This is not just an article. It is rather a letter of admonition coming from ‘The Message’ column to Nigerian politicians. Similar letters had been written through this column to this same generation of politicians in the recent past. But letters of this type seldom come to an arena of politics where conscience is banished and virtually everything in Nigeria’s political life is based on whim engendered by self aggrandizement with impunity, which you consider as your ultimate goal. Coming up at this precarious time of political labyrinth in Nigeria, this letter is necessitated by the current frightening political tension wrapped in unprecedented insecurity that is fast becoming a bubble that may burst anytime from now unless the Almighty Allah comes to the rescue of our country with His divine mercy.
If you, Nigerian politicians, think that you can escape any calamitous consequence of your ceaseless political machinations which you are tendentiously weaving around Nigerian vestige without an iota of remorse, you may be day-dreaming. The evil plans of those who engaged in similar machinations before you, in this same country, had ended up in an irreversible forlorn. And, you are supposed to know that through history unless you have discarded the role of history in your lives. It is assumed that some of you might be wise enough to learn a lesson from the ugly political experience that gave the military boys the opportunity to highjack the governance of Nigeria for decades while abandoning their own statutory duty of securing the country.
Functions of Conscience
“Conscience”, according to Sheikh Uthman Dan Fodio, “is an open wound which only the truth can heal”. But one can talk of healing a wounded conscience only where and when that wound has not become cancerous.
Signs of Hypocrisy
Prophet Muhammad (SAW) once gave a vivid description of the signs by which hypocrites can be identified.
He said “hypocrites are known by three signs: When they talk they lie; when they promise they renege and when they are trusted they betray”. In other words, conscience is an unbefitting garment for any hypocrite. If you reflect deeper on the above quoted Prophetic assertion, you will surely agree that most of you,
Nigerian politicians so much typify that description of hypocrites. And, that may force you to wonder if the Prophet had Nigerians in mind when he was expressing that axiomatic Hadith.
It will be recalled that when most of you politicians started agitating for a return to democracy in Nigeria, for the fourth time, in the late 1990s, your seeming focus was on liberation of the Nigerian citizenry from the crushing claw of military despotism. But hardly had you succeeded in leading the Nigerian masses to drive away the military boys than you began to create a negative political enclave for yourselves, to feather your selfish interest. You did that under the protection of your political godfathers or godmothers who warmly embraced you, not minding your hidden agenda, especially when such agenda were beneficial to them. In doing that, you did not realize that by claiming deceptively that you wanted to serve the people, you had deceptive lured ordinary Nigerians into a covenant, not just between you and the people you claimed to want to serve but also between you and the Almighty Allah who knows every manifest and hidden agenda. And, surely, Allah will hold you accountable for whatever agenda you adopt to exploit the innocent masses of this country, unless you repent and stop your current evil machinations.
Lawlessness as Law
To you, it does not matter whether you were genuinely elected or surreptitiously smuggled into office through the back door by your godfathers, thereby depriving others (who are more qualified than you), of their legitimate rights. Such could not have mattered to you since the constitution under which you operate politically today is, itself, shrouded in a cloak of uncertainties. What else is called despotism?
Perhaps, you need to know that whether you knew it or not, you will eventually be judged, not just by history but by the AlmightyAllah whose divine judgment cannot be appealed. And, the prayer of a cheated person, according to Prophet Muhammad (SAW), never suffers a denial.
As some of you once shamelessly graded figure 16 higher than figure 19, sometime ago, and audaciously classified unbridled theft as a lesser crime than corruption, all in the name of politics, you must remember that Allah’s justice can neither be manipulated nor subverted. And no matter how long it may take, Allah’s justice will take its course perhaps when you least expect in life.
In words and in actions, you have evidently demonstrated that you are not in anyway, qualified to bequeath any sensible legacy to the future generations, of this country, an indication that once you can satisfy your satanic greed, the future is no more of any concern to you.
If anything, your thoughtless public utterances, your shameless public actions and counter actions as well as your devilish body languages are more destructive to Nigeria’s future than ever imagined. In fact, you can be called any name other than patriotic gentlemen and women of honour that you deceptively ascribe to yourselves. As a result, you are unprecedentedly a disgrace, not only to Nigeria as a country, but also to the entire civilized mankind. However, since you have permanently enlisted immorality as a vital political instrument without thinking of its consequences, you are free to behave like typical intoxicated horses gallivanting aimlessly around without reins.
