Friday, 31 May 2013


 Governor Raji Fashola

Between Nudity and Hijab, the choice is yours!

Lagos state is the financial, industrial and commercial nerve centre of Nigeria, home to over 18 million people with diverse culture, religion and ideological background. There are indigenes, or the so-called sons of the soil, but it's an undisputed fact that the settlers constitute more than 60% of the state population and greatly have impact on its economy.

Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) is the thirteenth governor of the State otherwise known as the Centre of Excellence. He is a Muslim whether conscious or not, and his Muslim name is Raji, meaning the hopeful. But, like his predecessor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Fashola's wife, Abimbola Emmanuela is a devoted Christian, a staunch Redeemer!

Fashola's religious inclination first generated controversy when he was presented by Asiwaju Bola Tinubu as the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) governorship candidate in the 2007 General Elections. He was criticized by many on the basis of religion, amongst other reasons, but several Islamic organisations ignored the reasons, passionately rallied round him to make him the State governor.

Yes, Muslims made him the governor! It's not an overstatement. It's still an irrefutable fact that Muslims are the majority in Lagos State. Little wonder why most politicians love to associate with Islam especially during election periods. We'll start seeing Richard claiming to be Rashidi and all such of Islamic names. There are many Christians in Fashola's cabinet, who use Islamic names as smokescreen to get what they want, but in turn turned to be anti-Islam.

I know a lot of people who voted for Fashola based on religious sentiment. I could remember how I convinced my mum and other siblings to vote for him because he's a Muslim. After all, a weak Muslim is better than a strong kafir, so we learnt from our learned scholars. If this is the case, the Muslim community did nothing wrong to have voted for the man, whom they believe would surpass the achievements of his predecessor, especially in matters of religion.

But, the reverse is the case now. Babatunde Raji Fashola has failed adherents of different religious bodies that voted for him as a result of his unfriendly, uncivilized, in-human policies especially the ones that affect Muslims. I stand to be corrected; this administration has the highest numbers of anti-Islamic policies, which no serious Muslim would not even debate, not to talk of passing it into law.

For instance, an ex-lawmaker who is now the Chief Imam of Lagos State House of Assembly Mosque, Hon. AbdulHakeem Abdul-Lateef used his position as the Chairman, House Committee on Judiciary matters to bury the proposed gay marriage bill because he knows the essence of being a Muslim.

Unfortunately, the same House has now turned to an avenue where all such bills are proposed and passed and the most recent and controversial is the cremation bill, which was passed into law in December 2012. That means if you die and nobody claims your corpse, your remains will be burnt! This is ridiculous! Yes and yet it's real and the justification for this, despite condemnation from religious leaders, was that our mortuaries are filled with unclaimed corpses

No state in this country has ever debated such in-human bill, not to talk of passing it into law. There is nowhere in this country where it's being officially practiced except for some foreigners who practise it as part of their culture. This administration ignored public opinions at a hearing and passed the unpopular cremation bill into law.
Cremation is not only an anti-Islamic policy; it runs contrary to the norms and culture of our society! It is at variance with the laws of God. No true religion will allow such wicked practice because it's only our Creator, God Almighty that has power to punish by fire.

While we are yet to recover from this shocker, this administration also collided with some Christian fanatics to ridicule Islam under the disguise of "no hijab on school uniform", and the agents of this ungodly act, whose loathing for Islam is apparent, began their unholy crusade on innocent female muslim students who only exercise their religious rights. The assaults on Aisha Alabi and Bareerah Sulayman were few cases of molestations against innocent muslims and till today, the criminals are yet to be brought to book.

To me, I see the undue clampdown on hijab as a psychological warfare against southwest Muslims who have hitherto maintained decorum for years and live peacefully with members of other religions. If not, will anyone dare try what Mrs Ukpaka had succeeded in doing to the innocent Aisha Alabi in the North? Or what Mrs Elizabeth did to Bareerah Sulayman in the streets of Kano, Sokoto, Zamfara without being lynched?

Is there any justification for cremation when Lagos is blessed with spacious land? Or does the land belong to government officials or the people? Is there anyway the removal of hijab makes students to be extra-ordinary brilliant or will it improve academic excellence?

Muslim lawyers addressing protesters, as Amir MSSN, Lagos State Area Unit looked on...

The priority of a responsible government is to deliver and make the people benefit the dividends of democracy, such as good health service delivery, good roads and infrastructural­ development, among other life changing programmes and most importantly, quality education for our children, the leaders of tomorrow. The standard of education is rapidly deteriorating, our schools are filled with mediocrities who themselves needed to be taught before teaching someone, yet the government is doing nothing to check the ugly trend!

What is perhaps more disgusting about this administration was when the governor ordered destruction of Mosques over security threat! What he had consciously or unconsciously succeeded in doing was to stop the call to the worship of Allah in the affected mosques, which is tantamount to Kufr (disbelief).

There are many ways to check terrorism activities without insulting any religion, because vandalization of mosques simply concludes that terrorism is from the mosque. Yet, they keep on telling us, "We are also Muslims. We pray, go to hajj and fast in the month of Ramadhan." They told us that their forefathers were Baba Adinnis, great-grand mothers were Iya Sunna, yet continue to display their ignorance publicly.

I am so ashamed to see Muslims being pro-government against Islamic dictates. There is nothing wrong in being pro-government especially when you are civil servants and the government is living to its responsibilitie­s, but not against your religious belief. What Mr. Muhammad Danmole, the Commissioner for Home Affairs exhibited on the day the Muslim students staged peaceful protest to Governor's House, is a blatant sign of hypocrisy! Whereas our Prophet, peace be upon him, said,"the greatest jihad is to say the truth before a tyrant leader". Some Islamic leaders are up till now silent on the government unpopular anti-Islamic policies.

demolished mosque

The brouhaha over the coroner law is still fresh in people's memories. Many families found it difficult to bury their loved ones when the law was introduced in 2009. It was later made optional after Muslim organisations kicked against it. Coroner Law helps to unravel circumstances surrounding mysterious death, but the processes go against the principles of Islam, which encourages immediate burial of corpse in Islamic ways. Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, warned against delay in three matters, an-Nikkah, as-Solat and the corpse of a Muslim.

This administration'­s major problem is restricted and selective consultation. Policies are formulated and implemented without regards for religious organisations and other pressure groups. This is contrary to true definition of democracy: the government of the people, by the people and for the people. Except if the definition has changed! An instance of disregard to religious leaders was the proposed bill presented to the state House by Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) seeking to stop slaughtering of animals at homes and other unauthorised places in the state, without exception!

I am not privy of the stage of the bill now, but I'm sure if it had scaled through, that means all the naming ceremonies, marriages, Eidul Fitri and Eidul Adha festivals rams would have to be taken to designated abattoirs in Lagos state for slaughtering! That will definitely mark the beginning of "ram slaughtering traffic" at abattoirs, and most people would have to come early if they must beat the long queue. It sounds ridiculous, because if you must slaughter your nikkah ram a day before, can you do that for Eidul Adha festival's ram? It's the issue of environmental cleanliness, hygiene but at the same time, it's purely religious, the more reasons government needs to engage in wider consultation.

I should rather stop here and see if this piece will bring fruitful results. But, I'm convinced beyond doubt that nobody fights Islam and wins. Allah has assured the believers that Islam will always be victorious even though the enemies plan to extinguish its light. I won't waiver until I see sincere Muslims irrespective of tribes, colours and languages taking over the mantle of leadership and rule us with the undiluted words of Allah, the Glorious Qur'an and the prophetic traditions, which preaches equity, justice, love and unity.

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