Full Implementation of Sharia Begins in Niger State

Sixteen months after its introduction, the Sharia legal system, yesterday took off in Niger State with the inauguration of Zakat commission with a promise by the government to send bill on Sharia Commission to the House of Assembly.

Governor Abdulkhadir Abdullahi Kure attributed the gradual process in the implementation of Sharia to the need to maintain the prevailing peaceful co-existence among the adherents of diverse religions in the state.

He admitted that not a few people were opposed to the introduction of the Islamic legal code system.

"Some of our Moslem brothers too, resisted the Islamic legal code, but we as a government, have it as a responsibility to engage in activities that will profit the majority of the people, because we know that one day all of us will stand before Allah to account for our activities here on earth," Kure said.

Going down the memory lane, Kure recalled that Sharia in Niger State started by tackling the twin problems of alcoholism and prostitution, which he described as the root of all evils.

He enjoined the Moslem Umma to give their total support to the Zakat Commission, pointing out that Zakat could not be described as a personal issue like other pillars which makes the involvement of government imperative.

"Zakat is one of the five pillars of Islam and when you threaten a pillar, the entire structure is threatened," the governor said, urging all well-to-do Moslems to pay their Zakat appropriately.

Kure admonished the commission not to dabble into the judicial aspect of Sharia but should restrict itself to regulating and supervising the implementation of the legal system.

Responding on behalf of the commission, chairman of the commission and one time Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Major-General Gado Nasko (rtd) thanked the governor for the confidence reposed in the 6-member commission, promising to be diligent in all its undertakings.

Zakat, one of the five pillars of Islam is the payment of a certain percentage of one's savings over a period of one year by well to do moslems.