions have continued to trail Zamfara State Governor Bello Matawalle’s donation of N85 million for the conduct of the Maulud of the leader of the Tijjaniyya movement, Shaykh Ibrahim Inyass.
The state is fast making preparation to host 1.5 million Tijjaniyya followers for the event. The money covers air tickets of Tijjaniya leaders from Senegal, their accommodation, feeding, and other logistics for conducting the 36th Maulud Celebration.
Zamfara has been in the news following armed banditry and kidnapping for ransom that have claimed hundreds of lives, displaced thousands of others and destroyed property worth millions of naira.
The crisis has spilt over to neighbouring states like Katsina, Sokoto, Kebbi, Kaduna and Niger.
According to Zamfara Commissioner for Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Fa’ika Ahmad, there are over 785,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs), including women and children, in various camps across the state.
However, over 44,000 children were orphaned by the activities of bandits in the last nine years. Not only this, these orphans, who lost their parents to the blood-thirsty demons, are left to cater for themselves.
But since the donation was made public, individuals took to social media to condemn what they called ‘misplacement of priority’, saying the state government needs a rethink on the matter.
According to Mrs Ahmad, there are more than 784,0000 internally displaced persons (IDPs), including women and children, in various camps in the state.
However, many concerned citizens described Mattawalle’s donation as a misplacement of priority, considering the number of people presently in dire need of support in the state.
An indigene of Zamfara State, Mu’azu Malami, said the money allocated for the procession should be used to address the plight of IDPs and fight insecurity.
Mu’azu Malami said, “In such a trying time, spending over 80 million naira on a one-day event, despite our challenges, is not but a misplacement of priority.
“By this time, the government should concentrate more on helping banditry-torn villages, especially women and children. They need to be provided with food, shelter and proper education.”
Abubakar Dahiru is another indigene who argued that the government should have initially declined the request.
He said, “The government should not think that it is helping Islam because only the leaders of this association will benefit and share the money among themselves.”
Isma’il Muhammad (not real name) said that the state government is confused.
He added, “IDPs in Zamfara should be the priority. The government should have done everything within its power to save their lives.
On the contrary, Anas Sunusi commended Zamfara State Government for the gesture, saying that other sects had received a similar kind of gesture from the state government.
Anas Sunusi, “I see nothing wrong in donating N85 million by the state government to commemorate the death of Sheikh Ibrahim Nyass.
“Izala had, at one time, received a similar gesture to build a university.”
He added that the amount could not stop the government from handling security challenges in the state, saying the gathering would be used as an avenue to pray for the state and the country at large.
‘We will bring peace to Zamfara’
In an interview with our reporter, a renowned Tijjaniyya cleric in Kano, Sheikh Nazirfi Alkarmawi, said the gathering is meant for prayer to reign in the state.
Alkarmawi said no matter what people say, the money would not be taken back.
He added, “Therefore, people must not grumble. The essence of this gathering is to pray for peace and prosperity across all states of the country.
“Concerning security challenge, we can only pray. The issue is beyond everyone’s expectations.”