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Itsekiris Decry Fatwa Placed On President Tinubus Wife. By Tony Afejuku

Distinguished Senator Oluremi Tinubu 


"The communiqué of MPIHDH, a world-wide Itsekiri organization of very high calibre chaps in every meaningful sense of the word is worth quoting in full. It is lengthily lengthy, but I find it excitingly exciting on account of the ideas and concepts it contains." Afejuku.

Today my inspiration was set to dwell on numerous subjects, which were going to be painted and designed as assorted thoughts ranging from intellectual to sports, political, moral, cultural, economic and sundry matters and things. What I was going to do entered my inspiration and consciousness as sparkling scene of thoughts upon thoughts. The first flush of excitement had hardly exited when I remembered the message and link I got from a Delta State professor, a Safarian, residing and making hay in the diaspora. The message and link concerned a threat on the life of Pastor Senator Oluremi Tinubu, the deeply religiously- and highly politically- conscious wife of President Tinubu. After going through the account of the threat I promised myself to deliver my opinion on it with the kind of elegance and neatness as to draw to me universal attention  whose focus, however, would be on Abdulazzi Dusen, the Muslim cleric of haplessly hapless haplessness who placed fatwa on the presidents wife. Part of what I was going to say would centre on the religious and moral beliefs that are neither rational nor divine but only express the feelings, the warped feelings and sentiments of so-called clerics such as the one in question. I was going to hole up myself to do what I meant to do. I didnt give myself a dead-line.

But a very few days ago something happened in the form of a communiqué manufactured by Pastor Senator Oluremi Tinubus kinsfolk in the Niger Delta after a meeting, an emergency meeting, of the Movement for the Protection of Iwere-land, Development and History (MPIHDH) on the subject of the treasonable felony, unlawful and unconstitutional call for the killing of an illustrious daughter of Itsekiri nation and bona-fide citizen of Nigeria in the person of distinguished Sen. Oluremi Tinubu, wife of Mr. President by a Muslim cleric based on her choice of religion. The communiqué of MPIHDH, a world-wide Itsekiri organization of very high calibre chaps in every meaningful sense of the word is worth quoting in full. It is lengthily lengthy, but I find it excitingly exciting on account of the ideas and concepts it contains. 

1. The attention of the apex Itsekiri socio-cultural organization, Movement for the Protection of Iwere Homeland, Development and History (MPIHDH) Worldwide has been drawn to the unlawful, unconstitutional,  callous and barbaric call by a self-acclimated Muslim cleric, one Abdulaziz Dusen  whereupon he called on fellow Muslims in Nigeria and elsewhere to kill an illustrious Itsekiri nation's daughter, wife of the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, in the person of distinguished Sen. Oluremi Tinubu. 

2. The only “sin” and reason the said Abdulaziz purportedly adduced for this TREASONABLE felony, and unconscionable call for the assassination of a free citizen of this country, wife and mother, was hinged on the very disturbing and dangerous claim unknown to our extant laws that this Itsekiri daughter is an "infidel" (an unbeliever which the Koran has said must be killed); because, she is a "Christian" married to a Muslim President with a Muslim as Vice President. 

3. This shocking and unacceptable threat to the life of our dear sister, is not only condemnable, it portends a very ominous signal to the free will of citizens to enjoy the inalienable fundamental rights enshrined and guaranteed in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) if such a divisive and inviting hate speech and those behind same are not appropriately dealt with according to the law.

4. Pursuant to section 33 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), the freedom to life of all Nigerians including that of the wife of Mr. President, Distinguished Sen. Oluremi Tinubu is astutely and manifestly guaranteed. Under this section, one of the provisos provided by the Constitution that may make "a competent court of jurisdiction" to derogate and possibly deprive her of this right to life after a fair trial if found guilty of committing ANY offence, does not include her choice of religion or the religion of who she is married to. 

5. Mr. Abdulaziz Dusen not being a court of competent jurisdiction before whom the wife of Mr. President has been tried and found guilty for a capital offence,  lacks the powers to pronounce death on another citizen for whatever reason. He has not only brazenly contravened and breached this very fundamental right of our dear sister to life by calling on other Muslims to kill her, here in Nigeria, he has also exposed her to threats abroad in the hands of extremists who may want to carry out the fatwa. The life of the first lady, our dear sister, is very precious and we vehemently condemn any attempt to make it look otherwise. 

