By Ibrahim Usman
One Dr. (and Associate Professor) Abdussamad Umar Jibia from Bayero University Kano wrote a letter to the in-coming Nigerian president, General Muhammad Buhari and published on Leadership newspaper (May 12, 2015), which I consider more of ‘a call for violent action’ than a good mannered letter from an academician.
The letter has rendered him a laughing stock in a display of high academic rubbish. A critical close up of the letter reveals the writer’s hidden reasons for making it public or open.
In the first place, the writer needed not lecture General Buhari on what Shi’ism is all about, or who Shaikh Ibraheem Zakzaky is. I see it as an opportunity for the writer to be heard. He however ended in a display of outright ignorance, citing over-flogged historical fabrications that a five-year-old could x-ray and uncover. It was also an opportunity for the writer and his cohorts to clear themselves from the campaign of calumny they staged on General Buhari and some of his associates during the elections of being Shi’ites, now that he had won the election they planned to sabotage.
Not only that, the writer may be one of those seeking recognition for political appointment. This is how he dropped his CV in disguise: “I wish I had a direct access to you to give you this advice without making it public. Although I know a few people around you, I am not quite sure that a message sent through them would get to you at this time. And since office-seeking Nigerians have been sending in their CVs, any document dropped in your office, no matter its contents is very likely going to be treated as another CV in disguise”.
In the history of Nigeria, there had been agents of trouble who placed governments on wrong footings, and later dissociated themselves from its mistakes. The writer is obviously one such evil blowers, whose ill wind will blow nobody any good. One wonders how an “Associate Professor” (whose quality I doubt), would advice an in-coming President to declare war on a section of the citizens. Hear him: “My advice for your Excellency is this. If your promise to tackle insecurity is to be a reality you must cut Shiites down to size”. Throughout the letter, there was never a statement that suggested or called for dialogue or understanding by the writer; it is an outright instigation and fuelling of discontent and anarchy. This exposed the writer’s in-depth and deep-seated hatred and envy for the Islamic Movement and its Leadership.
If the writer would accuse the Shi’ites of being connected with some foreign countries, similarly the evil cause he is championing through the letter is nothing but amplifying a foreign-sponsored sectarian violence that is formulated and incubated by some Wahabbi countries (an easy tool of United States and Israel) outside Nigeria. This is an open secret, for there were some handful of academicians and Islamic scholars before him, who through such international conspiracies had expressed similar dangerous ideas which later became the root of all the problems he itemized and attributed to the Shi’ites. It is the same evil messages that Saudi Arabia, through its good ally, the United States, is spreading to buy world silence and sympathy in its inhumane and merciless killing of innocent people in Yemen.
I am not surprised when the writer described the Shi’ites as “Worse than Boko Haram”; his predecessors had expressed similar view. Israel said Iran is more dangerous than ISIS! Birds of the same feathers flock together. Another self-acclaimed ‘Doctor’, product of the Wahabbi ideology in Kaduna had expressed similar dangerous trend in an open letter published in some national dailies. The present one by Abdussamad Umar Jibia, is only a continuation of the project Execute Shi’ites initiated over time.
The two Doctors, evil trumpet-blowers, expressed similar concern on the trek being conducted by the Shi’ites, describing it as a public nuisance. None these self-acclaimed intellectuals said anything about the present trek going on by APC members which include women that is far more distant than the trek of the Shi’ites. There are other public nuisance going on, which they did not talk about.
For the information of the Dr., the Arba’een symbolic trek, unlike the one by members of the APC, is to recall the trials and tribulations faced by the Household of the Holy Prophet, chained and dragged in the scorching desert from Karbala in Iraq, to Damascus in Syria, after the brutal killing of Imam Husain by the army of despotic Yazid.
The writer should have read further before writing his misguided statement. Jabir Bin Abdullah al-Ansari was the aged companion of the Holy Prophet that pioneered the trek to the tomb of Imam Husain (AS) forty days after the tragedy of Karbala to pay his respect. He met other family members of the Imam there (Dabaqatil Kubrah of Ibn Sa’ad).
Regarding the writer’s claim that Shi’a was invented by one faceless Abdullah ibn Saba, I refer him to Jalaladin Suyuti (849 – 911 AH), one of the highest ranking Sunni scholars of all times on the interpretation of this verse: “Those who believe and do righteous deeds are the best of the creatures. Their reward from their Lord shall be everlasting gardens, below which flow rivers, they will abide there forever. Well pleased is God with them and they are well pleased with Him” (Quran 98:7).
In his commentary (Dhurrul Manthur), the Prophet (S) told his companions that the verse referred to “Ali and his Shia”.
“Their reward from their Lord shall be everlasting gardens, below which flow rivers, they will abide there forever”? This verse refers to you and your Shi’a, I promise you that I will meet you at the Fountain of Kawthar”.
