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Buhari’s 100 Days and the quest for safeguarding trust (Amanah)

First Sermon:

In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

All praise is for Allah (SWT) who put the Trust (Amanah) in the hearts of men after the heavens, earth and mountains had declined to bear it. He put the trust in the hearts of the children of Adam, males and females, because he had created within them intellect and reasoning, with which they understood, and hearts and souls, with which they were guided. For this they endured the trust with all the risks it entailed. They did so to attain the level of the righteous believers as they safeguard and convey this trust (Amanah). Yet, if they waste it and neglect it, they shall fall to the lowest of the low.

I bear witness that there is no god worthy of worship except Allah Alone, having no partners. He is the God of the first of the people and the last of the people. He created and perfected His creation. Verily, He is the Judge and the All-Wise.

I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger who conveyed the message, fulfilled his trust in the most perfect manner, and worshipped his Lord until the time of his death. May the peace and blessings of Allah (SWT) be upon him, his family, his Companions and everyone who follows on their footsteps until the Day of Recompense.

My Respected people!

Today’s Khutbah (Sermon) is a tribute to our incorruptible, just, honest, brave, intelligent, reasonable, sensible, no-nonsense, globally revered and universally acknowledged leader, President Muhammadu Buhari, as well as our state governors, as they have recently clocked 100 days in office. The main purpose of this Sermon is to remind them and fellow Nigerians that public office is a trust (Amanah), and they are all going to be held accountable for their offices, either here (by God, EFCC, ICPC or CCB) or hereafter (by God alone).

O servants of Allah!

Fear Allah, the Most High, and fulfill the trust you were entrusted with. Allah (SWT) has offered the Amanah (the trust) to the heavens, the earth and the mountains, but they declined to bear it and were afraid of it. Yet, man agreed to bear it; he was indeed unjust and ignorant.

O servants of Allah!

Fulfill the trust that you agreed to bear by doing what Allah (SWT) ordered you to do. Worship Him and fulfill His rights over you. Do not betray Allah (SWT) and His Messenger, nor betray knowingly the trusts that were entrusted to you. Exceeding the proper bounds of these trusts, as well as neglecting them, leads to betraying them. Betrayal of trust is a defect in the faith and a cause for loss and deprivation. The Prophet (SAW) said:

“He has no faith who cannot keep a trust (Amanah).”

He also said:

“The signs of a hypocrite are three: when he speaks, he tells lies; when he promises, he reneges; and when he is entrusted (with something), he betrays (it). Even if he prays, fasts and claims to be a Muslim (he still is a hypocrite).”

The Prophet (SAW) also said:

“When Allah gathers the first of the people and last of the people on the Day of Resurrections, he will raise a flag for every betrayer; then it will be said: this is the betrayal of such and such a person.”

To his regret and disgrace, this flag will be raised for the betrayer to expose him in front of all the people.

O Muslims! O Nigerians!

Trust is in worship, transactions and behaviour. Keeping the trust in worship is by obeying Allah (SWT) with pure intention, following His Messenger (SAW) abiding by His orders, avoiding His prohibitions, and fearing Him openly and secretly. You should fear Allah (SWT) regardless of whether people can see you or not. So do not be one of those who fear Him in the Open, but when you are alone you disobey Him. That is indeed Ar-Riyaa’ (being dishonest in your intention by showing off). Do you not know that Allah (SWT) knows the fraud of the eyes and all that the breasts conceal? Do you not know that Allah (SWT) disapproves of those who behave that way? He (SWT) says:

“Or do they think that We hear not their secrets and their private counsel? Yes, (we do) and Our Messengers are by them, to record.” (Az-Zukhruf, 43:80)

“Know they not that Allah know what they conceal and what they reveal?” (Al-Baqarah, 2: 77)

“They may hide (their crimes) from men, but they cannot hide (them) from Allah; for He is with them (by His Knowledge), when they plot by night in words that He does not approve. And Allah ever encompasses what they do.” (An-Nisaa’, 4:108)

In behaviour, to keep the trust is to treat people the way you like them to treat you, being sincere to you, as you would do. It is also to safeguard their rights, whether related to money or other things, which you are being entrusted with. Between a husband and a wife, keeping the trust is that each one of them should safeguard the other’s property and secrets. Every husband and every wife must keep what occurs between them in terms of the intimate relations secret. No one else should know about it. In an authentic Hadith, the Prophet (SAW) was reported saying:

“One of the worst people on the Day of Judgement is the man who would have intimate relations with his wife and she would have the same with him, then both of them or one of them would disclose the secrets of his partner. (Meaning: what had occurred between them).”

