Obasanjo, Yerima and Self-serving Shari’a -By Ishaq Usman

Filed under: National Issues |

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo


Northern Nigeria is a very funny place. Being the first place in the geographical entity called Nigeria to have contact with Islam,it sometimes erroneously and delusionally ascribe to itself a sense of moral correctness, immediately pelting those perceived not to be morally upright with a concomitant defiance in defending or trying to defend, a perceived contamination of their morality. Religion is the bedrock of their morality so immense importance is attached to anyone or anything that aligns itself/himself with anything Islamic to degrees,at times,of laughter.

Islam has and will always be a religion of peace. A unique set of code sent down by the Almighty to guide the activities of humans. Islam however has been ruthlessly exploited by Northern Nigeria’s politicians, using it as as a courier for their selfishness. “Making Africa Work”, a book coauthored by President Olusegun Obasanjo and 3 others laid threadbare what politicians do in hidden that we think is genuine. He said in the book that Sani Yerima introduced Shari’a for personal and selfish reasons and not as we were made to believe. The then NSA, Gen Muhammad Aliyu’s candidate of the PDP lost elections against Sani Yerima’s APP .Sani Yerima was at that time the governor of Zamafara state. NSA obviously slighted,decided to surreptitiously gather evidences of corruption and misconduct, in a bid to hit nails on Yerima’s coffin. Yerima,seeing the end of his political journey,summoned imams domiciled in Zamfara,informing them of his desire to make Zamfara a sharia state. Other imams in neighboring states were instigated and 12,out of 19 northern states declared Shari’a. That undoubtedly made him very very untouchable.

Obasanjo being president then was faced with the task of being neutral. He needed not sound opposed to the idea as this will pit him against the Sharia vanguard. He also had to face the Christians who felt that being a Christian, an outright condemnation should be what he should do. This to his credit, he handled expertly. He talked on the sincerity of Yerima’s moves,saying that Sharia will survive and thrive if introduced with genuine intentions but will fizzle out if other wise. And boy,it did. Few months later,as OBJ said in the book,Yerima visited him in his official residence where he hugged his young female cousin familiarly. This was done in OBJ’s presence. OBJ was undebatably shocked. This was a man that spearheaded the establishment of shariah! Its a known fact that under Shari’a, Muslims aren’t permitted to touch women they aren’t closely related to but what Yerima was doing was in stark contrast to what he fought for. When prodded on the reason for this ideological dualism, Yerima said,as quoted,that

Didn’t you say sharia would fizzle out and has it not fizzled out?

Zamfarans didn’t catch the bait. He was still elected senator in 2011.All he had to do was to make his beard thicker,his cap bigger and to always,like an appendage to his characteristics, mouth praises on the Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw).Or take his Shari’a brother, Bukar Abba Ibrahim,who was caught shamelessly fraternizing with call girls. His nakedness was as open as sunlight. A sharp sighted person could have easily guessed the color of underwear he was wearing. In saner climes,he ought to have resigned because this religion he claims to defend has been soiled with seasonings hypocrisy loyal to him. And no,he wasn’t shameless. There was no face saving lies to at least show contrition. No apology to those he deceived and lied to. He actually forgot that he was the one that brought Shari’a to Yobe state,where adultery is banned as well as free intermingling between opposite sexes. Lets not forget that his Wiki page shows that he has 3 wives. Its a private affair ” was the response we got.
Northern politicians are masters in the acts of chicanery. They know the words to use,the pulse to push and kind of facts their people want to hear and waste no time in dishing them out. A governor once posited that meningitis was caused by our constant fornication. This is very laughable because meningitis affects and kills the poor mostly. The rich ones are insulated because they don’t fornicate according to him. God will always punish the poor. The rich are saints.

Northern Nigeria will continue to wallow in sesquicentennial backwardness if avenues and chances are continuously handed to people who have surreptitiously,mastered the art of ideology lampooner an locomotive pauciloquency because the embroidered themselves with garbs of religion. They’ll come with sugary mouths,quoting the sayings of Allah Almighty and almost immediately, revert to their thieving and hypocritical alter ago. They’re quick to condemn what they think is a contaminant to Islam but will gladly owe workers salary. They’ll pray with you in the mosque,raising their hands up to show their sincerity,or perceived sincerity, while they feast on our wealth. You can’t question them because “islamically an elder should be respected no matter what happens” .There are exception though but they’re most times frustrated or too tired of fighting and talking or a combination of both.

The ordinary man on crisscrossing the streets of Konan Dawaki in Kano,Hunkuyi in Kaduna and other places need to see these people for who they really are ; enemies.They’re responsible for soiling the religion of Allah.They need to as a matter of urgency,come together,to fight these dualized personalities. Then, progress will be made

Ishaq Usman.
A writer and poet staying in Kano state. He can be reached on [email protected] beautifully crafted Wattpad story highlighting the various angles to the problems bedeviling Northern Nigeria titled “Garin Mazugal” is currently being serialized. It’s worth a search on Wattpad.