Monday, 21 December 2015


Published in The Guardian Newspaper

By Dauda Ayanda on November 27, 2015 2:36 am

THE post-colonial constituent assembly of 1978 made provision for a Shari’ah Court of Appeal for a state that wants it. In explaining the background to the inclusion of the Shari’ah Court of Appeal in the Constitution, eminent legal icon, Prof. Ben Nwabueze in a paper delivered at Spiritan International School of Theology in 2001 said: … a Sharia Court of Appeal in the Constitution, which was a half-way compromise contraption adopted by the Constituent Assembly in 1978 to placate the Moslem members who had walked out en masse from its meetings to press home their demand for a full Constitutional recognition of the Sharia in its civil as well as criminal aspects. The compromise, of which I was one of the principal architects, bestowed Constitutional recognition on Sharia, counter-balanced by a like recognition of customary law, but only to the extent of establishing for “any state that requires it,” a Sharia Court of Appeal or (as the case may be) a Customary Court of Appeal. No wonder Sections 275 to 279 of the Constitution make analogous provision for the Shari’ah Courts of Appeal of a state while Section 280 provides for the creation of States Customary Courts of Appeal.

The often cited section of Nigerian Constitution on the provision of a secular state is Section 10 of 1999 Constitution thus: The Government of the federation or of a state shall not adopt any religion as state religion. This constitutional provision is wrongly interpreted by some advocates of secularism to mean a secular state. This is more compounded by the fact that there is no legal pronouncement on the particular section of the Constitution. Therefore, the logical interpretation of the provision is that a single religion is prohibited from being imposed on all the citizens of the country. In other words, Nigeria is a non-theocratic, multi-religious and multi-cultural state.

Moreover, a retired Justice of the Supreme Court – Justice Niki Tobi – similarly expressed the view that Nigeria is not a secular state. He said: There is the general notion that section 11 (of the 1989 Constitution, similar to section 10 of the 1999 Constitution) makes Nigeria a secular nation. That is not correct. The word secular etymologically means pertaining to things not spiritual, ecclesiastical or not concerned with religion. Secularism, the noun variant of the adjective, secular, means the belief that state, morals, education etc should be independent of religion. What section 11 is out to achieve is that Nigeria cannot, for example, adopt either Christianity or Islam as a state religion. But that is quite different from secularism (see Fundamental Legal Issues in Nigeria: Essays in Honour of Andrew Obaseki, 1999).

In the same vein, Prof. Ben Nwabueze expressed his scholarly opinion in a paper presented at the School of Theology Symposium on the state provision for a religion-based court to enforce the civil aspect of Shari’ah as not inconsistent with section 10 of the 1999 Constitution. He made a distinction between civil and criminal law as it relates to the secularity question and the Constitutional provisions relating thereto. The Professor said: In civil law, the state, through its judicial arm, the courts, merely interposes its machinery as an impartial, disinterested arbiter between parties in a dispute; it lacks the power to initiate the process of adjudication, and must wait until it is moved by one of the disputants. So the enforcement, through the courts, of the civil aspects of Sharia does not involve the support, promotion or sponsorship by the state of the Moslem religion in preference to other religious. The controversy does not therefore concern the application of Sharia civil law. Thus from the foregoing, section 10 of 1999 constitution is geared towards attaining an equilibrium among different religions in the country and preventing a state of theocracy which is a government by an established religion.

This fact is further corroborated by Section 38 sub-section 1 which states that every person shall be entitled to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, including freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom (either alone or in community with others, and in public or in private) to manifest and propagate his religion or belief in worship, teaching, practice and observance. This provision caters for freedom of expression in public and private as well as religion. Shari’ah is both a principle of religion and law which is in accordance with this provision. Also, Section 14 sub-section 2 states that sovereignty belongs to the people of Nigeria from whom Government through this constitution derives all its power and authority. Muslims constitute 50 per cent of the population (according to CIA world fact book 2010) and their several centuries’ old legal system of regulating their temporal and spiritual life is germane to this provision.

In recognizing the fact that religion should be a right for moral compass, justice and equity in a multi-religious society of ours and not a privilege, the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo set up the first Pilgrims’ Board in 1958 to assist Muslim faithful in fulfilling one of the requirements of the five pillars of Islam. This socio-cultural understanding of building a just and egalitarian society also explained why General Yakubu Gowon as the then head of state and Chief Obafemi Awolowo as the Vice Chairman in 1969 enlisted Nigeria as an observer-member of the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC). This culminated into a full-fledged membership in 1986 by General Ibrahim Babangida in line with strategic diplomat interest of Nigeria with neighboring Francophone countries and other African countries like Cameroun, Chad, Niger, Benin and Cote de Ivoire who are also full-fledged members of OIC. Paradoxically, the percentages of Muslims in these countries are lower than that of Nigeria while there is mutual respect and tolerance across all religion.

Obviously, secularism as a concept was developed by agnostics and advanced by atheists and that underscore the temporal nature of its philosophy. It also seeks to promote godlessness which is at crossroad with African culture on one hand and Islamic system of Shari’ah on the other hand.

No wonder, Prof. Ben Nwabueze criticized the rigid separation of state and religion as follows: It can thus be concluded that no society in which morality and religion are absent can ever attain and maintain liberty, democracy and justice. Hence, religion needs encouragement by the state to thrive and to be effective in providing an anchor for morality and in fostering the morality-based values of liberty, democracy and justice, and in inculcating among citizens morality, spirituality and piety. A developing country should not indulge in the doctrinaire rigidity of the state completely dissociating itself from religion. Whatever discrimination against non-religionists – agnostics and such others – that may be entailed in the state giving encouragement to all religions on the basis of equality is not really an unfair one, certainly not such as to warrant the state in keeping off religion completely. (see B.O. Nwabueze, Constitutional Democracy in Africa, Spectrum Books, Ibadan, 2003).

In conclusion, the newly appointed Secretary General of Anglican Communion Worldwide and the immediate past Kaduna Diocesan Bishop of Church of Nigeria, the eminent Rev. Josiah Idowu-Fearon recently stated in Vanguard Newspaper of July 11, 2015 under the caption “Bishop who teaches Islam” that:….. Instead, we should come together and be aware of the fact that secularism has become a religion and it is very strong and some of the promoters control most of the media. Christians ought to come together, forget whether we are Roman Catholic, Pentecostal and all others who worship God, the Christian way and join hands with the Muslims who are also fighting secularism. That is my mission. Indeed, secularism is a form of religion that denies the existence of Almighty God!!!

Engr. Dauda Ayanda (MNSE),wrote from Ibadan.

Monday, 9 November 2015


Published in The Guardian Newspaper 
By Dauda Ayanda on November 6, 2015 2:58 am


Earlier before 1861 when the British forces arrived in Lagos, Shari’ah legal system had been practiced in some towns in Yorubaland as already mentioned (see The Guardian Newspaper of 12th, 19th and 26th June 2015 under the caption: Shari’ah and quest for legal pluralism). It had therefore started to receive gradual patronage in some other parts of Yorubaland when it was forestalled by the arrival of the British Colonialists.

Unlike the Northern Nigeria where the Shari’ah legal system was firmly rooted into their judicial system and the British rulers found it extremely difficult todisenfranchise, the Shari’ah in the Southern part, particular Yorubaland had aserious blow from the British Government. Thus, the British Government used its might to enforce customary law in all places in Yorubaland at the expense of established Islamic law in its judicial administration and created Area Courts to replace Shari’ah Courts.

The history of Nigerian legal system is interwoven with that of the colonial British administration. According to former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Dahiru Musdapher in a lecture titled “Law Reform in Nigeria: Challenges and Opportunities” in 2014 explained that the origin of the legal profession in Nigeria dates back to 1862 in Lagos, with the introduction of the British patterned courts by the colonialadministration. This was as a result of conclusion of treaty of cession between the then Oba of Lagos, his chiefs and the British Crown.

The introduction of the Courts (via the main body of English law by ordinance No.3 of 1863) brought about the need for an organized legal profession that will apply English laws and precedents. Between 1864 and 1865, about five Ordinances which related to the legal profession and administrationof justice were made for the settlement of Lagos. Since then to this day, that colonial history still wields an abiding and compelling influence on every aspect of our legal system.

Following the proclamation of the protectorate of Northern Nigeria on 1st January 1900, new courts were formed; namely: the Supreme Court of the North, Provisional Courts (one for each province), Customary courts and Native courts (Shari’ah courts). A Native Court Proclamation Ordinance, 1906, also permitted native courts to exercise judicial functions under the direction of the Chief Justice or other Justice of the Supreme Court.They were to execute local laws and customs that were “not opposed to natural morality and humanity”.

