The youth uprising against police brutality in Nigeria has taken many by surprise. Conventional wisdom is that the youth are more likely to dance at a concert than sing a protest song. Events of the last couple of weeks have altered this narrative as youthful Nigerians have taken to the streets in a vigorous campaign to shoot down police brutality, with the notoriety of the special anti-robbery squad (SARS) serving as the trigger — no pun intended. With the help of the hash tag, #EndSARS, the agitations have gained international attention. And the government has seen that this is not business as usual. Are we finally at the tipping point in the battle for the soul of Nigeria?
While the protests have, in the main, been about police brutality, interpreting them purely as such would be a massive mistake. We would be making a mistake if we focus on the fact that other interests, especially political, have seized the opportunity to fuel the fire. We would be erring by looking only at the disruptions being created all over by protesters who have refused to yield an inch despite their demands being met by the government. We would be missing the point if we focus too much on the fact that even the yahoo boys are eager to see the end of SARS, which itself grooms and harbours a legion of police officers that are yahoo boys and robbers by nature.
For sure, every struggle has its own opportunists. All kinds of characters will jump on the bandwagon to pursue their own agenda. That’s the way life goes. We have to look beyond that. My reading of the real situation is that there is something deeper going on out there. Deeper than SARS. Deeper than SWAT. Deeper than police brutality. What we have in our hands is the unloading of pent-up anger, frustration and resentment by Nigerians — with the youth leading the line. The SARS situation is what Yoruba would describe as “ara ran bombu l’owo” — that is… now I don’t know how to interpret that. Let me just say: “A thunder strike has helped detonate a bomb.”
In 1988, when I was a student of Kwara State Polytechnic where I studied for my A’Levels, we hardly had water at our residential halls. We queued up with our buckets every morning and every evening for water supply by tankers. Then one evening, guys played football. The tankers did not show up. How would they go to bed sweaty and smelly? A few of them started beating their buckets, singing “aluta” songs over water scarcity and poor welfare. Before we knew it, it had progressed to a protest march across the campus. And then a full-blown riot. Overnight, some of us trekked 10 kilometres to Ilorin town, afraid that soldiers would soon invade the campus and start shooting.
You would find it hard thinking a simple football game would lead to a bloody riot in a matter of minutes. In fact, if you were the cynical type, you would argue that the students were unserious, that they were in school to study and not to play football, and that it was the unserious students that caused the riot in order to be sent home. But you would be missing the point. Students were already frustrated. Nobody was paying attention. The anger was building up. The authorities did not see it. The resentment had reached a peak. They ignored it. It took a meaningless football match to fan the flame into an inferno. That is what happens when you fail to read the writing on the wall.
Let’s now return to #EndSARS. For decades, Nigerians have been complaining about police brutality. For decades, the Nigerian state has turned a blind eye, despite panels upon panels set up and recommendations upon recommendations made. As Professor Jibrin Ibrahim, respected political scientist and newspaper columnist, pointed out, all presidents since 1999 have set up one panel or the other on police reform. The reports are gathering dust on Aso Rock shelves. Meanwhile, the police have been gleefully stockpiling dead bodies, cocksure that there would be no consequences. SARS went on robbing and killing with impunity. Is the day of reckoning finally here?
But SARS apart, youth frustration has been building up. We asked them to go to school. They did. Write WASSCE. They did. Write UMTE. They did. Go to university. They did. Do national youth service. They did. Yet years later, they are still begging to apply for vacancies that do not exist, vacancies reserved for the children of the high and mighty. There are those that keep writing entrance exams but are unable to proceed because of lack of space or funds. There are those that never went to school, and those that dropped out in primary or secondary school. Millions are underemployed, unemployed or unemployable. What a huge army of frustrated youth.
But in the same country, if you manage to get elected into a state house of assembly, you will get a brand new SUV, currently sold at N50 million per machine. In some states, there are 40 lawmakers. That is N2 billion. Judges will wake up one day to realise the governor has just bought “tear-rubber” SUVs for them. Governors ride long convoys with the most modern bullet-proof technology. In the same society, hospitals are rejecting patients because “there is no bed space”. People are struggling to pay rising bus fares but their leaders can afford to charter jets to attend weddings and rallies. The youth see all these things. This is a society built on injustice and inequality. And we want peace?