From this we can see that, Shi’a has been as old as the human blood in human veins, and not a new creation as the writer wrongfully indicated.
Other issues raised by the writer regarding Shi’a ideology are of no significance to discuss here. They are too childish and wholesome fabrications that are too mechanistic and clearly unrealistic. I am sure readers will find the writer on those issues inept and academically shallow.
Despite several efforts at various points in the history of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria to demystify itself, there had been deliberate effort over the years by some agents of destruction to distort what it actually stands for. Rather than the usual reference to it by its enemies as a ‘sect’ or ‘cult’, people have now come to terms with it as a mass movement. Even Christians now see His Eminence Shaikh Ibraheem Zakzaky as agent of peace, bridge-builder and a genuine leader with a genuine call for the establishment of justice and fairness in the face of increasing spate of state-sponsored tyranny and injustice by those in authority, tailored and prepared by individuals like the writer.
What Dr. Abdussamad Umar Jibia did in his letter was learning Geography after the earthquake. The Islamic Movement has come of age, it has become a popular mass movement that must be reckoned with in all facets of life. The writer’s call to suppress the Islamic Movement in Nigeria and flush out its members within the public service is very naïve, even when he described them as “professionals” and people with “intellectual prowess”. Whatever the writer thinks or paints the, the Shi’ites are Nigerians with equal right to life and economic opportunities, irrespective of their religious inclination. Their right to observe their religious rites should at least be acknowledged and considered, if not protected.
My advice to the in-coming government: As you step in, look both ways. Your friends are not necessarily those within your fold, neither are your enemies those outside. You can mar your rule by tilting to a seemingly genuine counsel. “History’s Worst Decisions and the People Who Made Them”, a book written by Stephen Weir is replete with stories of leaders in history who heeded to the advice of people like Dr. Abdussamad Umar Jibia.
I deduced from the writing of Dr. Jibiya he was particularly referring to Adamu Adamu as the people with the ‘intellectual prowess” very close Muhammadu Buhari.
Finally Adamu Adamu has been screened and confirmed as Nigeria’s Minister of Education. While he receives shower of congratulations from well-wishers over a well-deserved appointment, few disgruntled voices are still raging green with envy, since his nomination.
Critics of Adamu Adamu who were uncomfortable with his close association with Muhammadu Buhari foresaw what was coming, and began a campaign of calumny the moment Buhari won the election, so that they could stop what happened today.
It is so unfortunate that in this new era of a great drive towards national integration and reconciliation, some Muslim groups are crying foul that President Muhammadu Buhari has taken into his cabinet a Shi’ite. They are in the media and on pulpits in mosques, spreading venoms on the new Minister of Education and unleashing hate statements on the government of President Muhammadu Buhari.
President Muhammadu Buhari’s close association with Adamu Adamu during the PTF days had been disliked by these people, but only came to the fore now with the appointment of the latter as a Minister. One Doctor in the Department of Mechatronics Engineering, Bayero University Kano, had earlier expressed this envy when wrote in the Leadership newspaper of May 12, 2015.
He warned: “My advice for your Excellency is this. If your promise to tackle insecurity is to be a reality you must cut Shiites down to size. To do that effectively you have to look around you and make sure that no member of this group occupies an important position in your Government. It would be a monumental scandal if Nigerians come to realize that a member of such a lawless group is very close to you and/or holding a key position in your Government. This is regardless of the intellectual prowess (emphasis mine) of the person.”
I looked critically around Muhammadu Buhari before he became Nigerian President, and I found very close to him Adamu Adamu, a person with undisputed “intellectual prowess” the writer confessed. Surely, Muhammadu Buhari is looking for those with intellectual prowess and honesty, irrespective of religion or tribe, to help deliver this country to the desire destination. This he canvassed for and identified such distinguished quality in the appointment of his ministers; this quality the National Assembly saw and screened the nominees.
Adamu Adamu is one person with intellectual prowess and transparent honesty acknowledged within and outside the country. His write-ups, laced with intellectualism and honesty, said a lot about him. If he happens to be from a particular religious group, so be it. He is the right man for the job. If he happens to be from a group so much detested by his critics, but is accepted by President Muhammadu Buhari (who is also known for truth and honesty) and accepted by the legislators and Nigerians, then there is a lot to benefit from people in this religious group that can salvage Nigeria. The first time Nigerians are coming to terms with this truth.
Mr. President, let no blackmail dissuade you from doing what is right, for some people are enemies of peace and the society. Keep the good work; for Adamu Adamu, congratulations and demonstrate your intellectual prowess in your new office.
(Ibrahim Usman wrote from Kaduna and can be reached via: email@example.com)