The mosque committee of Apo legislative quarters, Abuja, has suspended its Chief Imam, Sheikh Nuru Khalid, over a sermon it considered insulting to the sitting government.

Sheikh Khalid in the sermon on Friday condemned President Muhammadu Buhari administration over its failure to halt the worsening insecurity situation and killings in the country.

In the controversial sermon, the Imam reportedly urged the electorate not to vote in the next election, if the government fails to protect their lives.

He said, “Nigerian masses should resort to only one term which is – protect our lives, we will come out to vote; let us be killed, we will not come out to vote, since it’s only elections that you people know.”

He also in the sermon, described President Muhammadu Buhari as a failure, noting that all Nigerians have also failed in their due responsibilities.

“Is there nobody to take responsibility? I want to believe that we have all failed. I failed as an Imam to teach you that life is sacred. You all failed as parents to teach your children that killing is bad. Our community leaders failed. Our politicians failed. Governors failed, especially his Excellency the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. You have failed us.

“Let me tell Mr President, under your watch bandits are demanding, are taxing Nigerians. Is that the provision of the Constitution of Nigeria?

“Under the Constitution, no one has a right to tax Nigerians except authorised by the Federal Government.”

Following the sermon, however, the chairman of the mosque committee, Senator Saidu Muhammed Dansadau, said the committee had to suspend the Imam over what he described as ‘inciting public outrage’.

The statement read, “I am informing you that you have been suspended from leading prayers in the Apo Legislative Quarters Mosque from today being April 2nd, 2022 until further notice.

“The decision was taken out of the inciting Friday sermon you delivered on April 1st, 2022; where you advised people not to vote come 2023 general elections unless politicians respond to some critical questions.

“You should have advised them to vote out those that transgress the Almighty and breach people’s social contract as well as the state.”

The committee maintained that Sheikh Khalid’s sermon negated the tenets of Islam.

The committee has in his place, appointed Malam Mohammad who will deliver Ramadan Tafsir while Malam Abdullahi will be leading Friday prayers.

Meanwhile, Khalid, the embattled Imam, has reacted to his suspension, while a non-governmental organisation has also vowed to defend his interest.

Speaking with Jarida Radio about his next line of action, the cleric, also known as Digital Imam, said that he would not oppose any decision by the committee.

“I will not oppose anyone, especially Senator Dan Sadau, he is an elder; I will not stand against him,” he said in Hausa language.

Meanwhile, the Convener of Open Nigeria, NGO, Smart Madu Ajaja, has commended the cleric for standing for the truth, even when it hurts the powers-that-be.

“We stand with Sheik Nuru Khalid for speaking up while most other Imams, mostly bigots and false prophets, are protecting their own selfish interests as their country is being destroyed and their people perishing.

“Standing up for country via speaking truth to its powers is not blasphemous, but, a moral, spiritual, civic, constitutional and patriotic obligation that every citizen owes his/her country in both its good and challenging times; because true patriotism is never and must never be defined by the decree or the fiat of any government in power at anytime-the way it has been done in Nigeria since independence,” the group stated in a Facebook post on Sunday.