Poverty, unemployment and inequality are the biggest triggers for uprising in any society. Some young persons taking to yahoo, drug dealing and armed robbery are products of a system that does not reckon with the implications of unemployment and poverty. An idle hand, it is said, is tempting the devil. No human being will sit at home and die of hunger. Self-preservation is a basic human instinct. If it is to steal, beg or borrow, the human being will strive to survive. Let me be clear: I am NOT justifying crime. However, a wise society will make a connection between unemployment, poverty and crime, and act decisively to address the problems at the root.
For decades, we have been asking the government to make the economic environment less hostile to businesses, especially small and medium scale enterprises, so that they will be able to create jobs for the millions of skilled and unskilled Nigerians. For decades, we have been putting up with the dissonance — government, on one hand, claiming they are trying to improve the ease of doing business; and government agencies, on the other hand, continuously terrorising SMEs with extortionate levies and taxes in a mad revenue drive, using task forces loaded with thugs and police officers to make the business environment unbearable for the engine room of the economy.
For inexplicable reasons, the government —whether federal, state or local — cannot understand the link between policy and prosperity. They think by making life difficult for businesses and their owners, the economy will grow and create the jobs needed to address the unemployment, poverty and inequality ravaging the nation. Does that make sense? For instance, if you run a business in Abuja, right under the nose of the federal government, the ministries, departments and agencies will violently come after you in such a way that you would think you are a Boko Haram member. Serious countries are encouraging SMEs. We are killing them. And we want to tackle unemployment.
In FCT, at least three units of the Abuja Municipal Council Area (AMAC) do “health inspection” on an eatery every year. You pay a levy for each visit. NAFDAC, NSTIF and SON will also do the same “health inspection” for a fee. There is an annual licence for “operating in FCT”. There is a levy for “using a car to distribute food”. You will be forced to pay Federal Housing Authority (FHA) and AMAC again for “fumigation”. There is also the AMAC “sanitary inspection” fee. AMAC’s department of environment charges for yearly inspection. There is yet another AMAC fee for “food and water-related handling”. That is how we want to encourage economic growth and create jobs in Nigeria!
In all, the #EndSARS protesters need to have an articulated game plan. They must have an end game in mind. At what stage do they sheathe the sword and seize this golden opportunity to begin to hold leaders at all levels accountable as a movement? No government official, whether elected or appointed, should sleep at ease again. What are the lawmakers doing with the constituency projects? Why are the roads so bad? Why are the hospitals and schools in such horrible state? Why are government officials chartering jets to attend political rallies? How are the budgets spent? These questions should shape the next stage of agitation, which should be peaceful and orderly.
If #EndSARS is going to be Nigeria’s tipping point — the point at which pockets of protests and agitations will trigger a major, sustained clamour for good governance — there is a need for strategic articulation, with an end game in mind. This is a lifetime opportunity for the youth to channel their anger, frustration and resentment into positive energy to bring about a fundamental change in Nigeria. The biggest gain should not be just to enforce an end to police brutality and impunity. Those are just symptoms of the chronic mismanagement of Nigeria. After #EndSARS, we need to end the biggest obstacle to our progress: appalling leadership at all tiers of government.
IGP tenure: Police affairs minister goofed, says rights group
Rights and Freedom Advocates (RIFA) has faulted Minister of Police Affairs, Muhammad Maigari Dingyadi, for saying the current Inspector General of Police (IGP), Usman Alkali Baba, would not be retiring midway into the general elections.
The IGP was due to retire on March 1 this year. But the minister was quoted last Wednesday after leaving the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting that President Muhammadu Buhari had extended Baba’s tenure as IGP, citing Nigeria Police Act 2020 to indicate the current IGP would serve four-year tenure.
But RIFA, in a statement signed by its president, Luqman Soliu, said it viewed the minister’s position as inconsistent with the laws of the land.
It argued that the minister’s position ran contrary to the law and that the quoted Act was being misinterpreted, adding the tenure elongation could create a problem in the police force.
The statement read in part, “Usman Alkali Baba record at Nigeria Police Force showed his date of birth as March 1, 1963 while he enlisted into Nigeria Police Force on March 15, 1988 as Assistant Superintendent of Police and is expected to bow out of active service on March 1, 2023 when he would clock 60 years. Similarly, the IGP by March 15,2023 would clock 35 years in service. As a result, his post would be vacant effective March 1, 2023.
