- Islamic Group Says It Is Provocative
The last may not have been heard about the recent melodramatic appearance of the Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose at the Eid praying ground at Olokemeji Area of Odo-Ado, Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, even as a Muslim group, Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) accused Fayose of sacrilege and provocation.
The governor, a Christian, apparently to create media buzz had appeared at the prayer ground dressed as an Islamic Cleric, a development that has been roundly condemned by the Muslim community.
It was however learnt that, what could have amounted to another serious religious provocation was averted by the last minute intervention of his aides who “sabotaged” Fayose’s plan to perform the slaughtering of the first ram in the state thereby usurping the role of the highly revered Chief Imam of Ado Ekiti, Sheikh Jamiu Kewulere Bello.
In practice, the religious right of slaughtering the first ram is performed by the Chief Imam of every state.
It was gathered that Fayose who had planned to create another publicity stunt had made secret arrangement with one of his aides to bring a ram to the prayer ground for him to personally slaughter reminiscent of the drama he performed at the state Assembly during which he brought his own Gavel and personally Passed the State’s Budget, a role constitutionally reserved for the State Parliament led by the appointed Speaker.
It was learnt that immediately Fayose alighted from his vehicle, he asked for his ram and knife but the aide assigned to providethe ram could not be found. The delay in the presentation of the ram led to the confusion that gave the senior Muslim clerics on sight, ample opportunity to prevail on the governor on the implication of his intended action.
Had Fayose killed the ram as he originally planned it would not have only been interpreted as affront on Islam but also a major embarrassment on Sheikh Kewulere, who doubles as the Grand Chief Imam of Ekiti State and President of the League of Imams and Alfas in the Southwest, Edo and Delta State.
After the ram could not be found an enraged Fayose made spirited call for Idowu Adelusi his then Chief Press Secretary, who also as at that time had not arrived the prayer ground with the usual press corps.
Adelusi was later in the evening summarily sacked by the Governor while the press team from the Ministry of Information were placed on suspension
It was gathered that Adelusi, who had been holding the media office for Fayose since his first tenure in office as Ekiti governor, would not have done otherwise as the governor seemed to have acted on impulse.
An eye witness told our reporters that the governor came into the Eid Praying Ground in a bus, alighted and started shouting: “where is my ram? where is my ram?”
He said it was in the process of enquiry that the governor realised that there was no media personnel on ground to cover the event and started shouting “where is Idowu? Where is Idowu?”
A recent statement by Fayose’s Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, corroborated this by saying Adelusi was relieved of his post over “dereliction of duty.”
Although the statement which was announced on the state-owned radio station, did not explain the specific offence committed by Adelusi, news filtered out minutes after from the Governor’s Office that Adelusi was sacked because he failed to organise adequate media coverage for the Eid prayer in Ado Ekiti, which the governor attended on Friday.
According to Olayinka: “The governor was livid that there were no journalists in his entourage and that they were not on the ground to cover his entry into the prayer ground. The governor felt he had taken more than enough from the gentleman and ordered his sacking.”
In a swift reaction, Adelusi said he was not aware of the event because he did not receive any notice to that effect. According to him, there was no way he could have arranged for media coverage for such event when no one informed him and it was also not on the official daily schedule of the governor. He expressed hope that the the matter would be resolved soon.
Investigation revealed that the governor and a few of his close aides only came to the conclusion to make a media stunt out of the Eid prayers by impulse. The idea was to shock the Muslim faithful with his appearance and make some media hype out of it to score some political gains.
As a governor who operates with little concern for protocols or official itinerary, it was easy for Fayose to conclude the plans with his kitchen staff and jumped to action, forgetting that Adelusi was not in the picture at the point of hatching the plan.
“The plan was to swoop on the unsuspecting worshipers, dominate the scene and make some statements that the governor felt could feather his political nest, ahead of the 2018 election,” disclosed one aide to the governor who pleaded for anonymity.
However, an Islamic cleric who wish not be named said : “ Fayose has carried his theatrics too far, he can do anything within the political realm but he should not bring his absurdity to Islam. First he dressed like an Imam which he is not secondly he attempted killing ram at Eid. That is simply like asking a Moslem going to the pulpit to serve Holy communion.
