Readers, like customers, are Kings and Queens. They are not only entitled to a right of response to any publication they might have read in the print or social media, they also deserve due respect for reading them. No serious-minded writers, including newspaper or magazine columnists, can claim any value for their writings without carrying their readers along. It is a fact, universally acknowledged, that every writer is first and foremost a reader. Thus, as a journalist/columnist, I doff my hat for readers.
The original intention of ‘The Message’ columnist, today, was not to publish any reactions, (from readers of this column)
to the article entitled ‘How Gowon took Nigeria into OIC’, which was published in this column last Friday (September 4, 2020).
The reason for that intention was to give a chance to address many other urgent issues, already lined up for necessary attention.
However, that original intention suddenly changed, not only because of the usual
Deluge of reactions with which ‘The Message’ column is weekly bombarded, but also because of the rigour of going through many reaction before selecting the publishable ones.
It will be recalled that the article in question was published last Friday, September 4, 2020. But by last Monday morning, September 7, 2020, (less than 72 hours after its publication), more than 1341 reactions had reached yours sincerely through various means, thereby plunging this columnist into a deep dilemma. Even by last Wednesday, September 9, when today’s article, in this column, was being written, reactions kept coming torrentially until I lost the count.
In that melee, yours sincerely had to take a decision on whether to endeavour to publish some readers’ reactions to last Friday’s historic article or to completely ignore all reactions. At that moment a particular reaction came to alter my choice.
It was from a religious group of some elderly Nigerians, called ‘National Christian Elders Forum’ (NCEF).
The reaction of that group, which came in form of a rejoinder, was signed by Elder Solomon Asemota, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN). It was published in some national daily newspapers, on Tuesday, September 8, 2020.
As a professional mark of fairness in journalism, therefore, yours sincerely decided to publish the rejoinder especially since it was critical of the article to which it is reacting. Here it goes:
‘How Gowon Took Nigeria Into OIC – Rejoinder By National Christian Elders Forum (NCEF)
“We are compelled to issue this rejoinder in the interest of truth and the need to educate coming generations on the source of the insurgency and destruction that currently bedevils Nigeria.
On Friday 4th September, 2020, Mr. Femi Abbas, a well known publicist for the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, wrote an article in the Nation Newspaper titled “How Gowon took Nigeria into OIC”.
In the said article, Mr. Abbas attempted unabashed revisionism of history and unhidden distortion of facts.
Three disturbing issues stand out in the article under reference:
The deliberate denigration National Elders Forum (NCEF). Mr. Abbas did not hide his dislike NCEF.He described NCEF as “a dubious delf-appointed Christian body” and went further to call NCEF a “mischievous body” because the Christian Ellders alerted the nation that there is (sic) an Islamization agenda going on in Nigeria. For the information of Mr. Abbas, and his sponsors,
NCEF was established by the Christian Social Movement of Nigeria and inaugurated by the former President of CAN…”
“We are of opinion that the Ethics Committee of the NUJ need (sic) to have a private chat with Mr. Abbas”.
In the attempt to dissimulate and absolve any Muslim of complicity in the membership of Nigeria in OIC, Mr. Abbas displayed high level “Taqiyya” which is Islamic doctrine of approved deception. It is for the purpose of correcting the dissimulation employed in the article under reference that this ‘rejoinder is written.
Who Took Nigeria To OIC?
The author misrepresented historical facts when he claimed that Gen. Gowon took Nigeria to OIC in order to obtain support for Nigeria during the Civil War. This is deliberate distortion of history because nothing of the sort happened. As we shall see later in this rejoinder, it was General Ibrahim Babangida who took Nigeria into OIC. If it was Gen. Gowon that took Nigeria into OIC as claimed by Mr. Femi Abbas, then, why and when was Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe removed from office? And, who was it that removed him? Commodore Ukiwe was removed by General Babangida, a former Military President of Nigeria, for querying the full membership of Nigeria in the OIC. It is curious that throughout his discourse, Mr. Abbas did not mention the name of Commodore Ukiwe. How could anyone talk about the membership of Nigeria in OIC without mentioning the name of Commodore Ukiwe who protested the unilateral decision of General Babangida and consequently lost his position in the Military? This incident occurred in 1986, was General Gowon in power in 1986?