“However, the law is explicit on the tenure of any IGP and those qualified to be IGP.
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“The minister was said to be relying on Nigeria Police Act, 2020 Section 7(3) and (6) to arrive at his position.
“Also, the minister was further quoted to have said the IGP was appointed by the President on April 6,2021 but his appointment confirmed in June 2021 by the Nigeria Police Council in line with the laws of the land and so must spend four (4) years.
“Even though the tenure of the IGP has witnessed improved compliance with the laws of Nigeria and sanctioning/discipline of some errant police officers mostly reported by the media, that cannot warrant elongating his tenure beyond the constitutionally guaranteed period.
“On the issue of the IGP, the 1999 Constitution (as amended) is very clear on the appointment and removal of IGP when it states in section 215 (1) (a) that:“An Inspector-General of Police who, subject to section 216 (2) of this Constitution shall be appointed by the President on the advice of the Nigeria Police Council from among serving members of the Police Force”.
“In addition, section 216(2) provides that: “Before making any appointment to the office of the Inspector-General of Police or removing him from office the President shall consult the Nigeria Police Council”.
“Similarly, Nigeria Police Act 2020 states in Section 7(2)that ‘the person to be appointed as Inspector-General of Police shall be a senior police officer not below the rank of an Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG) with the requisite academic qualifications of not less than a first degree or its equivalent in addition to professional and management experience’; Section 7(3) of same Police Act states ‘The Inspector General of Police shall be appointed by the President on the advice of the Police Council from among serving members of the Police Force’. Also, Section 7(6) provides ‘The person appointed to the office of the Inspector-General of Police shall hold office for four years’. This subsection was what the minister was relying on to make his position. However, Section 18 (8) of Nigeria Police Act, 2020 is explicit on tenure of a police officer when it says, ‘Every police officer shall, on recruitment or appointment, serve in the Nigeria Police Force for a period of 35 years or until he attains the age of 60 years, whichever is earlier’. So, the law states that someone who is no longer a police officer or who is not a police officer cannot be IGP. So, if the law says by 60 years of age or by 35 years in police service, IGP Usman Alkali is no longer a police officer, how then can he be eligible to be IGP afterwards when the laws says only a serving police officer can be IGP?
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“With the above, the law is very clear on the tenure of a serving IGP and which the President or a Minister cannot override as the law is superior to occupant of any post in the land. Therefore, instead of the minister dissipating energy to seeking the extension of tenure of IGP Usman Alkali, he should focus his energy on searching for the next IGP before the end of February 2023 when Usman Alkali would cease to be a police officer.
“Similarly, the minister should occupy himself with how to convene the next Police Council meeting that would recommend a new IGP for appointment before March 1, 2023.
“Therefore, the minister and the government should stop contemplating on tenure elongation for the current IGP. Rather, the government should strive for improved policing that meets the yearnings of the populace and restore public confidence in the Force.”
Old age comes with aggression: Be patient with your parents (an appraisal of Qur’an17 : 23-24)
Dr. Sanusi Lafiagi is a lecturer in Department of Islamic Studies, Al-Hikmah University Ilorin
Towards understanding your religion: A short treatise on Sujūd as-sahw
Sujūd as-Sahw (prostration of forgetfulness) is a corrective measure legislated by Allāh to rectify certain unintended mistakes in Salāt. It is necessitated by any of the following 3 things:
1. Omission of an action of Salāt
2. Addition of an action of Salāt
3. Doubt over the performance or non-performance of an action of Salāt.
It is important to note that the action of Salāt that necessitates Sujūd as-Sahw is one that falls under any of the following categories:
The Arkān (pillars) of Salāt are:
1. Standing (for the one that is capable)
2. The opening Takbīrah
3. Recitation of Fātiha
5. Rising from it
6. Being straight after rising
8. Rising from it
9. Sitting in-between the two prostrations
10. Performing each pillar with accuracy
11. The last tashahhud (in a 3 or 4 raka’ah prayer & the only one in a two raka’ah prayer)
12. Sitting for the last tashahhud
13. The taslīm
14. Sequential order of the pillars
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The wājibāt (obligatory actions) of Salāt are as follows:
1. Any other Takbīrat apart from the opening Takbīrah
2. Saying of Sami’Allāhu liman hamidah
3. Saying of Rabbānā laka al-hamd
4. Saying of Subhāna rabī al-adhīm in bowing
5. Saying of Subhāna rabī al-A’lā in prostration
6. Saying of Rabbi ighfirlī in the sitting between sujūd
7. The first tashahhud
8. Sitting for the first tashahhud
These are the actions that necessitate the observance of Sujūd as-Sahw should one omit, add, or doubt their performance in Salāt forgetfully. It doesn’t matter if the Salāt were fard (obligatory) or nafl (supererogatory).
