2023: Nigerian politicians campaign in Saudi holy sites
As the 2023 general elections draw closer, Nigerian politicians are innovating to increase their chances of realizing their aspirations. It is common for our politicians on both sides of the religious vocation to visit the holy places of their respective religions to pray for their success.
Not only do they personally visit these places, but they also sponsor their followers, especially the clerics, to visit these holy places to pray for them. Often such prayers are done quietly without seeking public attention.
However, a new pedestal emerged during the just-ended Ramadan, when Muslims fasted for the entire month and visited the two holy mosques of Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia to seek more divine inspiration.
Both holy sites were besieged by politicians and their openly praying supporters. In one such incident, supporters of APC presidential aspirant Bola Ahmed Tinubu were seen, in a viral video, carrying his posters circling the Ka’abah and praying for his success at the ballot boxes.
Earlier in a notice issued on behalf of the Speaker of the Lagos State Assembly, supporters were urged to converge on April 28 at King AbdulaAziz Gate at noon for the special Tawaf for Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Tagged ‘Special Tawaf for Asiwaju’, the session, according to the notice “Is to thank Allah for the former governor of Lagos before the presidential election.
“We have come to seek Allah’s favor and His blessings for Asiwaju in the upcoming elections. We are not testing Allah’s will and might, but seeking His blessings, support and anointing because Allah is sufficient for us. We do this to support Asiwaju’s presidential ambition.”
Another viral video also showed supporters of Atiku Abubakar, a People’s Democratic Party aspirant, also at the Ka’a bah with his posters and praying for his success.
It was also found that other aspirants from all parties also sponsored clerics and followers to pray for them in the two holy mosques. Some of them were also present.
Analysts believe things will heat up even further during the upcoming Hajj period, as many will relish taking the opportunity to visit to pray for success at the polls, especially as by then candidates for various positions must have emerged.
Other observers have pointed out that this new practice of open political campaigning could attract the attention of Saudi authorities and take steps to stop it.
They added that the Saudi authorities have banned any political movement from campaigning in the country during Hajj and Umrah activities, especially in the two holy mosques.
Display of degrading posters for holy places
Speaking on the issue, a cleric from Bayero University in Kano, Dr. Ibrahim Siraj, said that every Muslim must come to terms with the fact that the Ka’aba is the holiest site in Islam.
“It is for this reason that Allah rewards a person who prays two rakats 100,000 times more than those who pray the same somewhere else. This is to tell you how important place is in Islam.
“Also, whoever intends to commit a sin in the Haram, Allah will cause him to taste a painful retribution because of his mere intention to do so, even if he does not, unlike places other than the Ka’ aba, where a person is not punished for intending to commit a sin,” he said.
He said that because of their sacredness, it became necessary for people to behave according to the precepts of holy places: “No trivialities or jokes should be allowed there.
“However, this does not prevent devotees from going there to have a spiritual connection with Allah and pray to Him directly for their wishes.
“When people do Daawaf (circumambulation), they should say things that will bring them closer to God, read the Quran and pray for their material needs and those of the hereafter.
“It is good when someone prays to God to empower their favorite seeker, either openly or silently, but putting up posters and campaigning for seekers is wrong and humiliating the sanctity of holy places,” he said. he declared.
They should have prayed for the kidnapped Nigerians
Also, the Chief Imam of Kaduna Polytechnic Abubakar Sadiq Doka said that Haram is not a place for campaigning or other worldly things. “It is the first house built on earth and centered on God alone, it is a sanctuary and a source of guidance, a blessing for all of humanity.
“So whoever is there, their attention should be on God alone, not on whoever is alive. So the followers of these seekers who go there to post posters are trying to make fun of the religion.
“In fact, they do not respect Allah as he should be respected and this showed the intensity of the estrangement of some Muslims from Allah (SWT). Anyone close to Allah wouldn’t dare to put up a poster there.’
He said those who participated in this should have spared a moment for our brothers and sisters across the country to be killed and displaced by bandits and terrorists.
“They don’t care about the security situation we’re in right now. Their aspiration is all that matters to them, not the banditry and kidnappings that plague the nation,” he said.
He wondered why, even with videos circulating across the country on social media, some prominent academics refused to speak out and call the perpetrators to order.
“They know some of these politicians are ignorant, but they are sponsoring some of the Umrah and Hajj clerics to go and pray for them. So you can see the level of neglect that brings us back to this society.
“Instead of praying for these kidnapped people, who have been in the hands of their captors for four weeks, they are there putting up posters of wannabes, which means they don’t care and it shows the level of ungodliness in our society,” he added.
They should be punished
The National Coordinator of Independent Hajj Reporters, Ibrahim Mohammad, also commenting on the matter, called on the relevant authorities to sanction all those involved in carrying out their political campaign at the holy sites.
He also drew the attention of relevant Hajj/Umrah authorities, in particular NAHCON, SMPWBs and private tour operators to the dangers of allowing pilgrims to display political posters of any kind at holy sites.
“There is a law that prohibits foreign or local pilgrims from publishing, displaying or distributing materials related to politics in the Kingdom.
“I hope all concerned will enlighten their future pilgrims and I also pray that the above posters do not cause any penalty to Nigeria.”