The leader of Boko Haram, a Nigerian militant group, Abu Mohammed Abubakar bin Mohammad al-Sheikawi, popularly called Abubakar Shekau, has made the spotlight in Nigeria today. This follows a trending audio clip that surfaced online with thousands of reactions.
In the new audio, Shekau condemned the Kano State death sentence. According to the BokoHaram leader, ‘‘there is no difference between the ‘blasphemer’ and those who sentenced him to death’’.
Abubakar Shekau is a Kanuri man, and has declared loyalty to BokoHaram Islamist group, as well as Islamic State of Iraq.
In the 11 minutes audio, Abubakar Shekau faulted the death sentencing of a young man who was accused of blasphemy in Kano state.
The man sentenced to death in Kano state is Yahaya Sherif Aminu. He was sentenced to death by hanging in Kano State after the court found him guilty of insulting Prophet Muhammad in a song which he shared on WhatsApp in the month of March.
The presiding Judge, Khadi Aliyu commented that Sherif Aminu could appeal against the verdict from the court within 30 days.
A similar sentence was handed down to Abdulaziz Inyass who belongs to the extremists in the Tijaniyya Sufi Order. Abdulaziz Inyass was sentenced to death for blasphemy in 2016 and is still in detention.
Abdulaziz was accused of saying that an influential cleric in West Africa, Sheikh Ibrahim Inyass, was ‘bigger than Prophet Muhammad.’
Nigeria’s Sharia court sentences handed down include floggings, amputations and the death penalty.
One of the most striking points Shekau made in the audio clip was directed to the people of Kano. In the audio clip, Shekau said “just because you sit down and recite Quran after you have already done what made you unbelievers? And because you say there is no god but Allah, you think you are Muslims? We tell you, you and the one who insulted the Prophet are all the same.”
Shekau indicated “We heard about something sad happening in the state where people think they are Muslims, even though they are practicing disbelief ……. A singer opened his mouth and uttered unkind words against the Prophet (PBUH). It was said he was arrested and sentenced to death by hanging …….. According to some people, he can appeal the judgement. But what brought this if the sentence is godly?”
Shekau seemed unhappy with the sentence. He believes that everyone is familiar that all schools of Islamic jurisprudence upholds that whoever abuses the Prophet should not be asked to repent.
“He should just be killed. If you really sentenced him, we should only hear that you slaughtered him,” he added.
Abubakar Shekau claims that the western lifestyle of the people of Kano itself, is an insult to the Prophet Muhammad.
“Before he insulted the Prophet (PBUH), your lifestyle is an insult itself. Your lifestyle is also blasphemy against the Prophet. How can you say you love someone and you slap him?”
The upper Sharia court in the Hausawa Filin Hockey area of Kano state said Yahaya Sharif-Aminu, 22, was guilty of committing blasphemy. Mr Sherif Aminu did not deny the charges.
In the audio, Shekau criticized the people of Kano State for their enthusiastic democracy. He claimed the state permitted everyone to do what they like, and this makes him uncomfortable.
The whereabouts of the Islamic terrorist group leader remains controversial.