It’s important to note that this Sujūd applies to all persons observing Salāt (male/female, old/young, Imām/follower of an Imām/lone worshipper). It’s a compulsory action that’s needed to rectify an unintended mistake in Salāt.
A SHORT TREATISE ON SUJŪD AS-SAHW
Forms of Sujūd as-Sahw
Sujūd as-Sahw occurs at the tail end of Salāt after recitation of the final tashahhud. Depending on the incident that warrants it, it may be performed before the Taslīm (salutation of peace that ends Salāt)or after it.
If it is performed before the taslīm, it is termed ‘Qablī’, and if it is performed after taslīm, it is termed ‘Ba’dī’. The Arabic words قَبْلُ and بَعْدُ connote before & after respectively. Thus, the terms قَبْلِيٌّ & بَعْدِيٌّ are shortened forms of قبل التسليم/بعد التسليم.
Sujūd as-Sahwi is like the normal Sujūd of Salāt. It’s not special in any way. It consists of two Sajdah (prostration) with the normal adhkār of Sujūd; “Subhāna rabbiya’l-A’lā wa bihamdihī” or any other known adhkār of Sujūd (check Sifatu Salāti’n-Nabiyy by Al-Albānī)
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It is important to note that Muslim Jurists have expressed divergent views on whether Sujūd as-Sahw must be observed before the taslīm or after it, irrespective of whether the case was an omission, an addition or that of doubt. The summary of the views is as follows:
Hanafiyyah: All Sujūd as-Sahw must come after Taslīm.
Shāfi’iyyah: All Sujūd as-Sahw must come before Taslīm.
Hanābilah: All Sujūd as-Sahw must come before Taslīm save in 2 cases:
(i) If one makes Taslīm before completion of Salāt e.g. saying Taslīm after 2/3 raka’ats in dhuhr
(ii) If one doubts the exact number of raka’ah that he has prayed but decided to settle for the dominant number in his mind. In both instances, he must make the Sujūd after Taslīm.
Mālikiyyah: Sujūd as-Sahw can occur either before or after the Taslīm, depending on the case. Thus, if it’s a case of omission, it must come before Taslīm, and if it’s a case of addition, it must come after Taslīm. If, however, both omission & addition occur in the particular Salāt, then, the Sujūd must come before the Taslīm. These are the various views of the Jurists.
Sometimes, some people find themselves in a situation where they can not independently determine whether to do the Sujūd before Taslīm or after it. Before I go into specifics in the next thread, know this: Whichever if the Sujūd you do suffices, irrespective of the case.
Do not worry about whether the Sujūd was done before the Taslīm in a case of addition or that it was done after the Taslīm in a case of omission. What matters is that one does the Sujūd in order to rectify and make up for the unintended error committed in any of the acts of Salāt mentioned in the introduction to this treatise. That’s it. Your Salāt remains valid. Don’t let anyone confuse you & do not torture yourself trying to figure out what to do at when. Do I even need to go into specifics again? This is clear enough. I think.
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In conclusion, it’s important to note that after the Sujūd as-Sahw, there’s no need to repeat the tahiyyāt. One should immediately conclude the Salāt by uttering the Taslīm. If, however, one repeats the tahiyyāt either knowingly or unknowingly, his/her Salāt remains valid.
A SHORT TREATISE ON SUJŪD AS-SAHW
Categories of Worshippers With Regards to Sujūd as-Sahw
There are 3 categories of worshippers with regards to the Sujūd as-Sahw. They are:
1. The lone worshipper
2. The Imām
3. Follower of the Imām. This category is further divided into two:
a. The one that observed the prayer in full with the Imām
b. The one that missed a part of the prayer. This category is further divided into two:
a. The one that witnessed the mistake of the Imām
b. The one that joined the Salāt after the mistake has been made.
