OPINION: Mufti and the Crisis of Interest. By Jimoh Ibrahim

Date: 2021-12-30

I have watched with utter dismay the reputationally damaging video clip of the supposed Islamic legal authority, making several outrageous claims that contravene the dictates of Islam and negate the cultural values of the Emirate.

An average person had on the basis of his appointment to the revered position expected him to have transcended beyond political sentiments that defined his public utterances in the past and that which sadly accentuated his alliance with a certain politician for whom he never hid his love and unbridled passion to perpetuate his stay in power.

While the Mufti enjoys the right to pitch tent with whomever he wants, it is, however, reprehensible and uncomplimentary of his status to contemplate the unorthodox use of derogatory words in his reaction to the issue involving a person whose political leaning is at variance with his interest.

My eyes grew misty as I watched with consternation the deluge of expletives and heavy curses disgorged by the Mallam in a futile effort to denigrate a fellow Muslim for his unprovocative and honest observation of the indisputable menace that if not nipped in the bud, would become pervasive and does enormous damage to the image of the Emirate.

Sen. Oloriegbe whom the Mufti made the target of the attack had during this year's annual event of IEDPU, preached against the despicable activities being perpetrated by some unscrupulous elements masquerading as Alfas. He cautioned against unbridled desire to acquire wealth through illegitimate endeavour, encouraging Alfas to emulate the previous clerics who towed the path of modesty and never got tempted by the fear of avarice to explore unislamic means to amass wealth.

Being a thoroughbred Ilorin man and in cognizance of the fact that Alfas are seen as the role models by the younger ones, particularly the students under their tutelage, Sen. Oloriegbe emphasized the need to moderate the ostentatious lifestyle being exhibited by some clerics, in the interest of staving off the perilous impression such opulent display of wealth would have on the impressionable followers.

Understanding the imperative need to intensify the enduring advocacy against the use of human body parts for rituals, Sen Oloriegbe availed himself of the gathering to express sadness over the surge in the cases of Ilorin men parading themselves as Alfas being prosecuted for the shameful and despicable act of exhuming corpses to use the body parts for money ritual as witnessed in several court cases.

The Senator's position was in justification of the lingering remonstrance against the menace and was to amplify the campaign being spearheaded by the IEDPU to rid our community of contemptible practices that cast a blot on the religious identity of our beloved Emirate reputed for its devotion to the dictates of Islam.

With all these rallying cries to strengthen the efforts to bring an end to this malfeasance, the Mufti, who ordinarily should be expected to lend support to the advocacy and further sensitize people on the grave consequences and danger the practice portends, took everyone aback by holding diametrically opposite view and went further to baselessly curse and disparage the lawmaker whom regardless of the perceived differences deserves his prayers by the virtue of the revered office he occupies which bestowed on him the honour of being a father of all and not to the selective categories of people.

The Mufti needs to understand that certain utterances are unbecoming of his office and can reduce him to a butt of unkind comments, his unprovoked emotional outburst against Senator Oloriegbe, who had only espoused the cause of the Emirate, beggars belief and sadly evokes the feelings of trepidation with which people reacted to his appointment.

There are several examples that justified the veracity of Sen. Oloriegbe's claim, which I wouldn't want to state here in deference to the sanctity of the image of the Emirate.

However, there have been several mendacious accounts of the event fabricated in the forlorn attempt to score cheap political points. I was astounded to see that some mischievous elements have still not awakened to the realization that people are no longer amenable to propaganda and are now too sophisticated to be misled by falsehood-based information.

Expectedly, The disgruntled remnants of the abolished dynasty who naively believed to have gotten a fleeting respite from their political oblivion came out in their characteristic manner to distort the truth and obfuscate the substance of the matter with their nefarious practice of peddling lies to cast aspersion on a person whose representation has engendered the development of sustainable impacts in the Emirate. Understandably, Sen Oloriegbe's singular offence is never about not performing creditably well but about the ostracization of your leader from power, thereby leaving you to wallow in political obscurity.

Jimoh Ibrahim writes from Ilorin


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