6.   Furthermore, by virtue of Section 38 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), the wife of the President, our dear sister's right and freedom to freely choose and propagate her own religion, is copiously guaranteed. She has been a Christian wife and mother to her husband for many decades before her husband became the President of Nigeria in 2023. All through her public service on the floor of the Senate, she has been a Christian. Her right to dignity of the human person that protects her from being killed like a slave or an animal, her right to personal liberty that gives her a choice to live her life freely without any impediment or encumbrances subject to the law, her right to fair hearing that made her decades ago choose to be a Christian and remain same even though her husband is a Muslim, her right to privacy and family that protects her matrimonial choice not to become the choice that a third party must decide for her or use as a springboard to call for her unlawful death, her right to freedom of expression that gives her the right to be a "pastor and preach" her faith unhindered,  her right to freely assemble and freely associate with other Nigerians both of her faith and other religions alike, her right to move freely in and outside the country without any fear of harm and her right to freedom from discrimination on the basis of her choice of religion are all guaranteed under section(s,) 34, 35, 36, 36, 37, 39, 40, 41 and 42 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) respectively. Nobody can deprive her of these fundamental rights.

7.  In addition, by the [commonsensical] reading and [perusal of the] extant provisions of Section 15(3) (c) of the Constitution, it is provided that the State shall

"Encourage inter-marriages among persons from different places of origin or of DIFFERENT RELIGIOUS, ethnic or linguistic association or ties." The choice of Distinguished Sen. Oluremi Tinubu to marry Mr. President who she knew from the onset was a devoted Muslim and the choice of Mr. President to marry her despite her faith, are within their rights in line with the above provision of the Constitution as a tool of fostering National cohesion and harmony through the sacred institution of marriage created by God Himself and acceptable in all religions and cultures the world over. We hereby resoundingly condemn the action of the cleric as it is against the spirit of unity and oneness envisaged by our extant laws.

8. In conclusion, section 10 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) declares inter alia:

"The Government of the Federation or of a State shall not adopt ANY RELIGION as State Religion." The treasonous offence and dangerous call to fellow Muslims to kill the President's wife because she is a Christian, completely negates the Constitutional provision that makes Nigeria a secular state or federation where each and every citizen is free to practise their religion. Since Nigeria is a secular state, it is an assault and attack on the rights of other citizens not to practise their chosen faith.  The call on fellow Muslims to kill a woman and mother simply because she is a Christian married to a Muslim, is another dangerous proposition that is capable of throwing the country into unquenchable flames.  Even in the most fanatic and most conservative Muslim places where cases of religious intolerance have been reported, such evil calls for non-Muslims married to Muslim husbands are not heard. Nigeria and its laws of religious independence have not changed to warrant an extremist to call for the unlawful death of the wife of the president of the country. Consequently, we state as follows:

I That the open threat to Distinguished Sen. Oluremi Tinubu, an illustrious Itsekiri daughter and wife of the President, amounts to a TREASONABLE felony contrary to Section 37 of the Criminal Code as applicable in the South and Section 410 of the Penal Code applicable to the North. The call for the assassination of the wife of Mr. President is in all intents and purposes, tantamount to a call for the unlawful killing of Mr. President himself.  The vexatious and inhuman call is not just to "levy war on Mr. President, but it is meant to intimidate him and create an over-awe to him and members of his family including his beloved wife contrary to the above provisions of our laws, the reason being that anyone who declares death on the wife of a sitting president has also declared death on her husband. Having deliberately done this, we demand the immediate arrest and prosecution of the offender in the person of Mr. Abdulaziz Dusen and those who are with him in this dangerous plot. He is a threat to other non-Muslims and a threat to National Security and integration. We demand for the full weight of the law to fall upon him. 

ii. We call on Mr. President to provide the necessary security for the personal safety of our dear sister, her children and those around her henceforth within and outside the country. The Inspector General of Police and his counterparts must do everything possible to protect the first lady from harm. She remains our pride and we will not tolerate anything that will expose her to such dangers. No single scratch must touch her skin.

iii. Other well-meaning Nigerians especially our good Muslim brothers and sisters should come out to openly condemn this despicable act aimed at not just inciting adherents of both faiths against one another, but it is capable of being taken advantage of by extremists to unleash another round of terror and mayhem on the nation which is currently facing the problem of insecurity like never before. This was how Boko Haram and other non-state actors began their campaigns of hatred that have engulfed the nation today. Distinguished Sen. Oluremi Tinubu, wife of Mr. President, our beloved Itsekiri sister, will not be used as cannon fodder to test-run a new orgy of bloodbath in the country. 

iv. The apex Itsekiri socio-cultural organization, Movement for the Protection of Iwere Homeland, Development and History (MPIHDH) Worldwide promises and hereby pledges its commitment to continue to stand for the defence of the first lady and all Itsekiris worldwide. We, the members, will not fold our arms while anybody or group comes out to attempt to blackmail or intimidate our dear sister for the woes their own sons and people in previous governments and regimes created for ALL Nigerians in the recent past which have brought Nigerians so much pain and hardship while they remained mute without calling for the death of their people. 


Deliberately, I have left out the six names of the officers world-wide of this wondrous Itsekiri Movement. Do I share their sentiments? Yes or no, their patriotic sensibility is unfaultable! And the radical-cum-intellectual columnist endorses their fervent fervor which he cannot but be a fervent supporter of.

Afejuku can be reached via 08055213059.

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