In 1914, the Northern and Southern Protectorates were amalgamated resulting in the birth of Nigeria, Lord Lugard was appointed the first Governor of the Colony and Protectorate of Nigeria. He established a uniform system of courts with some modifications. Among the modifications include the deliberate abolishment of Shari’ah legal system in Yorubaland while status of Shari’ah law in the North was reduced using validity and repugnancy tests. In 1933, the British introduced a legislation which enables the British courts to entertain appeals from the Native courts.

In 1943, the government passed a number of ordinances, which also affected the courts sub-systems including but not limited to Native Courts Colony Ordinance (Shari’ah Courts). Following the regionalization of the Federation, in October 1954, a Federal Supreme Court was established. A High Court was also established for the territory of Lagos and for each of the three regions while the magistrate courts remained. A Moslem Court of Appeal was also set up in 1956 which exercised original criminal and civil jurisdiction and was also an appellate court. It was in 1959 that Islamic law was excluded from the sphere of criminal law and confined to the field of personal law.

Towards independence, the magistrate courts in the North were restricted to criminal causes. The district courts were established for the purpose of exercising civil jurisdiction. Also at the eve of independence, a Court of Resolution was set up in the North to resolve whatever issue may have arisen between the High Court and the Shari’ah Court of Appeal. It determined which cases should go to the High Court and which to go to the Sharia Court of Appeal.

Unarguably, the colonial Lugard Constitution of 1914, Clifford Constitution of 1922, Richard Constitution of 1946, Macpherson Constitution of 1951 and Lyttletton Constitution of 1954 recognized the multi-religious nature of Nigeria with the establishment of native Shari’ah Courts and Customary Courts alongside British System of Courts.

One of the colonial authorities, Perrone acknowledged this fact in the introduction to Maliki Law that: “Muhammadan Law in all its detail, religious as well as civil, has for us an immense interest. It necessitates the study of the social institutions of a people which an immutable law has, for twelve and a half centuries, moulded and remoulded at frequent intervals. For here, it has been neither the nation nor the people which have made the Law; it is the Law which has made and moulded the nation and the people. Both the outer form and the inner spirit bear impress of the one word: Religion. In Islam, there is but one Law, and it is the Religious Law, signified in the word: Shari’ah. In other words, it is the only Supreme Law; for it emanates from God, who decreed its main bases in the Koran. With Mohammadans, the law is also dogma (see F. H. Ruxton, 1916, Preface of Maliki Law, Lucas and Company, London, Reprint in 1978).

Shari’ah laws are written native laws that draw its origin from two principal sources – the Holy Quran and Hadiths of Prophet Muhammad (SAW). These two principal sources are complemented by Ijma (consensus of Islamic scholars), Qiyas (analogous deduction) and Ijtihad (intellectual exertion) while customary laws are unwritten body of customs, accepted by members of the community as binding upon them.

In other words, they are unrecorded tradition and history of the people which has grown with the growth of the people to stability and eventually become an intrinsic part of their customs.
At independence in 1960, the Shari’ah Court of Appeal replaced the Moslem Court of Appeal. The Shari’ah Court of Appeal had civil jurisdiction only, and in cases governed by personal Moslem law. It had power to entertain contempt cases. The magistrate exercised civil and criminal jurisdiction in the South.
So, it was that at independence, Nigeria had as part of the sources of her laws, the Common law of England, the doctrines of Equity, as well as the Statutes of General Application in force in England as at 1st January, 1900. These were in addition to the local legislations (both at federal and regional levels), Case law, as well as Islamic law, and Customary laws that are not repugnant to public policy,natural justice, equity and good conscience as widely expressed by retired Justice Dahiru Musdapher.
To be continued

Engr. Ayanda (MNSE) wrote from Ibadan.

Friday, 2 October 2015


By Jafaar Jafaar
Premium Times September 28, 2015

Available online at

I think we deserve some respect from our brothers from different religious and cultural backgrounds in order to live in harmony.

I made this argument about a year ago when the rumour of Emir Muhammadu Sanusi’s marriage to a “minor” raised some dusts. The age of consent varies according to culture and religion, I had argued.

I don’t know why one would combust energy criticising cultural practices that are contrary to his religion, culture or warped intuition. Nigeria has two major religions which don’t prohibit marriage at the age of 18. The Constitution doesn’t also prohibit it.

Writing about the age of consent, Professors Richard Wortley and Stephen Smallbone said girls married very young in European society prior to the 19th century.

“In Medieval and early modern European societies, the age of marriage remained low, with documented cases of brides as young as seven years, although marriages were typically not consummated until the girl reached puberty (Bullough 2004). Shakespeare’s Juliet was just 13, and there is no hint in the play that this was considered to be exceptional. The situation was similar on the other side of the Atlantic; Bullough reports the case in 1689 of a nine-year-old bride in Virginia. At the start of the nineteenth century in England, it was legal to have sex with a 10 year-old girl.”

That was the Western society, which guides our sense of reasoning. If you think you are copying the Western society by criticising the marriage of an 18-year-old, then you are wrong.

One might say what I quoted above is an old practice. Yet, currently, in England and Wales, the minimum legal age for marriage is 16, and that is with the consent of parents. At 18, both the male and female are free to marry even WITHOUT parental consent.

Ever wondered why the Westerners still celebrate ‘Sweet 16′ parties? In the Western society that is characterised by debauchery and all manners of secular practices, the 16th birthday party is marked because it is considered a bridge between youth and adulthood.

In view of Islamic religious practices and tradition, I know Muslims won’t whine over someone’s marriage to an 18-year-old. In our village, hardly can you spot a 18-year-old that is not married. In a typical Hausa household, you can’t claim not to have a grandma, a mother, an aunt or a sister who was married off before 18.

As I noted last year, in Christianity, canon law previously provided that the minimum age for marriage was 12; yes, 12 years. The law was later repealed in 1917 and the age for marriage from 12 to 14 for girls and 16 for boys. But why would a true Christian condemn a practice allowed by his religion?

Even if you are an adherent of Buddhism, the founder of the religion, Gautama Buddha, married his wife at the age of 16.

Of course there are certain cultural practices that are universally condemned like the caste system, slavery and incest. But despite the near-universality of incest taboo, among the Polahi nomadic tribe of the Gorontalo province of Indonesia, incest is not a taboo. It is permitted for father to marry daughter or mother to marry son, and so on. In the Polynasian societies/languages, there is nothing called “incest” because it just a normal practice. You have to respect their culture since they perhaps see the exogamy we might consider a morally right practice as a bad practice.

What I still do not know is the basis on which the argument is specifically hinged. Is it on religion or culture? The sense of cultural relativism is poor in Nigeria.

I see criticisms to Emir Sanusi as an affront and insult against my religion and culture. When the 72-year-old publisher of the Champion newspaper, Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu impregnated and later married a 26-year-old, I didn’t talk because I have respect for people’s choices. I was also mum when 82-year-old Chief Tony Anenih married a damsel in her early 20s. When Dim Odimegwu Ojukwu married Bianca, I didn’t raise alarm over their wide age difference. We see it as a triumph of love. When the 76-year-old Alaafin of Oyo married a 16-year-old, I didn’t whimper. When 74-year-old Italian fashion designer, Roberto Cavalli, frolics on the beach with a girl in her early 20s, hell doesn’t break loose. When King Mswati of Swaziland picked a 18-year-old as his 14th wife, the Swazis saw nothing wrong with it because it is part of their culture.

A Hausa proverb observes that if you are hated, you will be criticised for raising dust when you fall into water.

I think we deserve some respect from our brothers from different religious and cultural backgrounds in order to live in harmony


Tuesday, 29 September 2015


Published in The Guardian Newspaper (September 25, 2015 12:26 am)

IN 1610, Galileo Galilee published his Starry Messenger (Sidereus Nuncius) where he described the surprising observations that he had made with the new telescope on heliocentric theory.Heliocentrism is the astronomical model in which the earth and planets revolve around the sun at the centre of the solar system as against geocentrism which places the earth at the orbital centre of all celestial bodies. The concept was earlier observed by the medieval polymath Nasri al-Din al-Tusi using a Tusi-couple to replace Ptolemy’s geocentric model which later influenced Ibn al-Shatir and Nicolaus Copernicus.

Galileo’s initial discoveries were met with opposition within the Catholic Church who declared heliocentrism to be formally heretical and he was subsequently investigated by the Roman Inquisition for championing heliocentrism. The Inquisition tried Galileo in 1633 for implicitly defending heliocentrism and found him “vehemently suspect of heresy”, thus sentencing him to indefinite imprisonment. Galileo later died under house arrest where he was kept in 1642.

It was this struggle between Christian theology and free thoughts that led to the concept of secularism in Western Society. George Jacob Holyoake in 1851 coined the term to describe his views of promoting a social order separate from religion without actively dismissing or criticizing religious belief. As an agnostic, he conceptualized secular knowledge as manifestly that kind of knowledge which is founded in this life, which relates to the conduct of this life, conduces to the welfare of this life, and is capable of being tested by the experience of this life.

