Why Nigeria is sinking By Isa Ali Pantami

Pantami pays glowing tribute to his father who died recently

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 (isapantami@yahoo.com, an Islamic cleric, is a lecturer at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, and PhD Candidate (Computing & IT) in the United Kingdom




Now available on

  Premium Times Android mobile applicationPremium Times iOS mobile applicationPremium Times blackberry mobile applicationPremium Times windows mobile application


All rights reserved. This material and any other material on this platform may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, written or distributed in full or in part, without written permission from PREMIUM TIMES.

  • Get2gentle

    This is the most wonderful write-up I read about Nigeria. It is a step forward. Our problems in Naija can only be solved by religious clergymen. We continue reading u. Chris Peter

  • Saleh Muhammad

    Alhamdulillah! what an incisive piece?! jazakallahu bi khayraaa, you’ve said it all may the Almighty give us the ability to realise what is right and act upon it, and to show us what is wrong and prevent us from falling into it. further more it is high time for all Nigerians to wake up and realise that all our destiny is tied down by few of our rulers, not leaders! and we need to put all hands on deck to curb the menace of corruption and bad governance in this country!, for we only have Nigeria as our home country, and no country will treat us as her citizen with full respect aside Nigeria, we therefore have to join our hands altogether in salvaging Nigeria.

  • Faisalsani

    I completely agree with this erudite scholar, so many have looked into the problems bedeviling this country only from materialistic prisms, we pray may Allah extend His mercy to us and change our situation with a better one

  • Sanimudi64

    Jazakallah sheikh. one couldnt agree more. really leadership has failed Nigeria. Even more worrying is the absence of values in virtually all aspects of the lives of both the leaders and the led. May Allah (SWT) guide us aright, ameen. Sani Mudi, Jos.

  • Ayisha

    This is indeed great. I really enjoy this piece. It is a step in the right direction. May we, Nigerians change our attitude, ameeen.

  • gringory99

    boko haram, we have seen you with the slain boko haram leader on television some where around 2009 stop killing innocent in the name of islam.

    • Muhammad

      Mr. Gringory99….ur statemnt is not fair and objective at all…..I think u should tell us more about the TV program u saw him with the BH slain leader. Only then we shall know the truth about ur justification for calling a University lecturer in a Nigerian federal university and a current P.hD student in a reputable university in UK a BH. U should therefore tender an unreserved apology to the sheikh for trying to dent his name.

      • gringory99

        go to any vcd sellers in kano moreso the ones deals in religious cd s ask him fantami and mohammad yusuf muqabala and you will get it.

    • Abdussalam El-Suleiman

      Until the country is purged of narrow minded individual like gringory99 we shall remain in this dilenma. What is wrong in seeking a divine solution to our current chaotic situation? You could as well tell the judges to stop swearing in our politicians with the Bible or Qur’an. Our problem as a nation is that we have more of hypocrites than true adherent of our religious tenets. Can any one deny the spate of injustice looming in our country?
      Pls, that our mouth can be widely opened do not translate to vomitting all the content of our stomach. God bless Nigeria.

  • Gaaji

    A brilliant piece i’d say!! One couldn’t agree more.’Truly God does not change the condition of a people until they change what is with themselves.” Q
    We must all come together to save this Ship from sinking before we all get drowned, which will be too late. May Allah see us through!

  • This is just an empty treatise. He has not said anything that can move this nation forward. He is just trying to impress readers with ‘religious piety’ simple. Whatever religion we belong to in Nigeria, if we pocket our greed, ethnic and religious bigotry and work for the betterment of Nigeria, eschewing corruption, Nigeria will move forward.

    • Tunde

      Ayode Longe: This is not empty treastise. What is wrong in repenting to God? Eschewing corruption is what the paper enjoined us to go for. Check your language Ayode. But I accept saying we should pocket our religious bigotry.

  • Ibrahim

    The sheikh should fear Allah and know that the human beings he desires to please are not the real judge of our actions. He should remember what Allah says about people who instruct others to do good but forget themselves and those who say what they do not do.
    Let him ask himself about his activities right back in Nigeria before running to UK; with whom he was associating, cementing and celebrating their wicked leadership? How did he make his money as a junior academic, establishing a mosque and running two jumma’at mosques concurrently? Please, we should stop using knowledge, eloquence and charisma to deceive people. We know you are blessed with some of these qualities; but those from the same environment you have come from are aware of your atrocities; and Allah knows best. This is the problem of Nigeria-deceit by those who are supposed to be the guiding light (scholars).

    • Shamsuddeen


  • Abusumayyah

    Ibrahim, you are a great enemy of Naija, progress, religion and sheikh. What you said is completely opposite to sheikh. I know sheikh in Bauchi for a long time. Is the Pious Malam i know in Naija. last february In Bauchi alone I attended over 10 of his waazis and he presented live in brc, globe fm and babangida square during waazin kasa. Why couldnt meet him there. U came to attack him here. You are a hypocrite, if not post your true name, address, phone number for anyone to chat with u. Sheikh has no mosque is belong to Allah. I always pray there. His waazi secretely and openly to bigmen is very gud. U dont want sheikh to have phd, subhannallah. u are calling phd runing? We God guid u. Sheikh we love you bcos of God. leave this son of bidiah with us your readers. carry go your good work sheikh. may God give u Duulu zamanin. We hope to see your new article here. God reward you premiumtimes

  • Musa Ibrahim

    IBRAHIM. You are a criminal. u insulted sheikh because u dont like his prestige. MAY ALLAH SUBUHANAHU WA TA’ALA CURSE YOU AND KILL U AS INFIDEL WITH PAROAH. Gringory luk at your words. This scholar has a spiritual assistance from Allah.

  • Matemilola

    This presentation captured our problem correctly. Let us copy it and send to our friends with the permission of the writer. Could I copy it now writer or premiumtimes? Matemilola Hafiz