*As JIBWIS empowers youths
By Muhammad Hamisu Abdullahi
Concerned about the deterioration of behavior among young generation, especially youths in the community, the national headquarters of Jama’atu Izalatil Bid’ah Wa’ikamatis Sunna (JIBWIS) in Jos has mapped out some strategies to tackle the menace among the Ummah.
Part of the strategies is the establishment of National Youth Preaching Committee, headed by Ustaz Muhammad Murtala Idris Malwa to champion the cause in order to help in moulding the behavior of the affected category of the Ummah, thereby guiding them on way forward so that the society would be proud of them.
The committee has, since its creation about 10 years ago, jumped into action, thus intending to achieve its mandate by way of embarking on some programmes that have direct bearing on the lives of the youths and by extension the society at large.
Speaking weekend at a seminar held at Tal’udu Izala Juma’a Mosque, organized for Muslim youths in Kano by the committee, as part of its mandates, its chairman, Ustaz Malwa, described the event as 21st of its kind, saying that its 19th edition was held in Republic of Niger.
Ustaz Malwa, while showcasing the significance of the seminar, said they held such event even in the Southern part of the country, stating that plan is in the pipeline to take it to Borno and Katsina States in the Northeastern and Northwestern parts of the nation.
According to him, they used the occasion to preach to the youths on the need to inculcate good habit and be good ambassadors of the society. “This is part of the reasons for the establishment of the committee.
We are charged to be holding seminars to draw the attention of the youths on the need for them to exhibit good conducts so that the society will be proud of them,” he said.
The Islamic cleric further said another mandate the committee was charged with is visitation to correctional centers to preach to the youth inmates and see possibility of securing their releases. He said in one of their visits to such centers in one of the states of the federation, to their shock, they found inmates of less than 15 years being taken there for various offences. He said only one of them was at the.
He said they were just above 10 years, but imprisoned for serious offences. Ustaz Malwa said they made it a duty upon them to, whenever they visit any state, pay a visit to its correctional center to extend hands of fellowship and support to inmates, specifically the youths, saying that such effort has since been yielding good results.
He said on such visitation to a state, they also made it a duty on them to call on the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in that state to counsel those arrested by the agency in connection with drug and substance abuses for them to be enlightened on the need to refrain from their habit and change to good citizens by stopping taking such illicit drugs and substances which in the long run could cause serious damage to their health condition, stressing that a healthy man is a wealthy person and vice versa.
The committee chairman went further to add that it was part of the responsibilities bestowed on them to visit motherless babies’ homes under the care of both public and private entities to let the inmates there know that their condition was from God Almighty who predestined that such was their life and there was no way they could avoid it.
“They must pass through such a journey in life,” he said, adding that: “they have also not offended their Creator.”
“We also visit places where drugs are abused in the society – to carry enlightenment campaign to the drug addicts to let them know the dangers of their actions.
“While carrying out this assignment as a committee, we use to interact with them where we understand that they indulge in such behavior because of poverty/unemployment. Some of them complain of lack of capital, and so on and so forth.
“We try to teach them some skills or give them capital to start up. Many of them have withdrawn from such acts and pledged to the committee that they will never go back to their former life,” he said while counting on some successes they recorded.
He added: “We also go to the houses of those who lost their parents (orphans) to either shoulder payment of their school fees or to engage them in one skill or the other.
“Also, those who converted to Islam, including women, we teach them the religion and if they get someone to marry, we assist them with a lot of things that could be needed for use in their matrimonial homes.”
He said they expanded their scope of activities to other states of the federation to include those in the South and West, saying they work in 26 out of the 36 states of the federation to include the capital territory, Abuja, adding that they would soon penetrate into the rest of the states. He mentioned the states they are already working as Plateau, Bauchi, Gombe, Adamawa, Taraba, Borno, Yobe, Jigawa, Kano, Katsina, Zamfara, Kebbi, Sokoto, Niger, Nasarawa, Benue, FCT Abuja, Rivers, Cross River, Bayelsa, Lagos, Oyo and Ogun, saying that they all have chapters in those states.
According to him, this year, they are mandated by the national body of the Islamic sect to expand their activities to foreign countries to include Benin Republic, Togo, Burkina Faso, Chad, Cameroon and Ghana respectively. He said they have also published a book to guide their activities on how to properly guide the youths on becoming good citizens to be proud of in the society.
Responding to a question, Ustaz Malwa revealed that they have so far secured release of over 200 inmates at various correctional centers of the nation costing the committee over N2 million.
He said just at a go, they were able to secure the release of 49 inmates out of the above figure in Plateau, Bauchi, Kano and Nasarawa States at the cost of about N1 million, reiterating that finances are part of their challenges.