According to Osita Ogbu in his published article in The Transnational Human Rights in 2014 on Secularism, Law, Human Rights and Religion, he traced the origin of the modern state to the Renaissance and Reformation, the split between Catholics and Protestants and the 30 years of wars of religion in Europe. The deadlocked war led the church to seek protection of the king and the king seized the opportunity to establish royal absolutism. This anomaly provided ample opportunity for the establishment of independent sovereign nation-states in Europe where the king became the head of state and the object of loyalty of all men irrespective of religious denominations. Thus, the sovereign state emerged to vindicate the supremacy of the secular order against religious claims and forced the clerics into a position of subordinate authority.

In political terms, secularism describes the movement towards the separation of religion and government which is usually termed as the separation of church and state during the Age of Enlightenment in Europe. The principle plays a major role in evolution of modern society in the West which largely influences decision pertaining to legalization of abortion, contraception and of lately same-sex marriage. Homosexuality, lesbianism, gay marriage and other LGBTs are direct products of secular principles in the modern world which have been given legal recognition in European countries and USA among others.

The general policy of the West was to adopt its policy as a model for developing countries which necessitate the diplomatic overtures currently being championed by USA to Africa over legal recognition of homosexuality. Consistently with this policy, there was a conscious or subconscious omission to take cognizance of “outside features”. Everything that was not Western was “outside” and uncivilized. Thus the range of enormous pre-colonial human experiences as well as the native institutional facts that distinguished Africa and Africans as the “the cradle of civilization”, were given scant recognition, if at all.

Rather the colonialists were committed to making the Blackman believe that he has never been responsible for anything, at all, of worth, not even for what is to be found right in his own house and home. In this way, it is easy to bring about the abandonment and renunciation of all national aspirations on the part of those who are wavering, and the reflexes of subordination are reinforced in those who have already been alienated. This explains the promotion of secularism in Nigeria which is antithetical to our multi-religious understanding of over 250 ethnic identities.

Shari’ah, as one of the fundamental culture of over 80 million Nigerian Muslims, is an Islamic legal system that covers both the temporal and divine rulings of every facet of human endeavour. The spread of Islam which is accompanied with the adoption of Shari’ah in Nigeria dated back to the eleventh century when it first appeared in Borno in the northeast of the country. The first Muslim king Hume Jilmi in the Kanem Bornu Empire (1085 – 1097 CE) acquired Quranic knowledge and the contents of other Islamic literatures. Hume’s son, Dunama I (1097-1150 C.E) was also interested in learning Islam.

It is also on record that Imam Abdullah Dilii bn Bukuru taught Mabradu Ibn Salma, the son of the then ruler of Kanem Bornu, Mai Salma (1194-1221C.E) from about a hundred and fifty books. Thus, Shari’ah became a legal system of jurisdiction with the adoption of Islam in Kanem Bornu Empire. Again, Mai Idris Alooma (1570-1602) of the Kanem Bornu Empire also introduced Shari’ah in his empire and made Islam the state’s religion.This development showed that Islam cannot be divorced from Shari’ah and vice-verse.

It is very significant to note here that, centuries prior to the advent of British colonialism in Nigeria in 1842, the area presently known as Northern Nigeria had her own formalized administrative institutions under the Islamic legal system. Islam is a total way of life. It stipulates the rights due to God from Muslims, the rights of their fellow beings, and that of adherents of other faiths.

To appreciate the positive impact of Islamic Law in the pre-colonial days, F.H. Ruxton, a consultant to the colonial government stated as follows:”The advantages to be gained by knowing something of the lawof the people we govern are self-evident, especially when, as in the case of the Muhammedan countries, it is the law that hasmoulded the people, and not the people the law. Again, where, as in the Northern Provinces of Nigeria it has been the policy of government to rule indirectly through the native administration,knowledge of the Muhammedan law is more than ever necessary,giving us, as it does, a clue, to many acts, and supplying the mainspring for many motives, which otherwise we should fail to understand. The more we can grasp the inward significance of motives and acts, the more sympathetically, and therefore the more efficiently we shall be enabled to administer Muhammedan peoples’’

So, it was not therefore surprising that the colonial administrationfound the Islamic legal system not only fully developed but equally a convenient tool for the indirect administration of the northern region, though the application was limited to the repugnancy clause principles.
Despite the in-depth appraisalof the impact of Islamic Law on the people of Northern Nigeria, the colonialists did not avoid the temptation of tampering with it, and attempting to displace it with the Common law of England by the introduction of the repugnancy test.

This in the face of the fact that Islam has not only been the way of life of the Muslims of theNorth but that Islamic law has always governed their transactions and livelihood. Customary law has also not been spared the repugnancy test, in order to qualify as a good law. The use and effect of Islamic andCustomary laws became dependent on the permissive extent of the general law. The operation of Customary and Islamic laws became dependent on the satisfaction of the rules of Common law, equity and good conscience.
.Engr. Dauda Ayanda (MNSE), wrote from Ibadan.



By Josiah Idowu-Fearon on September 24, 2015 3:57 am

Continued from yesterday

THE symbolism of this episode in the life of Abraham and his son Ismael therefore is in the attitude – a willingness to make sacrifices in our lives in order to stay on the Straight Path (“l-sirata l-mus’taqima” Faatiha: 6). Each of us makes small sacrifices, giving up things that are fun or important to us. A true Muslim, one who submits himself or herself completely to the Lord, is willing to follow Allah’s commands completely and obediently. It is this strength of heart, purity in faith, and willing obedience that God desires from us.

This same narrative is found in the Jewish scripture which constitutes the first part of the Christian Bible referred to as the Old Testament (Genesis 22:1-19). However, unlike the Jews, the Christians interpret this Abrahamic story as a pre-cursor to the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary. The reason for this has to do with the Christian understanding of human nature, the concept of original sin. (This is the reason for Good Friday and Easter celebrations by Christians). From the Christian perspective, sin and salvation are central categories in theology and spirituality. Christianity teaches that the effects of original sin have corrupted the world and the human beings who exist in it. In Islam, however, there is no such a thing as original sin as pointed out above.

An Appeal to Muslims and Christians
Our President, Muhammadu Buhari, has continued to demonstrate his commitment to living out his religious duties by waging an all-out battle against corruption, stealing of public funds, and lack of transparency and accountability by those who have been entrusted with governance. This writer is particularly thrilled by Mr. President’s commitment to putting into practice his religious convictions.

The President has publicly told Nigerians what he has in terms of possessions as he comes into office as the President of a rich nation with a lot of natural resources. His Vice-President, a Christian, has also done the same and we must believe the sincerity of purpose that has been demonstrated.

In the spirit of this Festival of Sacrifice, this writer is calling on Muslims and Christians whose scriptures contain this story of Abraham/ Ibrahim to stand up and also put their religious convictions into practice as demonstrated by our President.

President Buhari, with the fear of God, has embarked on this crusade against all those in government who stole public funds and property; he has given his support to both the EFCC and ICPC to trace and recover most of these stolen funds.

For him to succeed and thereby leave a lasting legacy for our future political leaders, this writer, in the spirit of Eid al-Adha, is calling on Mr. President to include the following in his plans for Nigerians:
i) The President should not allow anything to distract him from his focus. While he allows investigations to proceed, he should promote a culture of naming and shaming by informing Nigerians what has been recovered and from whom. Transparency should continue to be his watchword.
ii) He was accused of planning to Islamise Nigeria and make life difficult for Christians. Boko Haram was the main reason for this wicked and divisive allegation. Mr. President should continue to publicly support national security by enabling the Armed Forces to clean up what is left of this insurgent group and restore sanity to the N’East of Nigeria in particular and the entire nation in general.
iii) The energy sector is already being changed for the better. He should expose the rot in this sector by again naming and shaming those behind it. This will be a deterrent to future thieves within the energy sector.
iv) Knowing the negative roles religious leaders used religion to play, especially in the last administration, and in order to redeem the image of the One God we all worship, albeit differently, Mr. President is advised against courting the favour of religious leaders who are again poised to continue to divide our nation along religious lines for their monetary gains. He should avoid any acts or statements that will justify the allegation that he is in power to make life difficult for the Christians in Nigeria. It was said, “Buhari is not an option.” The President needs to justify the confidence Nigerians put in him by making a difference.
v) Mr. President should not encourage any rapprochement from religious leaders who would want to control him for their selfish reasons.

Virtually every facet of our public life today is infested by this cancer called corruption. If politicians and civil servants are being purged, the lesson of sacrifice, which this festival draws our attention to as religious people should be used for reflection and action on our side.

