On Thursday, March 4, 2021, fact-checkers at the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) spotted a WhatsApp audio recording claiming that Sheikh Sharif Saleh made comments on the recent Sheikh Abduljabbar’s preaching suspension saga.
In the recording – done in Hausa – a commentator (claiming to be the voice of Sheikh Saleh) expressed disappointment on the decision to suspend the cleric from conducting preaching activities in Kano State.
He said information available to him indicates that Sheikh Kabara’s worship centre has been sealed off by the Kano State Government.
He said the sealing of the worship centre is a gang up against Sunni clerics, Darika and other sects.
The commentator continued: “The method used by the clerics sounds funny and embarrassing and any responsible person that knows about the matter will understand that he was treated unfairly because his statements were shortened and edited”
An investigation conducted by CDD on the viral audio clip established showed that as of March 11, 2021, Sheikh Shariff Saleh, has not reacted to the suspension of Sheikh Kabara as claimed in the WhatsApp audio.
Checks by the CDD also revealed that the voice in the audio circulated on WhatsApp is not Sheikh Saleh’s.
The Kano State Government had on February 3, 2021, announced the suspension of the Sheikh Kabara following tension from within and outside the state on the cleric’s controversial stance, especially, on certain hadiths.
When contacted on the matter, Sheikh Saleh’s so, Engr. Almuntasir Ibrahim Saleh Al-Hussain told the CDD fact-checker that the claim in the audio is false.
Al-Husain said his father never said anything on the suspension of Sheikh Kabara.
“Well, I listened to the said audio clip that was trending on WhatsApp, and I can categorically confirm to you that neither the voice nor the content is Sheikh’s and even the message does not reflect Maulana’s opinion on this matter in any way,” Al-Hussain said.
The trending WhatsApp audio claiming that Sheikh Saleh has reacted to the suspension of Sheikh Kabara’s preaching by the Kano State Government is false.
The evidence available to CDD shows that the cleric never commented on the suspension of Sheikh Kabara’s preaching by the State Government.
CDD urges the public to disregard the claim and avoid sharing the clip.
You can forward suspicious messages for verification via +2349062910568 or contact us on Twitter @CDDWestAfrica
Center for Democracy and Development West Africa| CDD West Africa