Life without Justice
In Islam, three issues are fundamentally sacrosanct, none of which Allah takes lightly. These are non association of anything with the oneness of Allah, sacredness of life and dispensation of justice. It is almost an unforgivable iniquity for any human being, especially Muslims, to associate anything with Allah or engage in murder and injustice under any guise. Thus, anybody who kills fellow human beings extra-judicially, in the name of religion, ethnicity, politics or even economy is nothing but an agent of Satan. In Islam, killing a fellow human being deliberately under whatever guise, without passing through a due process of law, is such a grievous sacrilege that cannot and should not be perpetrated without commensurate penalty. If such a penalty is not applied here on earth, it will definitely be applied in the hereafter. Yet, killing fellow human beings directly or clandestinely is the major political means of gaining power and access to illegal wealth by you Nigerian politicians.
Besides paganism, nothing draws the wrath of Allah faster than the two crimes mentioned above which Satan may continue to ask you to ignore at your own peril. Murder is physical termination of the life of a fellow human being. Injustice is killing a person mentally, psychologically, politically, economically or even spiritually by denying him his legitimate right. Now, which of these have you not employed officially and privately in the course of your political journey? How will you explain these to Allah?
In Islam, rule of law is the foundation of justice but legislation is the material with which that foundation is built. Those of you who voluntarily chose to legislate for the rest of us hardly see yourselves as the foundation layers of justice who should not betray the course of justice. As legislators, you are looked upon by most Nigerians as honourable leaders neither because you are more qualified intellectually than those for whom you legislate nor because you are wiser and more experienced than them. What makes most of you, Nigerian legislators at the Federal and State levels is sheer expediency arising from queer inadequacies sadly fostered by our so-called political system which gives room for open gerrymandering and audacious manipulation. If such opportunity comes your way illegally, let it not be mistaken for good luck. It may rather be a calamity waiting to strike your lives in the near or far future.
And when it strikes, no one except Allah can tell the extent of its effect. At least you can see how the consequences of the heartless annulment of June 12, 1993 Presidential election have become a draconian spectre chasing the ghost of every Nigerian today even almost three decades of licking the political wound inflicted on our country by that satanic annulment.
Due to lack of conscience, most of you may have forgotten, but you need to be reminded that shortly after you took oath of office either in 1999 or 2003 or 2007 or 2011 or 2015, you started subverting the covenant into which you voluntarily entered with the people who sincerely elected you into office, in trust. That covenant was, according to you, to serve them (the people) diligently. And, in a civilized society, people who so choose to serve are seen as nothing other than servants. But, in your own case, no sooner had you been sworn into office than you started calling yourselves leaders and not servants again. By implication, you have so dangerously promoted desperation and impunity to the front burner of Nigerian politics that whoever thinks of serving the country today, through any public office, is seen as a devil that must be kept at an arm’s length. That is where most of you belong. From your public conduct, any right-thinking person can vividly see the types of families you are raising for the nation.
As members of the Executive arm, when some of you travel abroad officially, at people’s expense, you are never alarmed by the way the systems work in those countries. You never bother to ask questions about the effective functions of electricity, the smoothness of roads, the flow of portable water and the excellent educational system that promotes probity and decorum in those countries. Rather, your primary concerns are the personal ephemeral gains that may be accruable to you at the expense of Nigeria’s present and future. For the past 22 years of Nigeria’s fourth republic most of you have been at the saddle of government directly or indirectly without being able to show, in concrete terms, what value has that length of time added to the lives of ordinary Nigerians. Your emphasis is on display of power with impunity rather than good governance, and, you often go about it in such a manner that gives the impression that government is much more about destruction than construction. Your brutish law breaking rather than clement law making is an attestation to this fact.
Nigeria as an OPEC Country
As political leaders that you call yourselves, you do not even feel ashamed that Nigeria has remained the only OPEC country that imports refined petroleum products for domestic consumption simply because you are beneficiaries of the corrupt device which you deliberately put in place to ensure the workability of that device.
