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Sanni Kay Yusuf

To make political success in Nigeria, you must be sufficiently witted in abracadabric qualities - deceits, lies, falsification, demagogery et cetera. Politics and principle (or piety) do not align on this part of the planet-earth. Those who were principled (I mean very, very principled) before dwelling into politics had been prevailed upon by the unavoidable realities therein and the undefeatable peculiarities associated with it. This is an experiential fact, not a conjecture. Therefore, they could not but join in fuelling the filth, since they had no powers (and may never have it) to change the game. Politics is not done without principles compromised. I stand challenged. I had swum in the ocean before. So I know it when it is cold. It is no ship to be sailed by clerics. The game should be left for its players.

The above is a pointer to the fact that clergymen should tread cautiously with politicians. Being at their beck and call may render their spiritual dignity damned and dusted. Although, leaving them completely may be dangerous for the polity, as there is the need to talk some sense into them whenever they are going senseless. That is why sincere admonition should be voluntarily offered to them, and on request, too, like Professor Abdurrazzaq Alaro excellently did with Kwara State politicians during the just-concluded Ramadan. He was given an invite to the government house for an admonition, and in my humble assessment, truths were told not minding whose ox was gored. I am not an advocate of "don't talk to them", but that talking to them should be to reform them against what they might have, or are likely to deform.

Sheikh Gumi got it all wrong. Given his status in the Nigerian society, he shouldn't have been involved in what has today gone viral on the social media space. The video obviously angered many muslims. Imagine that another revered, popular sheikh did same with the incumbent seeking a re-election, and another (sheikh) with another (aspirant), the muslims would apparently get divided along political lines. For me, that would amount to self-inflicted suicide.

Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor's tales of sycophancy to the last incumbent still lives on in our memories. It all started with their relationship without borders which in the end, got him reduced to zero. I know sheikh doesn't wish for such a deleterious end.

The works in the mosque are too many to have time for politicians. How many issues of Taoheed have we treated? How many of Fiqh have we thrashed out? How many of necessary Islamic knowledge have we disseminated to our usual congregants? How many of the societal problems in our immediate environments have we solved? How many...?

Turning the mimbar into a ground for campaign, or to openly, directly lampoon the leader is not healthy for the sanctity of the mosque. Imams should not be so cheap that they get ordered around by politicians. This is why mosque handlers should see to the welfare of the spiritual leaders. They should be salaried and allowances made available to their pockets, so that they do not get hypnotised by the thousands or millions thrown at them by politicians. 

I was reliably told that imams are sometimes invited to government houses and a token as meagre as 5k is given to each of them having queued up like the needy almajiris. Subhaanallaah! Even if the givers were unreasonable, shouldn't the receivers be sensible enough to know that the act wasn't dignifying? If the governnent wants to place imams on allowance, let it do so without subjecting respectable figures to a demeaning exercise.

2019 is around the corner. Some clerics are already salivating for their usual meal. The time to be availed the Ghana-must-go bags is fast approaching. The ones who can give money are the best for the task - they are the ones to be prayed for and  their praises sung on the mimbar. Fear Allah! Enough of the desecration of the House of Allah. 

"And be afraid of the Day you shall be brought back to Allah. Then everyone shall be paid what they earned, and they shall not be dealt with unjustly." (Q2 V281)

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