If a lone worshipper remembers after recitation of Fātiha but before observing rukū’ that he did not make the takbīrat al-Ihrām (opening Takbīrah), he must make the Takbīrah & continue his Salāt. In this situation, he’s not to make Sujūd as-Sahw. If, however, he remembers while on rukū’ or subsequent acts, he must return to the standing position, make the Takbīrat al-Ihrām, complete the Salāt and make the Sujūd as-Sahw after Taslīm.
Also, if he remembers after standing for the 2nd raka’ah, he must discard all that he has prayed immediately & start the Salāt afresh. After Taslīm, he must perform the Sujūd as-Sahw. This same rule applies to if the forgotten pillar were recitation of Fātiha. If he hasn’t reached the rukū’, he should recite Fātiha & no Sujūd as-Sahw is on him.
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If he has reached the rukū’, he must return to the standing position & recite Fātiha. After the Taslīm, he must make the Sujūd as-Sahw. If the lone worshipper recites Fātiha twice forgetfully, there’s nothing on him. If he recites loudly in a Salāt of silent recitation or vice versa, there’s no Sujūd on him. If he remembers in the middle of the recitation, he should continue from that verse without repeating all that he has recited earlier. If he unintentionally recites Fātiha twice, he’s not obliged to observe Sujūd as-Sahw according to the most authoritative view.
A SHORT TREATISE ON SUJŪD AS-SAHW
If the lone worshipper rises to an extra raka’ah (i.e. rising to a 3rd in Subh, or to a 4th in Maghrib, or to a 5th in Dhuhr, ‘Asr, or Ishā’), he must sit down immediately he realizes the error, recite the tahiyyāt, make Taslīm and prostrate twice thereafter. If he continues without sitting, his Salāt becomes invalid & he will start afresh.
If the lone worshipper forgets to make iqāmah before commencement of Salāt, his Salāt is valid & he doesn’t need to do any Sujūd. The iqāmah is neither a rukn (pillar) nor wājib(obligatory act) of Salāt.
If the lone worshipper forgets to say سمع الله لمن حمده or ربنا ولك الحمد, he must do the Sujūd before Taslīm. Once he has left the position where those statements are made, he needs not return to make it up. The Sujūd as-Sahw before Taslīm will take care of it.
If the lone worshipper forgets to say the adhkār of rukū’ or Sujūd at least once, he must do the Sujūd as-Sahw before Taslīm (in the view of the hanābilah). The majority of scholars regard those adhkār as Sunnah & as such no Sujūd is required.
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A SHORT TREATISE ON SUJŪD AS-SAHW
If the lone worshipper remembers in the last raka’ah that he unintentionally omitted a pillar of Salāt (recitation of Fātiha or Rukū’, etc) in any of the previous raka’ah, he must discard that raka’ah and start counting from the one next to it. After the Taslīm, he must perform the Sujūd as-Sahw. Also, if he remembers in the last raka’ah that he omitted Fātiha in the first & rukū’ in the second, then, he must discard both raka’ahs & start counting from the raka’ah he’s on. In all of these, he must performs the Sujūd as-Sahw after Taslīm.
If the lone worshipper forgets to sit for the first Tashahhud but instead rose to the third raka’ah, here, there are three situations:
a. If he intends rising but is yet to rise. In this instance, he sits & recites the tashahhud & is not obliged to do Sujūd as-Sahw.
b. If he were on the rise but was yet to rise fully. In this instance, he must return back to the sitting position & recite the tahiyyāt.
c. If he had fully risen. Here, he must not return back to sitting. If he does, his Salāt becomes invalid (according to a view, another view is, he may return so long as he was yet to commence recitation of Fātiha. I favour the former view that he should not return once he’s fully risen). In both cases, he performs the Sujūd as-Sahw before Taslīm.
If the lone worshipper forgets to recite sūrah after Fātiha, his Salāt is valid & he doesn’t have to make any Sujūd as-Sahw. Recitation of sūrah after is not compulsory. If, however, he does the Sujūd as-Sahw before Taslīm, his Salāt remains valid.
Dr. Sanusi Lafiagi is a lecturer in Department of Islamic Studies, Al-Hikmah University Ilorin
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