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MUSLIMS IN DEMOCRACY (2)




By
Sanni K. Yusuf

Voting is an integral, immanent part of democracy. People under certain age brackets (18 upwards, for instance, as applicable in Nigeria) decide with their thumbs who the next leader will be. Everyone (responsible/irresponsible, truthful/untruthful, knowledgeable/not knowledgeable etc.) within the specified age(s) reserves the franchise to determine who gets the leadership baton. This is another area where the democratic system is at loggerheads with Islam. 

Islam is a perfect, flawless way of life. It cannot leave the choice of leadership in the hands of all. Apparently, not everyone - irrespective of their age - is fit to know the right person to be worn the headship crown. It is natural that while some may be rational, some may not. Adulthood is no licence for rationality or reasonability. An irrational person will apparently not know the right person for leadership. 

Take a cue from the mosque headship. If all adults were accorded the franchise or liberty to vote whoever they wish as imam just because they are members of the masjid, the possibility of making an injurious choice in the end is inevitably high. Some may prefer one with a melodious voice, whereas his recitation may be as worse as the melody tejweed-wise. The voters may have been mesmerized on account of their no knowledge of the basic, fundamental principles of recitation. Some may fall for someone's catchy presentations on the mimbar, whereas what he quotes of the Qur'an or the Sunnah may not be in tandem with what he says. His mastery of Arabic may not be as fabulous as his tongue sounds on the pulpit. It therefore takes those who know better to know who is knowledgeably, attitudinally, spiritually fit for the masjid's administration, not every eligible voter. With such persons leadership decision of the mosque should lie. 

Politicians seize the voting flaw in democracy to make way for their self-aggrandisements. Fathers and/or mothers (who are politicians or political mercenaries) influence their grown-up children to vote their candidates. The well-to-do (who are politicians or political mercenaries) toast their relations, neighbours, loyalists, employees to vote their parties. Imams and pastors are monetarily induced to canvas their mosque and church members to the side of a political party. Traditional rulers are spoiled with money to help win the hearts of their subordinate chiefs. Such is the disastrous complicity of the democratic voting system. Survival of the richest. 

That someone blesses people at the IDP camps with gastronomic items almost everyday doesn't mean he will make a good Nigerian leader, whereas the vulnerable beneficiaries may be hypnotized by this to give him their mandate. Philanthropy is no licence to leadership efficacy. A good philanthropist may end up the worst leader. Such is the complicity of the democratic voting system. 

To be continued.


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