Monday, 23rd May 2022
<To guardian.ng
Search
Breaking News:

As Nigerians go to polls

By Afis A. Oladosu
05 February 2015   |   11:00 pm
In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful Say: “O Allah! Master of the Kingdom! You give sovereignty to whoever You will and take sovereignty from whoever You will... You have power over all things.” (Q 3:26) A BRIEF contemplation of the above verse of the Quran would reveal the path which today’s sermon…

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

Say: “O Allah! Master of the Kingdom! You give sovereignty to whoever You will and take sovereignty from whoever You will… You have power over all things.” (Q 3:26)

A BRIEF contemplation of the above verse of the Quran would reveal the path which today’s sermon has been destined to take. But whereas the verse which talks about authority is very much known to us as Muslims, some among us may not have read the following statement from Adolf Hitler. Hitler is quoted to have said- ‘Sooner will a camel pass through a needle’s eye than a great man be “discovered” by an election’. The so-called anti-Semitic German leader appears to have hit the nail on the head with this statement given the way electioneering matters are conducted in this country. Brethren, how many truly great men and women has Nigeria produced since 1999? The election processes appear to have been designed to foist on human societies “leaders” who, ordinarily, would not be appointed as village heads of their individual communities. The former American President, Franklin D. Roosevelt,  captures this dilemma more persuasively when he says: “An election cannot give a country a firm sense of direction if it has two or more national parties which merely have different names but are as alike in their principles and aims as two peas in the same pod.”

  In other words, despite the assumption that democracy is the best means of governance, it is pertinent to note that the system is equally the worst of all human contraptions and pretensions to self-rule and self-determination. Since 1999 when this country joined the “democratic” world, it appears the process has only succeeded in producing two or three characters who could be referred to as Statesmen in this country: one each in the Northern, Western and Eastern parts of our country. Democracy in Nigeria has ensured the emergence of charlatans as governors and assured the birth and the ascendancy of roguish personalities as legislators. Not only has the democratic experience brought out, in the main, the bad and the ugly in us, it has equally functioned in showing how perverse our cultural values has become. Or how else might we explain the saga of the “boy” who was sent to jail and was celebrated by his people on his return? How might we begin to make sense of the psychology and spiritual status of that “prince” who still had the temerity and audacity to organize a thanksgiving service after he was sent out of government house for being a usurper and a fiendish kidnapper of popular will. Brethren, it is only in Nigeria that the human subject would give thanks to the gods for “protecting” him while he was looting the commonwealth!      Beginning next week, Nigerians will head to the polls, once again, to appoint new set of leaders, rather, “dealers”, who would pilot the affairs of the nation, hopefully, for the next four years. Like all previous elections or, rather selections, each time Nigeria goes to the poll, it usually feels as if the country is in forced labour. There is usually apprehension and fear all over the country. Mosques will be agog today with prayers to be offered by the Imams for divine intervention. I suspect that our Christian compatriots will also be seeking divine succour and redemption so that this country may not go the way of Kigali or Abidjan. This is because events during the past days and weeks appeared to show that Nigeria is on a cliff. We seem to be on the periphery of a catastrophe. The political class appears to be desirous of turning this landscape to a wasteland. It feels as if our politicians desire to sacrifice the Nigerian polity to the goddess of greed, incontinence, and depravity.

  Thus the question needs to be asked: what is your duty as a Muslim in this situation? May I remind you that your first duty is to your creator, Allah, the designer and sustainer of the heavens and the earth. It is He who has taught us that power and authority belongs solely to Him. Allah has also taught us to see political power as a service to Him first, then as an opportunity to improve on the socio-political and economic circumstance of our fellow human beings. One way by which you as a Muslim would give practical effect to this teaching of Islam is to go out next week and cast your vote. But that would throw up another question: who exactly should you vote for among the motley of promise-givers who have appropriated the airwaves during the past couple of weeks and months? Answering this question would no doubt be a herculean task. This is because the political climate is hazy and insuperable. It reminds one of Shakespeare’s axiom – all that is fair is foul; all that is foul is fair. But I thought the starting point for you as a Muslim is to remember Ibn Taimiyyah’s advise-“Whoever delegates a position to someone whereas he sees someone else as more competent (for the position), verily he has cheated Allah and His Apostle and all the Muslims”. Therefore, try and identify those who have a pedigree, those who have been tested and trusted. It is these characters who merit your vote.

  Or let me put it this way- just before you cast your vote, try and identify those who may be described as oppressors and embezzlers. Deny these characters your vote and cast your ballot for their competitors. Identify those who have promised to build bridges where there is none. Deny these characters your vote and cast your ballot for their competitors. Identify those who have promised to create dams in the desert and make the moon appear at dawn. Deny these characters your vote and cast your ballot for their competitors. Identify those under whose hegemony this country has suffered retardation and degradation. Identify those under whose suzerainty our cities have been turned to a guillotine where the innocent have been killed and the young have consequently been orphanated. Cast your ballot not for them but for their competitors. You are under obligation to do this because our Prophet Muhammad (upon him be peace and blessings of Allah) says: “If people see an oppressor and do not prevent him, then it is very likely that Allah will include all of them in His punishment.”. After having cast your ballot, try and ensure your vote is counted. In other words, protect your vote. Allah says “if you do not do it…there would be fitnah (tribulation) on land and much corruption…” Our Prophet says: “The dearest and nearest among you to me on the Day of Resurrection will be one who is the best of you in manners; and the most abhorrent among you to me and the farthest of you from me will be the pompous, the garrulous, and Al-Mutafaihiqun.” The Companions asked him: “O Messenger of Allah! We know about the pompous and the garrulous, but we do not know who Al-Mutafaihiqun are.” He replied: “The arrogant people.” 

(08122465111 for text messages only)