As such, the followings are suggested as necessary actions so as to make our nation more respectable:
Religious leaders who collected money from politicians wanting support during the last presidential campaigns should be bold enough to return what they collected on behalf of their religious communities. The allegation made that a huge some of money was given needs to be addressed. As long as this is not investigated and addressed, the moral courage to call on politicians to be people of integrity remains a mockery. In addition to this allegation, vehicles in possession of individual religious leader bought with government funds are to be returned. Religious leaders have a special position in every nation; they are called to encourage the good health of their society. N

Unfortunately, some religious leaders in Nigeria have lost this prophetic charge. The call of President Buhari offers religious leaders a fresh opportunity to retrieve this lost mandate. The sacrificial life of Abraham/ Ibrahim we celebrate with our Muslim neighbours offers these leaders an opportunity to repent, return stolen property and reclaim their mandate to be prophetic.

We are calling on all to emulate Abraham/ Ibrahim who sacrificed his most precious possession. Mr. President has given us an example, now let Nigerians- religious leaders taking the lead, traditional rulers, civil servants and everyone – decide, as we celebrate this common event with our Muslim neighbours, to make some sacrifices so that our country may get out of the mess we have been plunged into. As the Muslims pray when religious duties are performed: taqab al Allah ta’atakum. Barka da Sallah to all Nigerians.

• Concluded
• Most Reverend Idowu-Fearon, Director, Kaduna Centre for the Study of Christian-Muslim Relations, Kaduna; is Secretary General of the Anglican Communion St Andrew’s House, Tavistock Crescent, London.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015


By Josiah Idowu-Fearon on September 23, 2015 2:36 am

THE Islamic festival of Eid al-Adha offers an opportunity for both the Muslim and Christian communities all over the world in general and Nigeria in particular to learn a bit more about the religious duties (Ibadah) they share in common.

This article is specifically written in order to encourage these communities to give their support to our President, Muhammadu Buhari who has been given to us as a nation to rebuild our country morally, economically, socially and politically. Hopefully, those who will take interest and read through this piece will, in their own modest way, follow the example of Abraham (Ibrahim), and also follow the godly example of President Muhammadu Buhari and his Vice, Osinbanjo.

It is also expected that reading through this article with an open mind might lead to a better understanding of what our two major communities have in common and join hands in the promotion of the culture of respect for differences and religious harmony. This government must succeed and it will take every Nigerian: Muslim and Christian and even those who do not profess either of these two main religions but have good intentions to succeed.

What is Eid al-Adha?
So, what is this festival, what does it signify and what can both communities share from its significance?
According to Islamic sources, at the end of the Hajj (annual pilgrimage to Mecca), Muslims throughout the world celebrate Eid al-Adha (Festival of Sacrifice). What exactly is this festival as explained by our Muslim neighbours?

During the Hajj, Muslims commemorate the trials and triumphs of the Prophet Abraham. One of Abraham’s main trials was to face the command of God to kill his only son. When Ishmael was about 13 (Abraham being 99), God decided to test their faith in public. Abraham had a recurring dream, in which God was commanding him to offer his son as a sacrifice. This was the son God had granted him after many years of deep prayer. Abraham knew that the dreams of the prophets were divinely inspired and were one of the ways in which God communicated with his prophets. When the intent of the dreams became clear to him, Abraham decided to fulfil God’s command and offer Ishmael for sacrifice.

Although Abraham was ready to sacrifice his dearest for God’s sake, he could not just go and drag his son to the place of sacrifice without his consent. Ishmael had to be consulted as to whether he was willing to give up his life to fulfil God’s command. This consultation would be a major test of Ishmael’s maturity in faith, love and commitment for God, and his willingness to obey his father and sacrifice his own life for the sake of God.

Abraham presented the matter to his son and asked for Ismael’s opinion about the dreams commanding his sacrifice. Ishmael did not show any hesitation or reservation even for a moment. He said: “Father, do what you have been commanded. You will find me, Insha’Allah (God willing), to be very patient.” His mature response, deep insight into the nature of his father’s dreams, his commitment to God and, ultimately, his willingness to sacrifice his own life for the sake of God were all unprecedented.

When both father and son had shown their perfect obedience to God and had demonstrated their willingness to sacrifice their most precious possessions for His sake — Abraham by laying down his son for sacrifice and Ishmael by lying patiently under the knife – God called out to them stating that Abraham’s sincere intentions had been accepted, and that he needs not carry out the killing of Ishmael. Instead, Abraham was told to replace his son with a ram to be sacrificed. Allah also told them that they had passed the test imposed upon them by Abraham’s willingness to carry out God’s command. This is mentioned in the Qur’an as follows:

O my Lord! Grant me a righteous (son)!” So we gave him the good news of a boy, possessing forbearance. And when (his son) was old enough to walk and work with him, (Abraham) said: “O my dear son, I see in vision that I offer you in sacrifice: Now see what is your view!” (The son) said: “O my father! Do what you are commanded; if Allah wills, you will find me one practising patience and steadfastness!” So when they both submitted and he threw him down upon his forehead, we called out to him saying: O Ibraheem! You have indeed fulfilled the vision; surely thus do we reward those who do good.

Most surely this was a manifest trial. And we ransomed him with a momentous sacrifice. And we perpetuated (praise) to him among the later generations. “Peace and salutation to Abraham!” Thus indeed do we reward those who do right. Surely he was one of our believing servants. (As-Saffat:100-111).

As a reward for this sacrifice, Allah then granted Abraham the good news of the birth of his second son, Is-haaq (Isaac):
And we gave him the good news of Is-haaq, a prophet from among the righteous”(As-Saffat:112-113). Abraham had shown that his love for God superseded all others: that he would lay down his own life or the lives of those dearest to him in submission to God’s command. Muslims commemorate this ultimate act of sacrifice every year during Eid al-Adha. (The Sunnah of Eid al-Adha). This generally is how Muslims explain this festival from both the Qur’an and Hadith.

Why do Muslims sacrifice an animal on this day?
During the celebration of Eid al-Adha, Muslims remember Abraham’s trials by themselves slaughtering an animal such as a ram, camel, or goat. Most of the meat from the sacrifice of Eid al-Adha is given away to others. One third is eaten by immediate family and relatives, one third is given away to friends, and one third is donated to the poor.

The act symbolises their willingness to give up things that are of benefit to them or close to their hearts, in order to follow God’s commands. It also represents their willingness to give up some of their own bounties, in order to strengthen ties of friendship and help those who are in need.

For the non-Muslim, therefore, it is very important to understand that the sacrifice itself, as practised by Muslims, has nothing to do with atoning for sins or using the blood to wash away sins. This is clear from the Qur’an where it is said: “It is not their meat nor their blood that reaches Allah; it is your piety that reaches Him.” (Qur’an 22:37)
• To be continued tomorrow.

• Most Reverend Idowu-Fearon (Ph.D), Director, Kaduna Centre for the Study of Christian-Muslim Relations, Kaduna, is Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, St Andrew’s House, Tavistock Crescent, London.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015


Published in The Guardian Newspaper of August 6, 2015

Scientists describe labour, which ends with delivery, as comprised of 4 stages: (1) Stage of dilatation of cervix and contraction of uterus muscle. (2) Stage of delivering of the foetus. (3) Stage of placenta emergence and the formation of blood clot behind the placenta. (4) Stage of uterus contraction. This is to alleviate the bleeding after delivery process, and continues for about two hours. So, Almighty Allah designs these stages from Eve (Hawau) through Hannah (Hannat) and Mary (Mariam), mother of Jesus (AS) till date and not through “placing curse on Eve” as recorded in the Glorious Quran.

After delivery and cutting of umbilical cord which the foetus has depended upon for acquiring food from the mother during pregnancy, the baby starts another stage in a new station of life. In this stage, Almighty Allah, the Supreme Being, ordained another unique food for the baby. He asserts “And the mothers should suckle their children for two whole years for him who desires to make complete the time of suckling; and their maintenance and their clothing must be– borne by the father according to usage; no soul shall have imposed upon it a duty but to the extent of its capacity; neither shall a mother be made to suffer harm on account of her child, nor a father on account of his child, and a similar duty (devolves) on the (father’s) heir, but if both desire weaning by mutual consent and counsel, there is no blame on them, and if you wish to engage a wet-nurse for your children, there is no blame on you so long as you pay what you promised for according to usage; and be careful of (your duty to) Allah and know that Allah sees what you do” (Q2:233).

So, Almighty Allah through the Glorious Quran enjoins “two years” for breastfeeding (without compulsion from the mother and those with medical difficulties) as the best form of weaning and the financial responsibility should be borne “by the father” based on capability. The parents (of the new born baby) are enjoined to seek counsel from experienced ones and health officers and if the mother is medically not fit to breastfeed, she can employ medically certified woman to do so.

More importantly, scientists discovered recently that the child’s complete nutrition is from her mother’s breast milk, as it is not completed unless the mother suckled her child for two complete years! Again, World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life, after which “infants should receive nutritionally adequate and safe complementary foods while breastfeeding continues up to two years of age or beyond ” as reported in WHO (2003) Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding, Geneva. Yet, a new medical conference came with a conclusion that the ideal period of sucking is two years, because in this age the child is in urgent need of immunity elements to develop immunity systems which are only found in mother’s milk.