The husband and wife would trust one another not to disclose their private and intimate relationship between them, yet one of them would betray this trust. Or one of the two would confide something what he or she would not like anyone else to know, to the other, however the other spouse would disclose it to other people. This is not only applied to couples, it also applies to friends in terms of one confiding something to another. In this regard, a narration states that:

“If a man tells another something and turns his (face) around, then (this thing) is a trust (Amanah).”

As he would not turn his face around if this talk was not a secret that he wanted no one to hear.

Trust is also involved in transactions and commercial exchange, which include buying, selling and renting. The seller should not betray the buyer in terms of increasing the price, covering the defects of the commodity, cheating on describing the commodity or 

Buhari and grazing reserve policy

Few weeks back, Chief Tagbuo Oguejiofor, a community leader, aged 85, was allegedly killed in his farm at Oma Eke village in Udi Local Government Area in Enugu State by Fulani herdsmen. Reports had it that the nomads allegedly killed the octogenarian, when they invaded his farm and destroyed his crops. Some weeks earlier, hundreds of Benue farmers died, many others injured, property and crops worth millions of naira were destroyed during a fierce battle with Fulani pastoralists, who were said to have invaded their farmlands.

The enormity of human and economic losses, arising from incessant clashes between farmers and cattle rearers is quite alarming.  These violent clashes and reprisal attacks have become a regular occurrence across the country, with most of the clashes recorded in Benue, Plateau, Taraba and Enugu States. Unfortunately, these conflicts over land ownership have been worsened by desertification, loss of arable land, drought, flood, erosion, poverty and urbanization as well as bourgeoning population rates.

While farmers accuse cattle rearers of violent invasions of their communities and farm lands, wanton killings and rape, the cattle rearers blame the farmers for cow rustling and grabbing their pastures. The nomadic pastoralists, who migrated from the north to the middle belt and south regions of the country in search of fodder for their stock, want unfettered access to grazing fields nationwide. Meanwhile, the indigenous people believe that that the lands are their ancestral heritage and will not relinquish them.

With this imbroglio, no lasting solution has been found, as most efforts by relevant federal and state authorities are often scuttled by the warring parties. Unfortunately, the crisis has almost degenerated into a religious warfare, with the predominantly Muslim northerners supporting the herders, who reportedly bear sophisticated arms, while the Christian populace pitch their tents with farmers in the middle belt and south regions.

Read more: Buhari and grazing reserve policy

Hajj: The physical and spritual journey

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the most Merciful

Alhamdulillah. Indeed, all praise is due to Allah. We praise Him and seek His help and forgiveness. We seek refuge with Allah from the evil within ourselves and from our wrongdoings. He whom Allah guides, no one can misguide; and he whom He misguides, no one can guide.

I bear witness that there is no (true) god except Allah – alone without a partner, and I bear witness that Muhammad (SAW) is His ‘abd (Servant) and Messenger.

“O you who believe! Revere Allah the right reverence, and do not die except as Muslims.” (Al-Imran, 3:102)

“O people! Revere your Lord who has created you from a single soul, created from it its mate, and dispersed from both of them many men and women. Revere Allah through whom you demand things from one another; and (cherish the ties of) the wombs, indeed, Allah is ever watchful over you.” (Al-Nisa’, 4:1)

“O you who believe! Revere Allah and say fair words. He will then rectify your deeds and forgive your sins. He who obeys Allah and His Messenger have certainly achieved a great victory. (Al-Ahzab, 33:70-71)

Indeed, the best speech is Allah’s (SWT) Book and the best guidance is Muhammad (SAW) guidance. The worst affairs (of religion) are those innovated (by people), for every such innovation is an act of misguidance leading to the fire.

My dear brothers and sisters,

Our today’s Khutbah (Sermon) is about Hajj. In a few days’ time, millions of Muslims from the far corners of the earth will converge on the holy city of Makkah to perform the fifth and final pillar of their faith.

