Nigerian comedian and an On-Air personality (OAP) with Wazobia FM, Chinedu Ani Emmanuel, otherwise known as Nedu, has been accused of tarnishing and disrespecting the sanctity of Islam in his clownish skit where he played the alter ego personality, Alhaji Musa.
Many Muslim organisations and individuals across Nigeria who spoke with Muslim News considered it offensive seeing the comedian adorning his trademark Islamic attire while mimicking the Hausa accent as he flirts with busty and scantily dressed ladies in many of his videos available on social media.
In a statement released on Monday, January 25 and signed by its Chairman, Mr. Sulaymon Tadese Faozahny, Ta’awunu Human Rights Institute (THURIST) said the comedian’s character as Alhaji Musa is a disturbance to public peace, adding that it’s capable of inciting religious violence in the country if nothing is done about it.
Mr. Faozahny said, “The attention of Ta’awunu Human Rights Institute – THURIST has been drawn to the nefarious activities of a Nigerian-born On-Air Personality, TV Presenter and Comedian bearing the name Chinedu Ani Emmanuel (Nedu Wazobia) parading himself with a Muslim name popularly known as Alhaji Musa.
“After rigorous investigation, the identity of Alhaji Musa has been discovered to be an Igbo Christian with the name Chinedu Ani Emmanuel, using Alhaji Musa to perform comedies which desecrate the sanctity of the religion of Islam,” he added.
The Iwo, Osun State based organisation alleged that Comedian Nedu has performed comic acts that are sacrilegious to the religion of Islam, ranging from fondling breasts of females , and engaging in sexually explicit display while dressed in Muslim attire and with a Muslim stage name.
“It is clear beyond every reasonable doubt, that the activities of Chinedu Ani Emmanuel and the uproar it had caused in the Muslim fold, constitutes an attempt to disrupt public peace and incite religious violence which the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has managed to maintain,” he said.
The group demanded that the comedian be arrested and interrogated for “parading himself as Alhaji Musa in an attempt to disrupt public peace and incite religious violence or produce himself within 30 working days for a fair chance of being heard, failure of which we shall be obliged to institute legal action against him.”
▪︎ It’s an insult to Muslims, the good people of Northern Nigeria – Northern Activist
Earlier, a northern-based social media personality, Gaxaley Bello had raised concerns over what he considered offensive contents the comedian is dishing out, calling on religious organisations to act.
In his Facebook post, on January 17, Comrade Bello addressed the letter to the Muslim Council Nigeria, Jama’at Izalat Al-Bid’a Wa Iqamatis-Sunnah (JIBWIS), the Northern Tariqa, Tijaniyya and Qadiriyya, and the entire elders in Northern Nigeria.
According to him, “I am writing to each and every Islamic institution in Nigeria. This rascality and stupidity is getting out of hand, content of his comedies are insults to Muslims and the good people of Northern Nigeria directly, which is not right in the teachings of both the religions, I’m talking on behalf of the majority.”
▪︎His ignorant acts misleading Muslim fans unknowingly — Peace Media Da’wah
Also reacting, a Muslim organisation, Peace Da’wah Media expressed disappointment over series of videos churned out by the comedian, which it said is sadly being watched by many Muslims on social media. The media organisation warned Nedu, to put a drastic stop to his acts, calling on the Nigerian authorities to arrest him.
In a 6 minutes, 21 seconds video posted on its official YouTube page on Thursday, January 21, the group’s spokesperson noted his ignorant acts are equally misleading some other Muslims inadvertently.
According to him, “This message goes to the comedian, Alhaji Musa. This guy is tarnishing the image of Islam and a lot of Muslims are following him without knowing what he’s doing. I saw many of his videos. Even if he’s a Muslim, it is against Islam to do such comedy which portray Islam and Hausa Muslims in that respect. We heard he is not a Muslim. Nigerians need to step up and write the authorities to stop this guy from whatever he is doing.
“This guy on social media, always dressed like a Muslim with ‘slay queen’ ladies, doing a lot of stuff. A lot of people think he is funny, though they take it as Muslims, even some Muslims. Allah said in the Qur’an not to ridicule the word of Allah but this guy is doing exactly that and the people are still following”.
Speaking on, he said, “Alhaji Musa, if you are watching this, it is directed at you. We are giving you time to stop dressing like a Muslim. You are a Christian, so dress like them and do whatever you want to do. Even if you are a Muslim, you are not expected to tarnish the image of Islam.”
The group further called on the authorities to call him to order and arrest him in order not to distort the peaceful coexistence between Muslims and Christians in the country.
“Scholars of Islam, Chiefs, Opinion Leaders, Youths in Nigeria have to call him to order or report him to the authorities so that he can be arrested and stop whatever he’s doing. This is not time for fight with each other. Muslims and Christians are living in peace in Nigeria. They want to enjoy the peaceful way”.
▪︎ What the law says – Barrister Amoo
A member of the Lagos state chapter of the Muslim Lawyers Association (MULAN), Barrister Abdul Wasi Amoo told Muslim News’ Correspondent that the action of the Comedian is capable of causing breach of peace in the society.
“Alhaji Musa’s character in the comedy offends Islam and tends to portray the Muslims in a negative way, different from what Islam represents. Thus, his action amounts to a Criminal Act contrary to Section 57 (1) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State Cap17, 2015,” Barrister Amoo added.
According to him, “The section of the Criminal Act says; Any person who: in any manner or form publishes or displays or offers to the public the pictorial representation of any person living or dead in a manner likely to provoke any section or the community; publishes or circulates publications either in the form of newspaper, leaflets, periodicals, pamphlets or posters, if such publications are likely to provoke or bring into disaffection any section of the community.
He continued, “Similar provision is provided for in Section 26 of the Cyber Crime Act of 2015 that any individual that deliberately maligns and assassinates the character of another using computer system, has indeed committed a crime. It forbids the distribution of racist and xenophobic materials through a computer system or network (e.g facebook and Twitter etc).
“It is noteworthy to also inform the comedian that the above cited Sections (Section 57(1)ju and Section 26 both Lagos State and Crime Act) prohibits the use of threats of violence and insulting statements to persons, based on race, religion, colour, descent or national or ethnic origin, part of which the comedian has violated and any Individual found guilty of this Crime under Section 26 of the Cyber Crime Act on conviction is liable to a terms of 5 years imprisonment while under Section 57 (1) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State such person upon conviction is liable to 6 months imprisonment.
“The combined effect of this is that the action of the comedian is criminal and punishable imprisonment and fwithine or both upon conviction while heavy damages would be slammed against him in civil action, which is imminent except he retraces his steps,” he added.
It’s absolutely false — Comedian Nedu
The man at the centre of storm of the controversial video, Comedian Nedu has debunked the claim that he is insulting Islam, saying it’s outrightly false.
Speaking with Muslim News on phone, over the weekend, the radio presenter said, “I have seen their reactions and I respect their position but you and I know what they are saying is actually false.”
Nedu challenged his critics to specifically identify where he insulted Islam in any of his videos.
He said, “In all the skits we have been doing, have you ever seen anywhere we insulted Islam? Anybody can say anything but what is evident is evident. The character has never insulted Islam. It’s absolutely false.”
When probed further, he declined to speak further, saying that, “Trust me, I don’t want to talk about it further because the more you talk about it, the more you give them credence, value, face that they don’t deserve. I have done what is necessary and I have notified my lawyer. That is what I have to say about it now.”
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