By Professor Ishaq Akintola
Friday, 23rd September, 2022.
The Interfaith Dialogue Forum for Peace (IDFP) organised a four-day workshop in Abuja from 5th to 9th September, 2021. I participated fully in the workshop. However, I noticed that a certain man was trailing me inside the hotel during the workshop. He was also a delegate. He shadowed me for three days. He was always monitoring my movement within the hotel but I pretended as if I did not know.
However, I confronted him on the third day. He was following me quietly from behind. I turned around suddenly and came face to face with him. Then I asked him why he was tailing me. This happened at the reception downstairs because he had followed me as usual as soon as I left the restaurant.
To my surprise he did not deny trailing me. He said he was doing so because he wanted to talk to me. I told him to go ahead and talk. He requested that we should go to my room upstairs. I knew that was dangerous so I refused. I showed him the seats in the reception and told him we could discuss there in the open.
As soon as we settled on the setee he told me that he came for that workshop because he saw my name on the list of invitees. He asked why MURIC said 32 Muslims were killed in Jos whereas only four Muslims were killed. I knew he was referring to the Muslims who were killed while returning from a Maolud programme in Bauchi. They were on their way back to Ondo State when their bus was waylaid in Jos by Borom Christians of Plateau State.
He accused MURIC of inflating the death toll and asked why we did not contact people in Jos before issuing our press release. I told him we have a branch in Pateau State and the information given by them was reliable. It became a hot argument and we parted without resolving the issue.
To my greatest shock he raised the issue again the next day during the communique session. He wanted the organisers to include a condemnation of MURIC in the communique but I raised objection via a ‘point of order’.
I can only remember two of the Muslim brothers who attended the workshop and who were present during the communique.
Nurudeen Asunugie and the young Lamido attended that workshop and they were at the communique drafting session.
What is significant in this narration is the fact that he said he came for that workshop because he saw my name on the list of invitees. Remember that he followed me around secretly for three days inside the hotel before I confronted him.
Remember also that he is from Jos and Jos Christians are notorious for killing Muslims. What could have happened if I had left the hotel to do something within Abuja during this period? Is it not likely that a killer squad could have been waiting somewhere in town?
Now, a more dangerous incident which can be linked to this occurred in another hotel in Abuja just four days ago, on Tuesday, 20th September, 2022. I attended a meeting of the Supreme Council for Shariah in Nigeria (SCSN) which took place in Abuja on Monday 19th and Tuesday 20th, 2022.
I prepared to take my bath on Tuesday morning after shaving. I entered the bath cubicle and tried to turn on the water. A powerful electric shock wave threw me back at the door as I tried to turn on the water. I was badly shaken and I did not regain full consciousness until some moments later. I took the towel and ran out of the bath cubicle.
I quickly packed my few belongings inside my backpack and left the room after making sure that I did not touch anything in the room with my naked hands to avoid electrocution. I raced to the lift and reported the incident at the reception downstairs.
Of course I knew this might not be a coincidence and I could have created a scene right there and then. But I was billed to be at the airport to catch my flight back to Lagos by 11 am. That means I should be at the airport by 10 am and it was already 9.15 am. There was no time to waste. I was only able to narrate the incident to one of us, Brother Abdul Ghaniy Ezra, whom I met in the restaurant. He went straight to the reception and lodged another complaint.
The implications of this incident are quite grave. How can bathtaps suddenly become charged with electricity? Who tampered with the wiring in the bathroom and why? Why was it done on the day of departure when everyone will be in a hurry to have his or her bath? Why must it be my room? Who is no longer comfortable with my posturing?
The above incidents tend to send dangerous signals. It appears somebody or a group of people do not like my face. Of course I have always known that I am not handsome by any standard so I won’t be surprised if some people don’t like seeing me around.
But to think of killing me through electrocution! It would have been called a domestic accident. But discerning minds will know it is a perfect murder. Who do I suspect? Well, it is not easy but I have a list of death wishers and I have received death threats on a number of occasions.
Yet I am not bothered. Really. It happens in my calling. It can become a distraction if one pays too much attention. That’s what they want but they have failed because I am more determined than ever before. I know that Allah is enough for me as a protector. Only Allah has the power of life and death over man.
I defy my detractors. They have miscalculated. The harder they try to eliminate me, the tougher I become by the Grace of Allah. No amount of intimidation can stop us from pursuing our determination to liberate Nigerian Muslims from the shackles of slavery, neo-colonialism and neo-imperialism. Teacher don’t teach me nonsense. Aluta continua, Victoria acerta.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)
Friday, 23rd September, 2022.
Nigerians need to know this.
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