Even if Nigeria never had electricity before 1999 and you decided to start one at the commencement of the fourth republic to boost economy, is a period of 22 years not enough to provide a functional electricity especially given the enormous amount of wealth with which this country is endowed? In modern time, no technological device provides as much opportunity for jobs and economic growth as electricity. Yet, it is that major device that you deliberately hold down to deprive the populace of the wherewithal to rise mentally and intellectually. And, that is to enable you to turn the citizens of your country into perpetual slaves to be ruled forever. In such a situation, why wouldn’t corruption be unconscientiously legislated into legitimacy? And now, Nigeria is held to a standstill because every one of you must personally have a chip of juicy future now without caring about what may even become of your own children in that future.
As fathers and mothers, most of you will say amen when people are praying for responsible men and women, yet, you have nothing in you that can serve as good examples for your children, to accentuate your shout of amen.
You tell lies with relish. Yet you want your children to be truthful. From where do you expect them to inherit truthfulness? You steal public funds with unbridled audacity. Yet you do not want your children to be called thieves. What other names should the children of thieves bear other than thieves?
From the pulpit of genuine conscience, ‘The Message’ column hereby implores you Nigerian politicians to search your consciences if you have any at all and fear the Almighty Allah in your own interest. Remember that some people had governed this country in the past. Among them were those who tried to combine the roles of the executive, the legislative and the judiciary arms together, in the name of military rule, made possible by coup d’état and the barrels of gun. Where are they today?
Governance has its tenure. At the commencement of a tenure, in a Presidential system, four years may look endless, but for the wise, it is not more than a flash of lightening which only a fool will rely upon to walk his way through the darkness of the night. You are in government today, but remember that you will soon become former this or former that just like those before you.
Duties of public Servants
Ordinarily, the duty of Civil Servants as government officials, whether in the executive, legislative or judicial arm, is to serve your country in such a way that you can create a historical window for yourselves and your children through which the future generations can retrospectively peep into your service lives with reverence. But since everything in Nigeria has been peculiarly monetized (courtesy of Obasanjo regime), it has become a rule that those who hold sway in government, in whatever capacity, are the Lords who must take the lion’s share of our national cake through our lean annual budgets. That is why you randomly but embarrassingly throw some damaging pebbles into our political brook to cause unnecessary ripples in the serenity of that brook to the total disadvantage of today and tomorrow.
Some of you, legislators, think or talk of impeachment only when your salaries, allowances or extra budgetary largess suffers a reduction or delay. And some other times, your thoughts along that line are devilishly influenced by blind ambition for power grabbing. It does not matter to you whether or not the entire workforce in Nigeria remains unpaid for years. Once you are able to amass whatever comes your way legally or illegally the rest of the populace can go on hunger strike forever. It is rather shameful and disappointing that even some of you who claim to be Muslims are participating in such an evil charade despite your proclamation of Islam.
Conscience, though invisible, has a mirror which only a few people know of. That mirror is shame. A person without shame is a person without conscience. And that is the main distinction between a genuine Muslim and a nominal one.
Prophet Muhammad (SAW) once admonished the Muslims as follows, in respect of shame: “once you are bereft of shame, you can go ahead to do whatever you like”. This means that without shame you are a nonentity who can even strip naked in a market place in readiness for a brawl. We can all see the example of this in a former President of this country who is now menstruating through both sides of his mouth at any public place, and any time, even as an octogenarian.
Dear Nigerian politicians, let it be kept permanently in your brain that the only thing which keeps people alive in history even long after their demise is service to humanity. Prophets Isa (Jesus), and Muhammad (SAW), had neither bank accounts nor estates to bequeath to anybody. Their legacy is more than any material wealth inherited by the entire world today. That heritage is service to humanity. What is your own planned legacy if only for posterity? That is a big question which only people with conscience can answer. And, as Muslims or Christians, you should be able to answer it if you truly follow the right guidance of those noble men of impeccable character.
Remember that you are in a ship already cruising actively on the high sea, towards the shore of disembarkation. And, at that shore are fierce customs officers waiting to check the contents of your luggage and your cargo. Remember that if you cultivate friendship with Satan he will favour your wish. But if he grants you one favour, he will surely collect ten from you in return. Be Muslims by name, conduct and mannerism. Whatever you do as Muslims will affect the image of Islam in one way or the other. One of you, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum has stood out of your pack, as model to be emulated by any standard. Like him, I hope some of you you will have the courage to return home, from your political odyssey, as Muslims and not as renegades. Remember all these and adjust now that you may be able to raise your head aloft when tomorrow comes.
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