He explained that their visitations to the correctional centers has opened the window of their horizon that the people in the society should change their perception on the inmates, urging them to now consider the inmates as not bad eggs, but victims of the circumstance who should not be rejected by the community.
This is the position of the committee on the inmates of correctional centers, to which Ustaz Malwa emphasized that a visit to the correctional centers would really vindicate the position of the committee.
He went further to explain that in his life history, Prophet Yusuf was reprimanded in prison for no any offence he committed, but that was a destiny on his part.
He also cited pious people like Imam Malik, whom he said were imprisoned for an offence they have not committed, adding that it was just part of a destiny that they must experience such prison life, pointing out that it was a test of life on their part.
Ustaz Malwa made a shocking revelation when he said they visited a correctional center and met an inmate who narrated his ordeal to them on what brought him there.
He said the inmate told them that he was just on a journey one day around one o’clock in the night when a patrol team arrested him and was just taken to prison where he spent six years without trial.
He told this reporter that another one confided with the committee that his predicament in prison followed a theft of a duck, adding that at the time of their visit, the inmate spent eight years without trial. He said that inmate was among those they secured their releases.
Ustaz Malwa said all these were tests of life, adding that his committee was so disturbed with these occurrences. He however drew the attention of youths in the society to shun away from engaging in any riot or protest against the authorities, adding that doing so contravenes the tenet of Islam. He urged them not to abuse or curse their leaders, stressing that Islam frowns at those acts.
The chairman of the committee also used the opportunity to call on the government of the nation to provide more job opportunities to youths, calling on wealthy individuals to do the needful in playing a role towards assisting the youths to be self-sustained.
He urged the NDLEA to intensify efforts in pursuing their job with vigour, noting that a lot of people move around as lunatics following consumption of illicit drugs sold freely by certain individuals, a fault he blamed on the officials of the agency, saying that surely they (the officials of the agency) could have a share of the blame as it is their duty to rid the society of such acts.
“God will definitely punish the suppliers of drugs to addicts,” he reiterated. On his part, Sheikh He mentioned such skills as carpentry, shoe-making, mechanizing, trading, tailoring and welding among numerous others, stressing that they should not be left out in championing such skills or entrepreneurship for their betterment.
He said they want to build a solid foundation into the life of youths with the hope that they would be active players in community development by inculcating the spirit of hard work and commitment to the cause of progress of their various communities and shun laziness.
While stressing that the event is a welcome development in view of the recognition that Kano is populous and blessed with a number of youths, the chairman of Gombe State chapter of the committee, who graced the occasion, Malam Adamu Mijinyawa, said if the youths in the state would embrace the initiative, it would have greater impact on other states of the federation.
He saw the initiative as going a long way in augmenting the efforts of various governments across the federation in empowering the targeted group with skills for them to continue to earn a living through such initiatives, adding that through the programme, they intend to make the Ummah of good habit and character.
Malam Mijinyawa asserted that in an effort to ensuring a society free of drugs and other menaces, parents must play a great role in achieving the set objectives.
He said having realized that government alone could not shoulder all the responsibilities, parents or community must give a helping hand towards realizing the set goals, stating that when the duo synergise, it would augur well for the entire society.
“Unless the two come together, imbuing discipline and good habit among the youths, which is not a one-day affair, it will lead to a peaceful atmosphere or coexistence among the dwellers of the community.
“Kidnapping, banditry, insurgency and others will not occur if there has been proper upbringing of younger ones,” Malam Mijinyawa added.
He also said they encouraged the youths to combine their studies in schools with skill acquisition, reiterating that the gesture would enable the society to move from strength to strength, suggesting that the youths should be much more engaged in doing one thing or the other in order for them not to have a breathing space for doing the unwanted.
Malam Usman Sa’idu Isa Tal’udu, is the chairman of the committee in Kano State, who used the occasion to assert that their visitation to states was based on the premise that they were taking the campaign to the youths of those states to let them know their real worth in building a solid society, stressing that what always moves the society to enviable heights are good bahaviours and relating with the citizens very well.
He said exhibiting good conduct could even draw the attention of non-Muslims to embrace the religion. He encouraged the youths to strive hard to seek knowledge in various fields like medicine, education, technology, mass communication and others, stating that they should also learn skills or trades with a view to becoming self-employed.
The event, with its theme: ‘Youth Empowerment as a Key to National Development’ featured lecture presentations by Malam Ibrahim Abubakar Kaura, the national secretary of the committee; Ustaz Ahmad Salihu Bukar, the chairman of Bauchi State chapter of the committee and Ustaz Muhammad Murtala Malwa, the national chairman of the committee respectively.
It was attended by a large crowd of Muslim youthsBashir Ash-Sheikh Muhammad Sani Yahaya Jingir, the national vice chairman of the committee, stressed the need for the youths to acquire skills for them to live a happy and selfsustained life.