A Nigerian politician, Kaokab Ibraheem, has displayed a campaign poster of Bola Tinubu, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and presidential hopeful, at the Grand Mosque in Saudi Arabia.
Mr Ibraheem was seen in a picture displaying the campaign poster of Mr Tinubu close to the Kaabah, at Masjid Al-Haram, Mecca’s Grand Mosque.
Considered the most sacred structure in Islam, the Kaabah is a large cubic structure draped in a black cloth embroidered in gold with verses from the Quran.
The pictures of Mr Ibraheem holding the poster are believed to have been taken on Thursday when a special Tawaf was held in honour of Mr Tinubu by his Nigerian supporters at the Grand Mosque.
“Ready to serve,” read the caption of the campaign poster with a picture of Mr Tinubu and Mr Ibraheem. The latter is also aspiring to be a member of the House of Representatives. He seeks to represent Alimosho Federal Constituency in 2023.
The Tawaf was attended by some Islamic scholars and political leaders from Nigeria, including Mr Tinubu.
The former Lagos State governor is one of the leading presidential aspirants of Nigeria’s ruling party, APC.
Since his official declaration in January, Mr Tinubu has travelled across the country seeking support and promising to bring improvements in the areas of security and the economy.
In Saudi Arabia, Mr Tinubu’s supporters said they had “faith that Allah would ensure a peaceful electioneering and victory for Mr Tinubu.”
“We have come to seek the favour of Allah and His blessings for Asiwaju in the coming election,” said Mudashiru Obasa, the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, according to a press release by his office.
“We are not testing Allah’s will and power but soliciting His blessings, support and anointing because Allah is sufficient for us. We are doing this in support of Asiwaju’s presidential ambition,” said the Speaker, who was also in Mecca for the prayer.
While it is generally acceptable to visit the Holy Mosque to seek the favour of Allah and His blessings, some Islamic scholars believe it is wrong to be carrying political posters around the Grand Mosque.
“Muslims ultimately perform Umrah, the lesser Hajj, intending to cleanse their souls and revive their relationship with God,” said Isa Abdulrahman, a Kano-based cleric.
“That aim is defeated when worshippers go to the sacred land with campaign posters,” he added. “The Kaabah is the most important place in Islam. It should never be a ground for political campaigning.”
Also, a former senator, Shehu Sani, said “taking political campaign posters to the premises of Ka’abah is morally wrong.”
“The Hajj Commission must take serious action on this before it gets worse,” Mr Sani wrote on Facebook. “Any culprit should be banned for Ten years from going to Mecca for Hajj and Lesser Hajj.”
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