One would not but ask: why did it take the turn of millennium before WHO, Academy of Pediatrics, US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality among others to align their scientific reasoning with what Almighty Allah has revealed to Prophet Muhammed (through Angel Gabriel) in 14 hundred centuries ago? Why is it that since 1400 years ago, Quran has not be revised, reviewed, re-edited or re-modified? In answering these questions, it is universally acknowledged backed with historical facts and scientific reasoning, that the Glorious Quran is a revealed book from the Almighty Allah through Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) unto mankind over a period of 23 years.

While contributing to the debate on the originality of the Quran, the New Catholic Encyclopedia has a very interesting subject under Qur’an. In an article under this subject, the Catholic Church states that “Over the centuries, many theories have been offered as to the origin of the Qur’an… Today, no sensible man accepts any of these theories!!” Again, Encyclopedia of Religions and Ethics (volume 10, page 549) stated: “There are in the public libraries of Europe many Qur’anic manuscripts of high antiquity, the oldest dating probably from the second Islamic century, but apart from some anomalies of spelling due to rudimentary character of the early Arabic orthography, no real variant can be detected in them….”

Surprisingly, one of the oldest texts of the Qur’an in the world, on parchment that was possibly made within the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), has been found in the collection of the Cadbury Research Library at the University of Birmingham according to BBC Online of July 22, 2015. The two well-preserved leaves of parchment, closely written in an elegant script, have been radiocarbon-dated to between AD568 and AD645, a result regarded by the scientists who tested it at University of Oxford as near certain – 95.4% accurate.

David Thomas, professor of Christianity and Islam, and the Nadir Dinshaw professor of interreligious relations at the university, called the discovery “one of the most surprising secrets of the university’s collections”. He said it supported the view that the version of the Qur’an in use today had hardly changed from the earliest recorded version, and the Muslim belief that the text represented an exact record of the revelations delivered to the Prophet.

The parchment and the beautiful early Arabic script closely resemble other fragments in the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris from the earliest mosque in Egypt, founded in AD642. These assertions testify to the message of the Glorious Quran that “Surely, We have revealed the Reminder (Quran) and We will assuredly guard it (from corruption)” (Q15:9). No wonder Rev. Bosworth Smith concluded in his book - Mohammed and Mohammedanism - published in London, that “Al-Quran as a miracle of purity of style, of wisdom and of truth, it is the one miracle claimed by Mohammed, his standing miracle; he called it, and a miracle indeed it is!”

· Concluded.

· Engr. Dauda Ayanda (MNSE), wrote from Ibadan.


Published online in The Guardian Newspaper of July 31, 2015

Yet, it was in 1677 that Hamm and Leeuwenhoek became the first scientists to observe human sperm cells (spermatozoa) using a microscope. They thought that a sperm cell contained a miniature human being that grew in the uterus to form a newborn. This was known as the perforation theory. When scientists discovered that the ovum was bigger than the sperm, it was thought by De Graf and others that the foetus existed in a miniature form in the ovum. Later in the 18th century, Maupertuis propagated the theory of biparental inheritance.

Recently, Prof. Marshall Johnson of Dept. of Anatomy, Thomas Jefferson University would have this to say about embryological stages of human development “I see nothing here (in Quran) in conflict with the concept that divine intervention was involved in scientific description of embryo when Muhammed (PBUH) recited the Quran”. Again, Dr Keith Moore, a non-Muslim professor of Embryology and a world expert on the subject at the University of Toronto was once asked ‘How do you explain this information in the Quran?’ Dr Moore’s response was, ‘It could only have been divinely revealed!’

Moreover, who guides the embryo in his journey to life? He is Allah, the Supreme Being, who says “Our Lord is He who gave to each thing its form and nature, then guided it aright” (Q20:50). The Glorious Quran also asserts authoritatively that “He it is who shapes you in the wombs as He pleases. There is no god but He (Allah), the Exalted in Might, the Wise” (Q3:6).

In order to make it convincingly clear, here is an exquisite remark: Allah says “He creates you in the wombs of your mothers in stages, one after another, in three veils of darkness.” (Q39:6), thus indicating the continuation of the embryonic development and the change from one stage into another, as explained earlier. Embryologists have confirmed that the foetus is surrounded, during the stages of development, with three membranes: The amnion membrane which contains a fluid encompassing the foetus to make it in a state of swimming, thus protecting it from trauma that the uterus encounters, and facilitates the foetus movements for re-position smoothly during labour; the chorion membrane and; the decidua membrane. Some scholars interpreted the three veils of darkness with the amniotic membrane surrounding the uterus, wall of uterus, and abdomen wall. Yet, Allah knows best.

The embryonic stages are in accordance with the Prophet Muhammed’s (PBUH) saying in one of his narration in Sahih Muslim: “When 42 nights have passed over the conception, Allah sends an angel to it, who shapes it (into human form) and makes its ears, eyes, skin, muscles and bones. Then he says: ` O Lord is it male or female? `, and your Lord decides what He wishes and the angel records it.” After 42 nights (6 weeks), the embryo begins to take the human image with the appearance of cartilaginous skeleton, then the external genitals begin to appear later on (the 10th week). In the 7th week the human image gets clearer with the start of the spread of skeleton. This week represents (between 40 and 45 days) the demarcation line between ‘mudgha’ (lump of flesh) and human image.

After the completion of embryonic stages and the passing of nine lunar months, the foetus completes growth in the uterus. Why nine lunar months is the benchmark for delivery while before this time is considered pre-mature and after is post-datum? Who instructs the foetus to prepare for another stage of coming to this world? Almighty Allah says “And We cause whom We will to rest in the wombs for an appointed term” (Q22:5). So the term is divinely ordained as appointed and determined. The Supreme Being also asserts that “The foetus We placed in a place of rest, firmly fixed, for a period (of gestation) determined. For We do determine, for We are the best to determine things” (Q77:21-23).

The Glorious Quran elaborates the stages of labour as a “divine plan” of the Almighty Allah while making reference to women in labour, in which the status of Mary, who is a pious believer in monotheism and the mother of Prophet Isa (Jesus Christ, peace be upon him) as described in the following verse when she was in labour of delivering Jesus Christ: “And the birth pains surprised her by the trunk of the palm tree: she said; ‘Ah! Would I have died before this! And become a thing forgotten.’ But (a voice) cried to her from beneath: ‘Grieve not! Your Lord has set below you a rivulet. Shake to you the palm-trunk, and there shall come falling upon you dates fresh and ripe. So eat, and drink, and be comforted...…” (Q19: 23-26). She made this confession after delivering Prophet Isa (Jesus Christ, pbuh) and recounted her experience of labour pain. As a pious woman who submitted to the will of her Lord, a voice came upon her (from Angel Gabriel) who directed her to eat dates to comfort her.

It has been scientifically proved that dates have several benefits for woman in labour which includes: Dates are rich in fibers which help avoid constipation, as it is a natural laxative, and helps a smooth delivery. Dates contain more than 70% glucose which is easily absorbed and assimilated, thus ensuring the provision of necessary energy during labour. Dates is rich in minerals, particularly magnesium which is necessary for cells physiology, potassium which is necessary for the muscles and irons which is necessary to treat anaemia; Dates contain a substance that helps alert the muscles of uterus to contract and increase contraction during delivery among others.

· To be continued.

· Engr. Dauda Ayanda (MNSE), wrote from Ibadan.


Published online in The Guardian Newspaper of July 24, 2015

Karl Von Frisch received the Nobel Prize in 1973 for his research on the behaviour and communication of the bees. The bee, after discovering any new garden or flower, goes back and tells its fellow bees the exact direction and map to get there, which is known as “bee dance”. This theory, which centered on investigations of the sensory perceptions of bee and translated the meaning of waggle dance as described in his book published in 1927 – The Dancing Bees, was disputed by other scientists and greeted with skepticism at the time. It was only much later that it was definitely proved to be an accurate theoretical analysis.

It was in the same vein, long before modern civilization, that divine revelation of the Glorious Quran was accepted with skepticism. The Glorious Quran explains, more than 1400 years ago, how bee finds with skill the spacious paths of its Lord thus: “And thy Lord taught the bee to build its cells in hills, on trees, and in (men) habitations. Then to eat of all produce (of the earth), and follow the ways of thy Lord made smooth: there issues from within their bodies (honey) a drink of varying colours, wherein is healing for men: verily in this is a sign for those who reflect” (Quran 16:68-69).

The gender used for the bee is the female gender indicating that the bee that leaves its home for gathering food is a female bee. In other words, the soldier or worker bee is a female bee. However, in Shakespeare’s play “Henry the Fourth”, some of the characters speak about bees and mention that the bees are soldiers and they have a king. That is what people thought in Shakespeare times but not true. It took modern investigations in the last 300 years to align with the Glorious Quran.

