By Abdul-Hamid Abubakar Zubair
The ungovernability, which is crystal clear, toward the act of showing contempt and lack of reverence to sacred religious deity/deities is imminent and very alarming. If not seriously challenged and tackled by the constituted authorities, especially at the federal level, that may, unfortunately, aggravate severe tension even to the dogmatical secular democratic doctrine, believed to be a workable formula that has an answer to all national issues.
It holds true, you like it or not, the fact that religion matters in Nigeria. Most people are firmly bound to one of the two major faiths, Islam or Christianity, and thus, it is a duty call for any person in power to uphold, respect, and support people’s various beliefs. The people have the right to practice their religion. Blasphemy is unacceptable and is punishable even according to national laws in the criminal codes as enshrined by both customary and Shariah laws. You can’t shift secularism to this place – at least, it is not yet the time.
Observing closely how cascades of blasphemous thoughtlessness and rashness have been unravelling in recent times, you can sense new dimensions and order of hidden treacherous agenda, purportedly insinuated by servile demonic elements. It is not by mere serendipity but a carefully thought out and planned memorandum.
In the North, there are more than four blasphemy suits filed in courts. The two trending cases include Yahaya Shariff Aminu, 22, a musician, and Umar Faruk, 16, both in Kano. The latter has been overturned and acquitted, and the former has been sent for a retrial by the Court of Appeal.
Another classic take-away example was the just concluded dialogue that features the controversial Shiite scholar, Abdul-Jabbar Nasiru Kabara, following his deliberate inciteful utterances and wrong interpretation and exegesis of Sunnatic traditions (Hadith), and after his request to the Kano State government to do justice and convene a physical dialogue with other Kano Islamic Clerics from the Salaf, Tijjaniya and Qadiriyya Sects. The aftermath of the conversation proved the bitter truth that was heavy and unfavourable to the eccentric Shiite cleric.
I heard of a similar ordeal from Sokoto. A man allegedly made similar blasphemous utterances against the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). However, we were supposed to be brainwashed by the excuse that he was suffering from temporal madness. Meanwhile, dementia was his alibi.
Taking a close look at these, one may ruminate over some questions and conclude that all these are not coincidental but planned.
Insecurity is a current social issue at hand. It has perturbed the entire nation. A lot of societal menaces are happening. This trending problem of blasphemy coupled with insecurity will produce a severe stale. If it finds a place to stay, it will add salt to an injury, and the pain will be intolerably excruciating.
There should be no room for apology for a deliberate blasphemous act. Anyone found guilty must be seriously punished and his actions thoroughly condemned. The same thing goes for all media outfits. Through that only, peace can prevail.
Some personalities and deities are insurmountable, untouchable in major religions that should be demarcated by the power authorities and declared as a “no-go” zone. In strong terms, it should be stipulated that anything the Christians, Muslims, or any other religion recognised by the authority; within the Nigerian Province, which is considered alien or goes against the standard teachings – especially blasphemous utterances must be punishable. The government should get a grip on these with a strong and clenched fist.
The government should seize the day while it’s still dawn and make hay while the sun shines before things turned out of hand.
Abdul-Hamid Abubakar Zubair
Federal University Gashua, Nigeria.
Phone no.: +2348138171001