The True Story: How Nigeria Joined OIC
In its February 24, 1986 edition,
Newswatch ran a story on how Nigeria joined OIC. The investigative report 34 years ago proves conclusively that Mr. Femi Abbas deliberately set out to deceive Nigerians by telling a convoluted story of how Gen. Gowon took Nigeria to the Islamic body. Gowon did not take Nigeria into OIC at all. On the contrary, Gowon opposed it. Newswatch wrote as follows: “In September, 1969, Arab countries met in Rabat, a preeminent Centre of Islamic theology since the days of early Prophets?, to put finishing touches on the proposed Organization of Islamic Conference. Nigerian Muslims were anxious to be part of the historic gathering. With the support and encouragement of the Sultan of Sokoto, Abubakar III, a delegation led by Abubakar Mahmood Gumi, a prominent Islamic Priest flew to Morocco to register Nigeria’s presence. Gumi was later to become a fixture in the OIC issue for the next 17 years.
At that time, Nigeria was in the last leg of the civil war. Yakubu Gowon, ‘as head of state’ (sic)
at the time, was worried that attendance of Gumi’s delegation might be misconstrued as a declaration of intent of Nigeria’s membership of the Organization. He therefore sent an urgent message to King Hassan of Morocco clarifying the status of the delegation. The team was on its own, Gowon reportedly informed King Hassan, and they were not representatives of Nigerian Government (sic).
That move threw a spanner in the works. The delegation led by Gumi was denied accreditation, but was meerly allowed to observe the proceedings.
Less than two years later, when OIC was formally inaugurated, it was clear that Nigeria had no intention of becoming a full fledged member of the Organization”.
This account was written 34 years ago. Where then did Mr. Femi Abbas get his version of history that Gowon took Nigeria into OIC? There should be a limit to Taqiyya shouldn’t there be?
The Newswatch account continued that “the Muhammadu Buhari government decided to pursue the matter with deliberate speed. Newswatch has been reliably informed that ex-Spreme Headquarters Chief of Staff, Tunde Idiagbon’s pilgrimage last year, just before the Buhari regime was swept away, was connected, in part, with the decision of Nigeria to enroll as a bona fide member of the OIC. Buhari was to have paid a trip (sic) to Saudi Arabia subsequent to Idiagbon’s, but the coup made that plan academic”.
In December 1985, the OIC sent an invitation to Nigeria to attend the OIC Ministerial Conference for January 6-10 in Vez, Morocco….”
On new year Day, Dodan Barracks instructed the Ministry of External Affairs, for the first time in the history of the efforts to get Nigeria to join the OIC, to give diplomatic cover to the ‘Nigerian delegation’. The all Moslem delegation was led by Rilwanu Lukman…”
The demand for diplomatic cover for the delegation effectively meant that the represenntatives were from the Nigerian government…What is clear, however, is that the Minister, (Professor Bolaji Akinyemi) did not give diplomatic cover to the delegation by the time he left on his diplomatic shuttle to Europe and North America…”
“While Akinyemi was away, the official delegation left for Morocco under diplomatic cover, presented an application for Nigeria’s membership and was immediately admitted as a member, after being a spectator for 17 years. General Gowon did not take Nigeria into OIC; General Ibrahim Babangida did. The narrative of Femi Abbas is falsehood.
The Caliphate apologist sought to impress the readers that the claim of Islamization agenda in Nigeria is false. Again, this is nothing but “Taqiyya”. The first person to prove Mr. Abbas wrong is Abubakar Shekau, the leader of Boko Haram who said in a video in 2012,
“… This war is not political. It is religious. It is between Muslims and unbelievers (arna). It will stop when Islamic religion is the determinant in governance in Nigeria or, in the alternative, when all fighters are annihilated and no one is left to continue the fight. I warn all Muslims at this juncture that any Muslim who assists an unbeliever in this war should consider himself an unbeliever and should consider himself dead.”