This perspective of Von Frisch ground-breaking research which coincided with earlier revelation of the Quran explains why Evolutionary Computing research has also model the behavior of ants known as “Ant Colony Optimization Algorithm” in line with the communication of ants in Holy Quran. The Glorious Quran reveals the activities of ants in relative to wisdom of Prophet Sulaiman (AS) as follows: “And before Sulaiman were marshaled his hosts, of Jinns and men and birds, they were all kept in order and ranks. At length, when they came to a valley of ants, one of the ants said: ‘O ye ants, get into your habitations, lest Sulaiman and his hosts crush you (under foot) without knowing it’” (Quran 27:17-18).

Invariably, the scientific accuracy of Holy Quran with modern science and civilization as shown in the lifestyle of bees and ants (which were not known earlier to mankind) is a pointer to a knowledge that is beyond the unlettered Prophet Muhammed (PBUH). Never in history of Science has anyone drawn inference without proper scientific enquiry based on sound methodical approach with appropriate equipment.

Furthermore, one of the most strange phenomena is the creation of human. One cell grows to be 100 trillion cells. How does this operation happen? Who controls this precise program? Is it nature or the creator of nature? The Glorious Quran refers to the creation of human beings thus: “It is He (Allah) who has created man from water. Then He has established relationships of lineage and marriage; for thy Lord has power over all things” (Q25:54). This verse refers to the creation of Prophet Adam (AS) and the established relationship through Eve (Hawau) - every human being emanated from these two sources. Only after advances have been made in Science do we now know that cytoplasm, the basic substance of the cell is made up of 80% water. Modern research has also revealed that most organisms consist of 50% to 90% water and that every living entity requires water for its existence.

In the meantime, the Glorious Quran mentions no less than eleven times that human being is created from ‘Nutfah’, which means a minute quantity of liquid or a trickle of liquid (sperm) which remains after emptying a cup. It says “Was he not a drop of sperm emitted (in lowly form)? Then did (Allah) make and fashion (him) in due proportion. And of him He made two sexes, male and female” (Q75:37-39). The Supreme Being is reasoning with us when He asked question in the verse above: “Was he not….?” He also demonstrated His supremacy of creation when He said “Allah make and fashion him in due proportion…”

Primarily, sex determination occurs at the fertilization and depends upon the type of sex chromosome (X or Y) in the sperm that fertilizes an ovum. Thus, Almighty Allah asserted “That He (Allah) did create in pairs – male and female, from a sperm-drop when lodged (in its place)” (Q53:45-46). It is therefore out of place to blame a woman for girl child since woman only brings forth X-chromosome. That male and female child emanate from sperm-drop is in consistence with modern Science.

In the course of fashioning our existence, Almighty Allah (SW) explained the stages of embryology that was not known to anyone then (be it scientists or otherwise) to the last messenger – Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) in over 14 centuries ago. Allah says “And indeed We created man (Adam) out of an extract of clay (water and dust); thereafter We made him (the offspring of Adam) as a nutfah (mixed drops of male and female sexual discharge) and lodged it in a safe lodging (womb of the woman). Then We made the nutfah into a clot (a piece of thick coagulated blood), then We made the clot into a little lump of flesh, then We made out of that little lump of flesh bones, then We clothed the bones with flesh, and then We brought it forth as another creation. So blessed is Allah, the Best of Creators” (Q23:12-14).

· To be continued.

· Engr. Dauda Ayanda (MNSE), wrote from Ibadan.

Monday, 27 July 2015


By F. E. Ogbimi on July 24, 2015
The Guardian Newspaper

IN 1949 when Mao Zedung became the leader of the Chinese people, the economy was in chaos. The Russians on whom the Chinese had depended upon for a long time had quarreled with them and stripped Manchuria, the most built-up city of everything. The transport system was in ruins and the currency worthless. The Chinese used the resource they have in abundance – people (Stoke and Stoke, 1975). “Let the people walk on two legs,” said Mao Zedung. “Let the native skills and the local materials supplement modern technology.” Mao meant to mobilise the entire populace and link learning efforts in educational institutions with those in the rest of the economy.

Everyone in Chinese communes worked together. That was how the Chinese having crawled during the period 1000 B C.- 1949 A. D., 2,949 years, accelerated modernisation to become the fastest growing economy in the world.

The founder of modern Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew, became Prime Minister at the age of 35 years (Forbes Global, 2001). In an exclusive interview with Michael Boclurkiw of Forbes Global, in which he shared his thoughts and insights on Singapore and the region, he said: In the early days, the National Science and Technology Board (NSTB), the lead agency in Singapore’s New Economic drive, figured that because of the low percentage of research scientists and other knowledge workers in Singapore, it needed to quickly build up a capability for knowledge generation.

Investments were made in the areas of science and technology. In less than 10 years, the number of research scientists and engineers rose from less than 28 per 10,000 workers to about 70, close to the 75 that most developed economies have. Now, there is a strong base of science and technology covering diverse areas. Again, the Singapore’s miraculous change was a matter of learning and acquiring scientific and technological knowledge, skills and capabilities, as well as developing the people in various knowledge areas for an economy.

The Asians intuitively know that learning is the fundamental basis of self-reliance. That explains why they are credited with the adage which says: teach me how to fish so that I can catch fish myself whenever I want to eat fish. History shows that one society learns from another and this is the basis for improving the productivity of the society with the lower productivity.

Federal and state governments in Nigeria have been emphasising capital investments and erecting infrastructure for decades. Nigerian governments have been mismanaging the economy by emphasising the wrong development strategy and accumulating unnecessary debt burdens. The review of the development experiences of Britain, the United States of America, China and Singapore revealed that they learnt laissez-faire for 2000-3000 years, achieved Industrial Revolution (IR) and acquired the capabilities for building relevant infrastructure before focusing on the development of the relevant infrastructure. So, mismanagement does not come from corruption alone, the more serious mismanagement of the economy comes from adopting the wrong development strategy and implementing wrong projects. Indeed, mismanagement of the economy through the adoption of the wrong development strategy and implementing wrong programmes and projects promotes corruption and it has been the bane of Nigeria’s development since independence in 1960.

It is obvious that European, American and some Asian nations are industrialised whereas African nations are pre-industrialised. If Nigerian leaders were wise, they would try to find out how the non-African nations became industrialised. Nigerian leaders are assuming that knowledge about what other nations did in the past is not important. Also, Nigerian leaders think that Nigeria does not need to understand the industrialisation process before embarking on it. They believe that seeking Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) in a most ridiculous manner and awarding inflated contracts for erecting structures are the sure way to achieving rapid industrialisation. What do the industrialised nations have in common? They have the competences for manufacturing uncountable products. Africans intelligentsia/intellectuals talk of technology transfer because of shallow reasoning. Who transferred technology to Britain – the first nation to achieve the modern Industrial Revolution (IR)? Britain, like all other industrialised nations, was an agricultural nation for about 2000 years. When Britain became the manufacturer of innumerable scientific and technological products, it must have acquired the capabilities for manufacturing the products!

The child must learn how to read and write, otherwise, it grows up to be an illiterate. No one or nation is born with the skills to produce. All knowledge, skills and competences are acquired through learning. One who wishes to be a good dancer must learn how to dance. A nation which hopes to manufacture many products must develop the people to manufacture them.

In a nation where learning – education and training, is emphasised, there is continuous build-up of knowledge, skills and competences (KSCs). As the learning process continues, a point is reached where each type of KSCs begins to enjoy the supportive impact of all others and all of them form an invisible KSCs-network, a sort of problem-attacking front. The nation at that point achieves Industrial Revolution (IR) – a technological puberty. Productivity improves dramatically, the nation achieves economic diversification – various sectors of the economy begin to perform efficiently and effectively. The economic transformation described as IR, may be likened to that which the spider achieves when it combines many of its silk-threads to make its web. The single silk-thread which the spider spins is a relatively weak structural material which fails readily under any stress regime.

However, the web which is made from the combination of many of the weak silk-threads catches the small creatures on which the spider feeds. In a like manner, no individual solves the problems of a nation, but a combination of many millions of knowledgeable, skilled and competent people transforms an agricultural nation into an industrialised one.

What Nigeria needs to do is to develop the people so that the people can build the necessary infrastructure. President Buhari must not owe to build infrastructure. Nigeria should establish a standing training framework nearly as large as the existing educational system to train graduates of educational institutions, science and engineers in particular to acquire complementary practical skills. The absence of the indispensable training framework has been the biggest obstacle to Nigeria’s rapid development.

