Popular Islamic scholar criticises Christian leaders over plot to vote against Tinubu

An Islamic scholar, Sheikh Muhammad Jamiu-AbdulGafar has criticised some Christian and Yoruba leaders over their campaign against the presidential candidate of the ruling party, APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

Sheikh Jamiu-AbdulGafar who is the founder, Ar-riddoh Islamic International Foundation and the Proprietor, Ar-riddoh International Islamic Institute, Ibadan stated this in a statement tagged “An Open Letter To Political Musketeers In Nigeria” and made available to journalists in Ibadan.

The Islamic scholar decried the way some Christian leaders have continued to work against Asiwaju Bola Tinubu by calling on their followers not to vote for him in this Saturday’s presidential election all because he is a Muslim.

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“To religious faithful, the Nigerian Christians especially should know that we Muslims are not their rivals in any way. We are not their competitors in anyway and for anything, we Muslims believe that religion is an instrument of unity and peaceful coexistence but unfortunately, some Nigerian Christian leaders seem to be antagonistic, intolerant and all assuming in most cases. The series of viral videos of rivalry and religious bigotry that have been unleashed testify to their unwillingness to naturally allow Muslims to assume leadership position in Nigeria.”

He said following the law of fairness, Southern Muslims deserved to have the taste of leadership of the country whereas it has never happened in the history of Nigeria and even Muslims in the region have not occupied the second position.


“In history of Nigeria as a nation, Southern Nigerian Muslims have been deprived of the presidency unlike in the North where General Yakubu Gowon, a Christian, once ruled. Even the position of Vice-President has never been conceded to us.”

“The only Southern Muslim who contested in year 1993 for president and won, Chief M.K.O. Abiola, was deprived of his mandate and the election that was ever adjudged as the most free and fair one was annulled by the then military leader, General Ibrahim Babangida. Abiola was not only deprived of his mandate but was also jailed till he died in detention.”

“As if that cheating was not enough, the unfortunate scenario thereafter was that his position was given to a Southern Christian, Chief Ernest Shonekan under an Interim arrangement. When the country returned to democracracy after the June 12 hullabaloo, it was the same cheating trend that produced another Southern Christian, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo in 1999 making an average Muslim to feel that the position of Nigerian leadership from the Southern Zone has become the exclusive right of Christians.”

Sheikh Jamiu-AbdulGafar emphasized that Muslims in the Southern part have sacrificed a lot for Christians in the region and for them now to be turning their back against Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is the display of high level of intolerance.

“There is no iota of doubt that the Southern Muslims have sacrificed their rights for the unity of this nation. Thirty years later, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, another Southern Muslim, has emerged as a presidential candidate of the ruling party, APC. A region where today all their Governors are Christians. Still, Nigerian Christians are calling for his downfall through series of insults, castigation, evil plots, malicious attacks and propaganda using all available media. “

“For doing this by the Christian leaders in Nigeria, most especially in the Southern Nigeria, it is a deprivation and naked demonstration of hatred against Muslims which is capable of truncating the peaceful co-existence of Nigerians across board.”

He said despite all odds, there are still countless reasonable Christians and urged them to team up with the Muslims to ensure that Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, who is not known for either religious or tribal sentiment emerge the president come this Saturday.

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“On this, all Southern Muslims and Christians should cooperate and let’s all hands be on deck to support Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s candidacy in order to compensate Southern Muslims who have been deprived of their mandate since inception of Nigeria. By this gesture, a Southern Muslim should have been jointly and fairly supported to break the jinx of over seventy years deprivation during this weekend’s election.”

The Islamic scholar noted that the hatred displayed by a few Yoruba leaders against Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is for their selfish interest while their actions against the Yorubas will affect even their unborn generations.

“To Yoruba leaders, you all known what happened to Awolowo, Abiola and others in the past and it is difficult to accept that Yoruba leaders are absolved of all factors that worked against the emergence of your pride-worthy and illustrious sons such as Awolowo, Abiola among others as president of Nigeria in the past. It is the same role that you Yoruba leaders are playing now where some factions of Afenifere were antagonistic to Tinubu’s triumph. Please Baba Olusegun Obasanjo and Baba Adebanjo, what had Ahmed Tinubu done for you that made you hate him and seriously working against him? Don’t you know that whatever you do against Tinubu now, a law of Karma awaits your children and even your unborn generations? You are there to be seen as our role models but instead, you are making us cry due to your selfish interests.”

“The obvious truth is that had it been that Prof Yemi Osinbajo who is a Yoruba Christian and a Pastor emerged as the presidential candidate of the ruling party, you would not have been this hard and antagonistic. It wouldn’t have been the turn of the East then. Hypocrisy of the highest order!”

“Remember the level of religious persecution you people have done against Yoruba Muslims then up till now shall not be forgotten and posterity will judge you all. You are advised not to repeat the same scenario you played out to sacrifice MKO Abiola because Allah in His Greatness and the Yoruba Muslims will never forgive you as you were the prime beneficiaries of MKO Abiola’s mandate snatching. If you don’t support Asiwaju, please don’t be antagonistic of him. Enough is enough! Please, live and let us live!”

He appealed to Nigerians to ensure they vote a right candidate and eschew violence as the interest of some cabals which prompted the recent anti-people’s policies is to prevent the election from holding.

“We Nigerians are brilliant with greatest achievements records home and abroad. Let’s develop our country because we had all that it takes to make our country greater.”

“Alas! we chose to remain in this sorry condition due to our habits of condemnation and insults instead of focusing on solutions. Let us stop all these condemnation and insults that could lead to social unrest and vote for our candidates of choice.”

“Therefore, people must not allow themselves to be used as sacrificial lambs under the guise of partisanship nor as ritual for the triumph of any candidate.
They must also not allow themselves to be used to wreak havoc on other peoples’ properties under any circumstance.”

“Furthermore, those in government today must realise that power is very transient and dynamic. Nobody holds on to power permanently. The office usually witnesses the end of its holder just like in the case of their predecessors while every office holder shall be remembered for whatever he or she did while in office.”

“Remember the death of the most pious and brilliant Nigerian leader, Sir Abubakr Tafawa Balewa. It happened long ago but that tragedy is still fresh in the minds of our people. History remains forever! So, rethink and wipe our faces with towels of sympathy and consideration, most especially the current new naira note swap policy. I swear that we poor Nigerians are dying because of its adverse effects on us. Instead of making Nigeria a better country for us to live in, the reverse is the case as economic hardship, insecurity, religious disunity and rivalry have reared their ugly heads once again in our midst.”

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