Lagos never planned to pay scholars salaries -Commissioner Abdullateef

Lagos never planned to pay scholars salaries -Commissioner Abdullateef

- The Lagos state commissioner for home affairs, AbdulHakeem Abdullateef, says the state is encouraging people to pay their religious scholars for the sake of promoting research

- The government official urges Muslims to emulate their Christian counterpart in the area of welfare for their scholars

- Ahmed Makarfi warns against alleged plot to truncate democracy in Benue

The Lagos state commissioner for home affairs, Abdulhakeem Abdullateef, has dismissed media reports that state government was planning on paying religious scholars monthly salaries.

Abdulateef told the Nation in an interview published on Tuesday, July 31, that the state was only encouraging people to pay their religious scholars for the sake of promoting research.

READ ALSO: Governor Ganduje reacts to Kano speaker impeachment

“Lagos is not paying religious scholars monthly salaries (laughs). Lagos is encouraging religious adherents to pay their scholars so that they can create more time to develop them spiritually and engage in more research to educate their members," the commissioner said.

"Many people observe prayers in the mosque, they want their Imam to be with them always for sermons, teach them Quran, counselling and attend to their other issues. Meanwhile, the imam must also fend for himself and take care of his wife and children at home. There is nothing wrong where mosques’ authorities organise salaries for their imams and Mosque’s workers.”

The commissioner noted that the norm was already being practiced by Christians. He urged Muslims to emulate their Christian counterpart in the area of welfare for their scholars.

“The Christians are doing it, Muslims should emulate that. Religion is private, so you don’t expects the government to dabble into private affairs of the society. The moment the government does it for any group, others including idol worshippers will come for their own,” Abdullateef said.

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"Government is trying to encourage Muslims to pay their imams, because they spent eight years learning. The same thing attitude replicated when they take their children to Arabic schools, they don’t pay like they do for conventional schools.

"We should encourage the Muslims to see the scholars as people who workers and the people would benefits more from them if we pay them legitimate income so that they don’t go into illegitimate source of revenue.”

In another report, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ahmed Mohammed Makarfi, has cautioned those behind the impeachment saga in Benue state to desist from ridiculing Nigeria before the comity of civilised nations.

Makarfi in a statement on Monday, July 30, by his spokesman, Muktar Zubairu Sirajo, described the drama playing out in Benue as unlawful, disgraceful and undemocratic, The Tribune reports.

He faulted a scenario where more than 2/3 of a 30-member House of Assembly will be denied access to the House by the police, while giving state cover to other members to sit and even attempt to impeach a democratically elected governor.

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