• Ogbimi wrote via

Saturday, 25 July 2015


Available online at

The Muslim Ummah of South West Nigeria (MUSWEN), the umbrella body embracing all Muslim organizations and institutions domicile in South West Nigeria, is deeply concerned that The Punch newspaper subjected the Executive Governor of the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, to severe criticism over the Governor's declaration of the Muslim New Year day, Thursday, 1 Muharram 1434/15 November 2012 as public holiday in the state. By making the issue the subject of the Editorial in its issue of 20 November, the newspaper betrayed its deep-rooted traditional bias against anything Muslim. The profundity of the bias seemed to have made the paper forget about the need to research the issue and think it through objectively before writing. That perhaps was also why the Editorial dabbled into extraneous issues that the paper was ill-informed about, such as the Shari'ah adjudication in parts of the country and the role of Islam in the politics of Pakistan. So, contrary to the newspaper's claim, it is not the government of Aregbesola that "has opened itself to criticism"; it is The Punch that has exposed its hatred for Islam.

A little bit of research should have revealed to the newspaper that, long before the British colonialists brought the Gregorian Calendar, the people of the State of Osun had been familiar with the Hijrah system, as Islam had gained firm foot-hold in Yorubaland. The town of Iwo, to this day, is known among the Yoruba as Ile Afaa, 'the abode of Muslim scholars and clerics'. Similarly, like Epe in Lagos State and some other cities in the South West, Ede was recognized as the home of Islamic learning and the Shari'ah. The Punch ought to have known this!

The newspaper should also have learnt that, for Muslims, the Hijrah or emigration of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and the early Muslims from Makkah to Madinah, was a turning point marking relief from oppression and religious persecution to freedom of religion and peaceful coexistence among people of different religious persuasions. It provided such freedom not just for the Muslims but also for the Jews and Christians who lived in or visited the new Islamic city-state of Madinah and its environs.

Are the editors of Punch aware of the fact that the Gregorian Calendar was created by Pope Gregory XIII in the 16th Century with a view to celebrating the Easter at the time the Catholic Church "thought the First Council of Nicaea had agreed upon in 325"? Are they also aware of the fact that many Protestant countries of Europe "initially objected to adopting a Catholic invention for fear that the new calendar was part of a plot to return them to the Catholic fold"?. So, Britain and the British Empire did not adopt the Gregorian Calendar until 1752. Moreover, from the 12th century until 1751 the legal year in England began on 25 March, not 1 January.

That was the kind of calendar that the British colonialists imposed upon all Nigerians including Muslims who hitherto had organized their activities on the basis of the Hijrah calendar. It is pertinent to note that the first six months of the Gregorian calendar are named after false gods and goddesses, an idea that is diametrically opposed to the Islamic doctrine of Tawheed, belief in the absolute Oneness of Allah. It is also pertinent to note that despite these contradictions, the Muslims of Nigeria have, in their characteristic tolerance, restrained themselves from raising objection to the imposition of the Gregorian calendar. On the contrary, they have joined other compatriots in adopting January 1 as the beginning of the country's administrative year.

It was our first Prime Minister, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa that first declared the two public holidays to mark the Muslim 'Id festivals respectively. Hitherto, Muslim employees were expected to go to work, and Muslim children to go to school, even on 'Id days. Sometimes, public examinations were deliberately fixed on days of 'Id. 

When, in 1972, the Seventh Day Adventists, a Christian denomination, demanded that Saturday be declared a work free-day in the country, the government under Gen. Yakubu Gowon acceded to their demand. The Muslims did not raise any objection to the demand or the government's granting of it. Ever since then, Nigerian Christians have enjoyed 104 days of holiday (Saturday and Sunday) every year while Muslims do not have any corresponding advantage. Certainly, Muslims would wish that Friday be a work-free day so they can take our children to the mosques to worship with us as the Christians do on Saturdays and Sundays. However, in our characteristic tolerance, we have not made such a demand with any degree of insistence.

Any reasonable person would expect that, given the above facts, non-Muslim compatriots would understand and welcome the courageous decision of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola to declare the first day of Hijrah year as a public holiday in his state. The Governor himself made it clear that the Muslim faithful use the hijrah calendar for their programmes and therefore, it should be "accorded its due respect like the first day of January". As Femi Abbas stated, and rightly so, in his column on Friday 23 November 2012, an "unjust status quo cannot be maintain indefinitely". Ogbeni Aregbesola has taken the right step in the right direction and he has the support of all lovers of justice in Nigeria, Muslim and non-Muslim alike. If he did not "campaign for office in order to promote religion", as 

The Punch suggested, he did campaign to promote justice and fair play. And that exactly is what he has done! Meanwhile, the law is totally on his side, as the Public Holidays Act gives a State Gorvernor the power to "appoint a special day to be kept as a public holiday in the state".
At this juncture we wish to commend the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Osun State Branch under the leadership of Evangelist Abiodun Aladeseye who demonstrated maturity and fair-mindedness when he declared that the Christians in the state had nothing against the declaration of the holiday. He even reportedly sent congratulatory messages to the governor and the Chief Imam of Osogbo, Sheikh Ajisafe on the occasion. Where does that leave The Punch newspaper which cried when they bereaved did not?

Like some careless commentators, the editors of The Punch were under the notion that Nigeria is a secular country. That notion contradicts the collective agreement of the people of Nigeria that we shall live together and operate "under God" as contained in the opening statement of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The Constitution deals MAINLY with public, rather than prIvate life. What it says is that the government shall not adopt any religion as state religion. Secularity means non-recognition of religious values in governance and the most important value taught by the religions practised in Nigeria is belief in the existence and supremacy of God. So, no provision of the Constitution supports the notion of secularity. Nigeria is a multi-religious, not secular, country. ...................The Punch complained that the hijrah holiday was one too many. If that is so, would the paper support a reversion to the pre-Gowon declaration when the country operated a six-day week system? After all, that would save 52 working days for our economy.

The Punch complained that the hijrah holiday was one too many. If that is so, would the paper support a reversion to the pre-Gowon declaration when the country operated a six-day week system? After all, that would save 52 working days for our economy.
It should be noted that, while most non-Muslims in this country are in the habit of opposing demand by Muslims for their legitimate rights which do not necessarily affect them adversely, such as access to the Shari'ah adjudication and interest-free banking, Muslims are not known to oppose any legitimate demands of Christians. A classic example is the demand for government support for Christian pilgrimage to Jerusalem, even though such pilgrimage is not known to be a Christian doctrine.

What we need in this country is not mere preaching of religious tolerance; it is actually putting it into practice. Obviously, the media has a responsibility to promote this attribute just as religious leaders do. We hope that The Punch as well as other media institutions in the country will heed this advice. As we have demonstrated above, the declaration of the first day of hijrah year as public holiday by Governor Aregbesola is a right step in the right direction towards meeting a legitimate aspiration of Muslims in his state. We are fully in support of his action. Not only do Muslims expect that it will remain a permanent feature in the calendar of the government of the State of Osun, the Muslim Ummah of South West Nigeria (MUSWEN) wishes to implore other governments in the South West and elsewhere, as appropriate, to follow suit in the interest of justice and fair play.

Signed By

HON Justice Bola Babalakin JSC (RTD), CON, LLD
The Current Acting President

Muslim Ummah of South West Nigeria (MUSWEN)

Professor Dawud O. S. Noibi OBE, FISN, FIAC
Executive Secretary

Muslim Ummah of South West Nigeria (MUSWEN)


Published online by The Guardian Newspaper

July 24, 2015

The blessings of the Almighty Allah on the creatures, particularly human beings are unquantifiable. This was further established in Quran 7:54: “Your Guardian-Lord Is Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth in six days, then He established Himself on the Throne (of authority): He draweth the night as a veil over the day, each seeking the other in rapid succession: He created the sun, the moon, and the stars, (all) governed by laws under His command.

Is it not His to create and to govern? Blessed be Allah, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the worlds!” Signs of Allah in Solar System The earth rotates on its axis at one thousand miles an hour; if it turned at one hundred miles an hour, our days and nights would be ten times as long as now, and the hot sun would then burn up our vegetation during each long day, while in the long night any surviving sprout would freeze.

Again, the sun, source of our life, has a surface temperature of 12,000 degrees Fahrenheit, and our earth is, just far enough away so that this ‘eternal fire” warms us just enough and not too much! If the sun gave off only one-half its present radiation, we would freeze, and if it gave half as much more, we would roast.

The slant of the earth, tilted at an angle of 23 degrees, gives us our seasons; if it had not been so tilted, vapours from the ocean would move north and south, piling up for us continents of ice.

If our moon was, say, only 50 thousand miles away instead of its actual distance, our tides would be so enormous that twice a day all continents would be submerged; even the mountains would soon be eroded away.

If the crust of the earth had been only ten feet thicker, there would be no oxygen without which animal life must die. Had the ocean been a few feet deeper, carbon dioxide and oxygen would have been absorbed and no vegetable life could exist.

Or if our atmosphere had been thinner, some of the meteors, now burned in space by the million every day would be striking all parts of the earth, starting fires everywhere.
Because of these, and host of other examples, there is not one chance in millions that life on our planet is an accident. Allah’s signature on mountains Unfortunately, today many of the “smartest” people of this world deny the existence of God.