The Noble Qur’an says, in Surah Al-hajj, chapter 22, verse 27:

“And proclaim the pilgrimage among men, they will come to you on foot and (mounted) on every kind of camel, lean on account of journeys through deep and distant mountain highways…”

Also in Surah Al-Imran, 3:97 – we read:

“…Pilgrimage is a duty men owe to Allah; those who can afford the journey; but if any deny faith, Allah stands not in need of any of his creatures.”

All Muslims, who have the means to do so, physically and financially, must do the pilgrimage at least once in a lifetime. It is a duty, but not merely a duty. It is an integral part of being Muslim.

Read more: Hajj: The physical and spritual journey

It’s Nigerian lawmakers vs the masses

On March 28, a new Nigeria was birthed when the majority queued to elect President Muhammadu Buhari against the devilish wish of the Peoples Democratic Party’s chieftains who had avowed to rule Nigeria for 60 years, either by hook or crook. Indeed, Nigerians sacrificed tremendously, from voluntary donations towards electioneering to voting and keeping vigil to secure our mandate.

In the same manner after the election, the public has not stopped demanding to know what our lawmakers earn in salaries and allowances but they keep trying to play a smart one on our collective intelligence. This is why we need not relent in our efforts to take those in our legislature heads-on.

This brings me to the Senate’s refusal to openly debate the report of its Ad-hoc Committee, set up to review its jumbo pay, and the 15 days plenary cum 12 weeks recess, which costs Nigerians about N13 billion in emoluments for the lawmakers. I think this should prompt us to ask if we are not being short-changed in this social contract or is democracy meant to protect a few at the expense of starving masses?

Sadly, the senate president and majority of the lawmakers who are supposed change agents ought to be very much interested in working round the clock to bring the change Nigerians are yearning for to reality. It’s also surprising that those of them who claimed to be masses-oriented lawmakers have lost their voices while counting their bounty without passing a single bill in so many days after inauguration. What a betrayal!

We are talking about lawmakers collectively cornering N13 billion for a 15-day plenary, which was not devoid of fisticuffs and allegations of forgery. By implication, this same amount of money could establish over 60,000 unemployed Nigerian youths, as small scale businessmen with N200,000 each. After all, we have millions of businesses that are worth less than that. Even a lay man could understand that N13 billion would go round all Nigerians if we want to ignore its deeper economic implications.

Read more: It’s Nigerian lawmakers vs the masses

President Buhari should intervene in this corruption case

No condition, as the saying goes, is permanent in the lives of men. And so it is for millions of my countrymen and women who went to the polls a couple of months ago to effect a change of government. For millions of Nigerians the desired change has come with President Muhammadu Buhari now at the helm of affairs. Nigeria’s new leader received the overwhelming mandate of his country men and women essentially because of his integrity and zero tolerance for corruption, and the belief that he can re-engineer an almost failed state.

His government is on track and Nigerians are particularly elated with his reassuring messages and actions to tackle the hydra-headed monster called corruption, and other ills that have weighed down Africa’s most populous nation since his assumption of office in May. Of note is the fact that he has re-echoed the need to address the high level of corruption in our society, and this he took to the international arena during his recent visit to the United States and his earlier parley with the world’s most industrialized nations, under the aegis of G-8, in Germany.

We certainly have no doubt that Nigerians, more than ever before, have the confidence that this government will slowly and steadily wipe away the tears and anguish of the needy citizens of this great country. It is in line with this expectation that this writer would want, as a matter of expediency, bring to the attention of Mr President that one of the burning issues, which he has to address, borders on corruption at the Glass House which took place under the last dispensation.

Suffice to recall that in July 2010, about two months to the end of the tenure of Sani Lulu-led board, a kangaroo impeachment, believed to be initiated by the Ibrahim Bio-led National Sports Commission, NSC was carried out leaving more questions than answers for the administration of the game at the Glass House. The NFF Congress unfortunately, was cowed to endorse this illegal action. Not long after, precisely December 2010, this impeachment was vacated by the same NFF Congress, but was not implemented by the Board. Issa Hayatou, the CAF leader was made to intervene in the brewing crisis. Hayatou, we learnt, pleaded and requested Sani Lulu to withdraw his case with the Court of Arbitration for Sports, CAS.  

Read more: President Buhari should intervene in this corruption case