If the statement of Shekau is not confirmation of an Islamization agenda, Mr. Abbas should kindly tell us what it means.
There are two factors that confirm that a country is an Islamic state and both were accomplished in Nigeria by the past Muslim Military leaders. The two factors are as follows:
- Membership of OIC
- Inclusion of Islamic law and jurisprudence in the Constitution.
While Gen. Bagangida unilaterally and surreptitiously took Nigeria into OIC in 1986, Gen. Abdulsalaam Abubakar unilaterally inserted Sharia legal code into the 1999 Constitution in violation of Section 10 and Section 1 of the same Constitution. Any country that has these two factors is an Islamic state.
That Nigeria has been Islamized is no longer debatable. The Muslim Military heads of State plunged Nigeria into the crisis of Islamization. What the Islamists are now fighting for is to transmute Nigeria into a Sultanate, with Sultan of Sokoto as Supreme Sovereign, and institute Sharia as source of legislation, over and above the Constitution. This is the crisis that is currently playing out leading to the collapse of every infrastructure and institution in Nigeria, by the deliberate design of the Islamists, who seek to plunge Nigeria into chaos and from the rubble build their Islamic theocratic state.
This is why we advice that Nigeria should, as a matter of urgency, discard the conflict ridden 1999 Constitution and constitute a Conference of Ethnic Nationalities to re-negotiate Nigeria as prerequisite for a new Constitution. In the meantime, the 1963 Republican Constitution should be amended and adopted as a matter of urgency to stabilize the country. So long as Nigeria continues to operate the sectional and discriminatory 1999 Constitution, the country shall neither have peace nor progress because insurgency has root in the dual conflicting ideologies in the 1999 Constitution.
Islam in Africa Organization
Mr. Abbas sought to sugar coat (sic) the Islam in Africa Organization Conference (IAO) as an innocuous meeting that meant no harm. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The Communiqué issued after the meeting of the IAO, titled “Abuja Declarations 1989” proved that something sinister was in the offing for Nigeria. Today, we are all witnesses of the Islamist conspiracy against Nigeria, courtesy of the Buhari Administration and APC political party, which has finally confirmed that it was not a slander to have called it an Islamic Party in 2014. It is evident that the presence of a Pastor as Vice-President was simply to procure Christian votes and beguile unsuspecting Christians as it has in no way mitigated the rabid Islamic Agenda of the APC Party.
Salient points in the “Abuja Declarations 1989” of the IAO are as follows:
o To ensure the appointment of only Muslims into strategic national and international posts of member nations;
o To eradicate in all its forms and ramifications all non-Muslim religions in member nations (such religions shall include Christianity, Ahmadiyya and other tribal modes of worship unacceptable to Muslims).
o To ensure that only Muslims are elected to all political posts of member nations.
o To ensure the declaration of Nigeria (the 24th African and 48th World member of the OIC) a Federal Islamic Sultanate at a convenient date any time from 28th March, 1990, with the Sultan of Sokoto enthroned as the Sultan Supreme Sovereign of Nigeria.
o To ensure the ultimate replacement of all Western forms of legal and judicial systems with the Sharia in all member nations before the next Islam in African Conference.
Anyone who could not see the “Abuja Declarations 1989″ in the policies of the Buhari Administration should be considered a victim of Taqiyya….”
Anybody who read the article entitled ‘How Gowon took Nigeria into OIC’ published by yours sincerely in this column last Friday, and compares it with NCEF’s rejoinder published above should be able to clearly distinguish between naked TRUTH and cloaked FALSEHOOD.