Suppose one of them walks by a mountain and see that there is a tent on top of the mountain. Immediately he will think that someone went up there and made the tent. He won’t think that the tent formed itself. You and I also won’t think that some sticks came and dug themselves on the ground and then a cloth flew to it to form the tent.

We will all think that someone went up there and made it. That is the mistake. We think that the small and simple tent on the mountain cannot form itself but we think that the huge mountain underneath the tent was formed by itself! This is how narrow our thinking has become.

Signs of Allah in oceans and lands The rains, the seas, rivers, streams, the oceans, drinkable water that flows when you turn on a faucet… People are so used to the existence of water that they probably never think about the fact that a major part of the Earth’s surface -indeed, most of it- is covered with water.

However, what is singularly important here is that, among all known celestial bodies, only the Earth provides drinkable water. Fully four-fifths of the earth’s surface is covered with water.

In addition to large water masses such as oceans, there are various other water sources whose sizes and attributes are different from each other, such as rivers and small lakes.

Some of these waters are too salty to be drinkable, but others are fresh. There is a perfect water balance that has been arranged according to the needs of all living things on the earth. By virtue of water, millions of species of creatures exist on earth, and the balances that are necessary for life are preserved.

For example, clouds and rain are formed by the evaporation of large water masses. Water has a high capacity for drawing and holding heat. For this reason, the large water masses of the oceans and seas maintain the balance of the world’s heat. Therefore, the temperature difference between day and night in regions near the sea is very small.

This makes these regions more livable. The existence of the oceans, a bird’s-eye view of which is seen at the left of this page, is highly significant. Because the oceans reflect the sun’s rays less than land does, they receive more sun energy, yet they disperse this heat in a more balanced way.

Therefore, the oceans cool the equatorial regions and prevent them from becoming excessively hot, and also warm the waters of the polar regions to prevent them from freezing completely. Through the transparency of water, water mosses can photosynthesize under the surface of the ocean.

Water is one of the few substances in nature that expands when frozen. It is because of this that the seas and oceans do not freeze from bottom to top. All of the physical and chemical features of water, of which only a few have been given here, show us that this liquid has been specially created for the needs of human life. It is surely no coincidence that such water is not available on any other planet besides the Earth.

The Earth, which has been specially created for human life, has blossomed with life through water, which has also been specially created. Allah, Who has created countless blessings for His servants and bestowed on them an easy mode of living, has created water with unique artistry and delicacy.

As He maintains in the Qur’an, “It is He Who sends down water from the sky…” (Surat an-Nahl: verse10) The great quantity of water in the seas makes our earth habitable. If the proportion of sea to land on the earth were smaller, then lands would turn into deserts and life would be impossible.

A conscientious person who thinks about these matters is completely convinced that the establishment of such a perfect balance on the earth is surely not a coincidence. Seeing and thinking about all these shows that a Creator Who is exalted and the owner of eternal power created everything for a purpose.

And He has made everything in the heavens and everything on the earth subservient to you. It is all from Him. There are certainly Signs in that for people who reflect. (Surat al-Jathiyya: 13). Never get tired of doing little things to others, because sometimes those little things may mean so much to them.

Sulaimon Salau The Guardian 08029427242

Thursday, 9 July 2015


Ustaz Abubakr Siddeeq Muhammad — May 15, 2015 3:12 am | Leadership Newspaper
  1. “Terrorise and behead those who believe in scriptures other than the Qur’an.” 8:12
Again, to make proper sense of the verse quoted here, you go back a bit. The way out of the mischief is in not allowing anyone to misdirect your attention to one verse out of its general context. A historical context will be missing if you dwell on just verse 12 and ignore the verses before and after it. This principle will guide anyone, Muslim and non-Muslim, to the truth of the matter. There is no verse in the Qur’an, which orders anybody to behead anyone for their faith. What we have are verses ordering the Muslims to fight when attacked, to be as ferocious as the attackers, and to stop when the hostilities cease and to be patient and Allah-conscious. This is what history bears out from Muslims of that era and subsequent eras.
The Surah in question is Al Anfaal (The Spoils of War). In the opening verses, it is clear that the chapter was addressing certain situations pre and post war. The issues of what to do with the war booty after a war, the issues of desertion on the battlefield among others were those Allah addressed here. Other parts of the chapter dealt with rules of engagement and how to encourage troops during a battle. The custom of cherry-picking verses to suit evil purposes is not new but the evil motive is always defeated in the end. Let us look at the parts of the Surah that were ignored and which would have shed light on the matter:
(9) When ye sought help of your Lord and He answered you (saying): I will help you with a thousand of the angels, rank on rank.
(10) Allah appointed it only as good tidings, and that your hearts thereby might be at rest. Victory cometh only by the help of Allah. Lo! Allah is Mighty, Wise.
(11) When He made the slumber fall upon you as a reassurance from him and sent down water from the sky upon you, that thereby He might purify you, and remove from you the fear of Satan, and make strong your hearts and firm (your) feet thereby.
(12) When thy Lord inspired the angels, (saying): I am with you. So make those who believe stand firm. I will throw fear into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Then smite the necks and smite of them each finger.
(13) That is because they opposed Allah and His messenger. Whoso opposeth Allah and His messenger, (for him) lo! Allah is severe in punishment.
(14) That (is the award), so taste it, and (know) that for disbelievers is the torment of the Fire.
(15) O ye who believe! When ye meet those who disbelieve in battle, turn not your backs to them.
(16) Whoso on that day turneth his back to them, unless manoeuvring for battle or intent to join a company, he truly hath incurred wrath from Allah, and his habitation will be hell, a hapless journey’s end.
Without as much as an exegesis, it is clear, what is mentioned here has to do with a battle that was on at the time. In fact, it was the famous Battle of Badr when the pagans of Makkah travelled to the outskirts of Madeenah at a place called Badr. There were a little over 1,000 of them and there were only 313 Muslims. They sought to crush the earliest Muslims who had migrated from Makkah to Madeenah due to religious persecution. It was in the desert and the Muslims were fasting the month of Ramadan. The Messenger of Allah sought Allah’s help and they were victorious. How this can be interpreted to mean that Muslims should be attacking Christians or anyone for that matter is unfathomable.
Furthermore, the verses discuss events leading up to a war. The Muslims were living peacefully in Madeenah. The pagans in Makkah, who did not like the fact of a new religion, which calls to the worship of the One True God, decided to invade Madeenah. The Muslims were few and ill equipped, besides, they were fasting. They prayed for help and Allah helped them and braced them up for the fight with words of encouragement. He told them to fight and be brave, not minding their scant number.
How does that say Muslims should go around murdering anyone who believes in a different scripture? Unless those people want to act like the pagans of Makkah 1400 years ago, these verses will never apply to any non-Muslim. Only at the outbreak of war between Muslims and any aggressor group would these verses apply. They will not apply to people who have neither attacked nor aided an attack on Muslims.
  1. “Muslims must muster all weapons to terrorize the non-Muslims.” 8:60
You must have noticed a common trend in the selection of verses by the fear mongers who compiled the list of references. The response here is the same as the one before it:
I have started from verse 55:
(55) Lo! the worst of beasts in Allah’s sight are the ungrateful who will not believe.
(56) Those of them with whom thou madest a treaty, and then at every opportunity they break their treaty, and they keep not duty (to Allah).
(57) If thou comest on them in the war, deal with them so as to strike fear in those who are behind them, that haply they may remember.
(58) And if thou fearest treachery from any folk, then throw back to them (their treaty) fairly. Lo! Allah loveth not the treacherous.
(59) And let not those who disbelieve suppose that they can outstrip (Allah’s Purpose). Lo! they cannot escape.
(60) Make ready for them all thou canst of (armed) force and of horses tethered, that thereby ye may dismay the enemy of Allah and your enemy, and others beside them whom ye know not. Allah knoweth them. Whatsoever ye spend in the way of Allah it will be repaid to you in full, and ye will not be wronged.
(61) And if they incline to peace, incline thou also to it, and trust in Allah. Lo! He, even He, is the Hearer, the Knower.
(62) And if they would deceive thee, then lo! Allah is Sufficient for thee. He it is Who supporteth thee with His help and with the believers,

Again, as before, this is from Q8 that deals extensively with issues of war and its ethics for the believers. It was in reference to specific events during which rulings were needed and sought. Allah provided the rulings here. Again, it provides no license to murder anyone here, it merely instructs the Muslims of the era what to do in battle when they were under attack and it is useful to the Muslims of all eras who find themselves under a similar threat.
The verses are self-explanatory. The Muslims signed non-aggression and defence treaties with some of the non-Muslim tribes in Madeenah and the outskirts. Some of them broke the terms of the treaty by aiding attacks on the Muslims in some instances and attacking them in other instances. Allah ordered the His Messenger to cancel treaties with such tribes and make an example of them if they meet on the battlefield. It does not require rocket science to realise that the verses are not asking the Muslims to go on a killing spree.