Many people including academics find it strange adopting a prophetic message as a framework for analysing the situation of a country or generation. This is because Nigeria has been stuffed with theories of western scholars, particularly the modern and contemporary ones. Some examples of the western scholars include political scientist, Samuel P. Huntington, who proposed a theory titled as “Clash of Civilization and the Remaking of World Order” and Francis Fukuyama who wrote “The End of History and the Last Time” as a theory or framework.
I have no iota of doubt; Nigerians are religious people, either genuinely or otherwise. Therefore, they respect religious verdicts, parables and symbols. Paradoxically, their greatest anathema is insincerity of implementation. The situation of our darling country, Nigeria is very devastating, and if care is not sincerely taken, divine punishment will continue to visit the country, and the situation will continue to deteriorate.
Since we are from our Lord and to Him we shall all return ultimately and also because Nigerians are highly religious, I intend to analyse Nigeria’s problems serially by adopting a prophetic infallible parable as a divine framework for x-raying the situation of our darling Nigeria. Believe me; the horrific situation of our country cannot be permanently rehabilitated by adopting human frameworks. It can only be rescued, rehabilitated and transformed by returning to infallible and impeccable sources of guidance, i.e. our religious scriptures. They unanimously fight all the cantankerous injustices and social vices that engulf our darling Nigeria.
Our beloved Prophet (SAW) describes the parable and exemplification of an evil country with a “sinking ship” in an authentic hadith which has been reported by Imam Bukhaari (RH). In an attempt to explain the anatomy of this prophetic saying, Dr Salman authored a treatise on this hadith, entitled “Hatta Laa Taghriqas-Safiinah”. Dr Has-san Almisriy also presented a talk entitled “Kabla an Tagriqas-Safeenah” describing the consequence awaiting a country that has been transformed into an illegitimate theatre of injustice, wanton corruption and brutality such as our darling Nigeria.
In a prophetic message which serves as our framework, our beloved Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) says:
“The likeness of the man who observes the limits prescribed by Allah and that of the man who transgresses them is like the people who get on board a ship after casting their votes. Some of them are in its lower deck and some of them in its upper deck. Those who are in its lower deck, when they require water, they go to the occupants of the upper deck. Then they (occupants of the lower deck) had a meeting, with a resolution of saying: “If we make a hole in the floor of the ship, we shall not harm those in the upper deck. If they (the occupants of the upper deck) leave them to carry out their design they all will be drowned all. But if they do not let them go ahead (with their plan), all of them will remain safe and sound.”
We learn from this prophetic parable that the consequences of committing acts which are forbidden by our Lord are not confined only to those persons who commit them, but the whole society has to suffer for them. This is the situation in our in darling Nigeria. It is therefore, essential that the people, who are in the habit of committing sinful acts and violating divine injunctions, should be checked to rescue the whole society from destruction. If this is not done, the entire society will have to face a horrific divine punishment. Committing crimes has become a daily affair, which has been embraced by all either ceremoniously or otherwise. These ugly crimes include injustice, corruption, irreligious religious crises, ‘big-manism’, brutal and extra-judicial killings, robbery and immorality.
Dr Salisu Shehu, an academic in Bayero University Kano described Nigeria as a ship where holes have already been illegally created. He said that so many holes had been created in the ship – Nigeria, and it had already sunk. According to Dr. Shehu, we are now in search of pious professionals who will block the holes, rescue the people and take the water out of the ship, in order to avoid drowning ultimately. This aptly describes the ugly situation of darling Nigeria. We are not physically, politically, economically, spiritually and intellectually better than tsunami-drowned countries.
I believe many Nigerians always ask themselves why there is no solution to all these problems, felonies and injustice; they ask the question who is to blame? The Nigeria stakeholders are to blame. These stakeholders include leaders at federal and state levels, security personnel, community leaders, parents, religious leaders, journalists, politicians, civil servants, teachers and the youth. It is because various stakeholders have failed in their responsibilities that Nigeria has sunk.
It has become crucial to blame the stakeholders including all Nigerians in order to critically identify our problems, weaknesses and shortcomings; with an intention of salvaging our country from destruction and drowning. This is for our betterment in this world and in the next.
Dr Salman Al’audah, author of the treatise on the hadith “Hatta Laa Taghriqas-Safiinah” admonished leaders and followers by saying, just like individuals who must repent for their sins and bad dealings, so should governments and their followers repent for the injustice, social backwardness, corruption and instability they are responsible for. The reverse is the case in our darling Nigeria. Leaders consider the trust- leadership as a pleasure ride and not a burden.
Also, Mrs Hillary Clinton has completely placed the blame on the doorstep of darling Nigeria’s leaders by saying, “Leadership has failed Nigeria”. She made this statement during her first full day in Nigeria as part of a seven-nation, 11-day African tour. I agree with her view, but even the led have a substantial ungodly contribution to the Nigeria’s failings.
Finally, this is the best and might be the only chance Nigerians have to sincerely rescue our darling Nigeria from sinking. Nigerians are superb in talks and analyses, but docile in action and implementation. Let’s rise up and change our attitude with action; as it is said, action speaks louder than voice.
Mr. Pantami (email@example.com, an Islamic cleric, is a lecturer at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, and PhD Candidate (Computing & IT) in the United Kingdom