As a disciplined Muslim and cultured professional, I, Femi Abbas, will not engage in obnoxious arguments with people who have no reign with which to check the recklessness of their speed in times of rage. And, I am very sure that His Eminence, Dr. Muhammad Sa a’d Abubakar, CFR, mni, the Sultan of Sokoto and permanent (not rotatory) President General of Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), will not, in any way be ruffled by the familiar language of mud slinging in which that rejoinder is bitterly coated against decorum.
As an exemplarily dignified Royal/Religious Father whose glass house is distinct, he knows that people who live in mud houses are unlikely to know the cost and the value of a glass house. After all, any blind person may be free to deny the existence of the Sun, but that cannot stop the Sun from performing its God-endowed duty. As for calling me the publicist for the Sultan, that is a matter of pride. How many journalists in Nigeria have a similar opportunity?
As far as this OIC issue is concerned, I shall, face the substance and leave the shadow for those who are known to be its chasers. And that is because I was one of the only two Nigerian journalists that covered Nigeria’s regularization of membership in OIC, in Vez, Morocco, in January 1986. I, therefore, do not speak or write from rumours flying around through hearsay.
Truth VS Falsehood
Truth is light. Wherever it appears, darkness and its agents must vamoose into oblivion. On the contrary, falsehood is like an ostrich which often tries to hide by burying its head in the sand when its entire huge body is conspicuously exposed for all to see.
Claim of Gowon’s Opposition to Nigeria’s membership of OIC
Is it not laughable, for anybody, to claim that General Yakubu Gowon, a Military Head of State, with all the political and military powers, opposed Nigeria’s membership of OIC? To whom did he express such opposition when he was the main decision maker? And for the extra six years (1969-1975) that he spent in office as Head of State, were Nigerians not attending OIC summits in the name of Nigeria? In what capacity were they attending it? And, after Gen. Gowon’s exit from office, were there no other Heads of State or President until 1986 when Nigeria’s membership of OIC was regularized? The fact is that one black lie will always need 10 white others to cover it up.
The Bakasi Saga
It was during Nigeria’s civil war, in the same 1969, that a juicy part of today’s Cross River State called Bakasi was ceded to Cameroon for the same purpose of wanting to win that war. And today, that part of Nigeria is a bona fide part of Cameroon. If we may ask the senior trumpeters of ‘Islamization’ in Nigeria, who ceded Bakasi to Cameroon? And, for what reason? Was the ceding of Bakasi to Cameroon also done by General Ibrahim Babangida?
Islam In Africa Conference
Yours sincerely was not just a participant in the referred ‘Islam in Africa Conference’ (not Organization of Islam in Africa as ignorantly it is in the rejoinder above) which was held in Abuja in 1989, I was also in the team that wrote the quoted (or rather, misquoted) communiqué in reference and I still have a copy of it. I now challenge NCEF or its spokesperson, Mr. Sam Eyoboka, to publish that communiqué verbatim to enable us compare notes on it with a view to delineating between the original and the fabricated version.
Four Nigerian Presidents have, so far, attended the Presidential Forum of OIC summits. They are Chief Mathew Olusegun Okikiolakan Aremu Obasanjo; the late Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’Adua; Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and President Muhammadu Buhari. Two of those Presidents are Christians while the other two are Muslims. If OIC, with about 36 African countries as members, is for Islamization as often claimed by certain bigots in Nigeria, would those two Christian Presidents attend its summits in which most European and American countries are regularly present even if as observers?
In their usual shadow chasing, as reflected in the above rejoinder, the anti-Islam megaphones of Nigeria would rather resort to mud slinging than enbrace the substance.
Those trumpeters are by far carried away by their cheating euphoria of the past which gave them the false sense of monopoly of the use of English language as a means of exploiting the Muslim through media propaganda. Time has changed. The realistic situation now is that of brain for brain and pen for pen. We are all Nigerians and we shall all dwell in Nigeria generationally to perpetuity. GOD BLESS OUR COUNTRY!
Read the original article on The Nation