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Saturday, 26 September 2015

Nigeria's President Having A Pang Of Guilty Conscience?


President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria has expressed sadness at the tragedies that befell pilgrims at the ongoing hajj in Saudi Arabia. First was a crane collapse which killed 107, then nearly two weeks later, a stampede which killed over 700. While expressing his grief, he commiserated with Nigerians who lost loved ones, including a journalist and a professor of Arabic and islamic studies.
President Buhari may be feeling more of guilt than sadness at these unfortunate deaths of Nigerians, most of whom, if not all of them, were sent to Mecca at the expense of the Nigerian state. Although he has promised to stop spending federal government money on sending pilgrims to Mecca, the states of northern Nigeria which also sponsor pilgrims to Mecca have not given any indication they would toe this line. And why should they? There is so much money to be made and the governors of these states which, unsurprisingly, are educationally backward compared to their southern counterparts would rather steal their states' funds under the pretext of sending pilgrims to Mecca on some deadly pilgrimage than invest in education.
I am yet to understand the fact that the muslim world, who have called the victims of both tragedies martyrs, continue to mourn. If they sincerely believe that the over 800 persons who died while doing their duty as muslims will be in paradise, they should be having a party to celebrate their fellow muslims going to paradise to be with 72 virgins (for the men, I still do not know what the women get) while looking forward to the day they will join them. Maybe during next year's hajj.