According to the cleric, “Nothing forbids a Christian from slaughtering ram in their houses to celebrate or feed the poor during the Eid. It is a way of showing brotherhood with the Muslims. But if you want to do that you kill the ram in your house and distribute to the have-nots. It becomes a sacrilege when a Christian comes to the Muslim Praying Ground to slaughter ram. ”
Besides, it was also gathered that it has been an age-long tradition in Ado-Ekiti that the first ram that is killed by the Chief Imam is supplied by the Ewi of Ado as a way of promoting peace and religious harmony in the state.
“As a governor Fayose has all resources at his disposal to get in-depth information but this time again he acted like the Lord of the Manor thereby committing religious taboo.
When asked about the photo of Fayose in Islamic cleric robe holding two young ladies, the cleric said that is unIslamic and forbidden : “ He can only hold them if they are his daughters or wives. And even at that, turning the prayer ground to venue for selfies with young girls is even more insulting to Islam.”
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has condemned Fayose’s action at the Eid Praying ground.
A statement by the MURIC President, Professor Ishaq Akintola said: “It is executive hocus pocus, highly sacrilegious and unduly provocative. It is Act I, Scene I in the Theatre of the Absurd.
“Governor Fayose cannot pretend to be a friend of Ekiti Muslims. He has delivered several anti-Muslim speeches and uttered several hate pronouncements targeted at Nigerian Muslims. His general attitude and body language to Muslims of Ekiti belie his status as the state governor. He has also demolished mosques out of sheer desire to eliminate all Islamic landmarks from Ekiti. So who is Fayose deceiving?
“The fact that he offered advice concerning who Muslims should vote for in the coming Ekiti 2018 election in his speech at the Id ground reveals Fayose’s real motive. But that is his undoing. Delivering a political speech in a serene atmosphere and on a sacred ground is sacriledgious. Fayose has also politicized religion. Who are Fayose’s advisers for Allah’s sake? Or is it that he does not listen to them? It is most likely that he doesn’t listen to anyone.
“Like every bully, Fayose acts on instinct. He tries to think later though. Fayose has abused the turban and arrogantly violated Islamic wardrobe etiquette. It is an insult for him to have so boldly dressed himself up like an Imam on Id ground. Only a titled Muslim leader or an Islamic scholar can dress like that. Fayose has failed to respect a major Islamic decorum. Can any political leader put on a pastor’s cassock and clerical collar without causing uproar?
“Fayose has shown that he has no respect for Muslims or their religion. He derides Ekiti Muslims yet he tries to con them to vote for his party. This attempt to ridicule Islam reminds us of the words of Prophet Nuh (peace be upon him) to those who mocked him, “If you mock us now, we will soon ridicule you and very soon you will know on whom shame and punishment will descend” (Qur’an 11: 38-39).
“Traditionally, non-Muslim governors and kings (Obas and Obis) are visited by Muslims on their way from the Id ground. Only those who are Muslims among the governors and kings appear at the Id ground. Fayose’s appearance at the Ekiti Id ground has violated all known norms. He has desecrated our holy grounds.
“On a final and very serious note, we suggest that in view of our experience in the Third Republic, it has become necessary, from now onward, for the electorate to demand certificate of psychiatric examination from candidates seeking political offices.”
In a short video circulating on social media Fayose is seen making a speech at the prayer ground. He said:
“The judgment of a leader is not in the hand of the followers, it is in God’s hand. It is God that have mercy and empower a leader. You will not be put to shame. All your expectation/ prayers before next year will come to pass.
“I want to tell the Ekiti people today that they should not sleep so that thieves will not steal their properties. If you sleep, your properties will be stolen. Thieves must not steal our goods again.
“Pray for a good leader who will respect you and will always come to prayer ground. Pray that God should give you a good governor that will replace me and that God should show him to me.
“Anyone who takes another man’s wife will take a problem that he may not be able to solve. We will not take another person’s wife, we will not elect wrong governor o.
“Our father said we sent only one ram, we are sending another 5 rams now.
“It is prayer that I need; I don’t need money or house, but please pray for me. I am not a Muslim, but I believe in the doctrine because they always say the truth.
“You said some people are after me, that the secret that God just revealed now because I came here today. If I didn’t come here today, the secret will not come out. Please pray that they will kill themselves.”
Fayose has been creating media waves with several of his melodramatic stunts. Recently he was seen as a band boy with King Sunny Ade, the Jujus Music icon, a video of him at a night club where he was practising as amateur Disc Jockey also went viral recent in addition to a video where he was seen preaching and prophesying at the altar of a Pentecostal church.