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The Supreme Head of Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at worldwide Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (May Almighty Allah be His helper) has appointed Alhaji (Barr.) AbdulAzeez Alatoye as the new Amir (National Head) of Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at Nigeria.

This was contained in a release signed by the General Secretary of the Muslim Organization, Alhaji Abbas Iromini and made available to our correspondent. Alhaji Alatoye was hitherto the Naib Amir (Deputy National Head) South West region. He succeeds Dr. Mashhud Adenrele Fashola who has been serving in that capacity for the past 15 years.

It will be recalled that the organization held its annual national forum (Majlis Shoora) last month at Tahir Mosque Ojokoro Lagos where representatives across the country participated in the National Executive Officers’ elections.

Alhaji Alatoye, alongside with the newly approved members of the National Executive Committee will resume office on July 1, 2019.

Brief Profile of the New Amir
Born on the 13th of February, 1963, Alhaji AbdulAzeez Folorunso Alatoye had his tertiary education at the Kwara State Polytechnic, Ilorin where he bagged Unique Distinction in Accountancy in 1991. He obtained a Diploma in Law from the Executive Business School, Ikeja Lagos in 2011 and Bachelor of Laws (LLB) from the University of Bradford, the United Kingdom in 2012.

Professionally, he is an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (UK); a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN); Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria and a Member of Nigeria Taxation Standard Board and Fellow of the Nigeria Institute of Management.

He is the Founder and Senior Partner of Ascension Consulting Services.

His Journey in the Jama’at
Alhaji Alatoye joined the Ahmadiyya Community through the maternal grandfather biat in 1975. In 1981, he personally signed the biat. Since then, he has been holding sensitive posts within the Jamaat. For instance, he was the Tabligh Secretary between 1982 and 1985 and Financial Secretary between 1985 and 1989 of Inisa Jamaat Osun State. At the auxiliary level, he held the post of an Internal Auditor of Majlis Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya Nigeria (Youth Wing) between 1988 and 1990.

At the National Level, Alhaji Alatoye was appointed as the Naib Jalsa Officer II (Deputy Conference Officer II) between 2009 and 2019; Naib Amir South West region (2013-2019); Treasurer (2010-2019); Vice Chairman Humanity First Nigeria (2011-2019); Chairman Sad Sala Jubilee Committee (2016-2019); Chairman South West Mosque Building Trust Fund Committee (2016-2019); Chairman Economic Empowerment and Development Committee (2014-2019), among others.

His areas of interest include Tabligh (Preaching), Holy Qur’an and Mosque Building. He is an advocate of honest service to Almighty Allah and Humanity.


Alhaji AbdulAzeez Alatoye National Amir (Head)
Alhaji Abbas O. Iromini General Secretary
Barr. Muhammad Bashir Badr Secretary Tabligh (Preaching)
Alhaj. M.M. Shittu Secretary Tarbiyat (Religious & Moral Training)
Mr. Tajudeen Oladoja Secretary Ta’lim (Education)
Alhaji Mudathir Dada Secretary Isha’at (Publication)
Engr. Imran Adeyemi Secretary Sami’ wa Basari (Audio-Video)
Alhaji Hassan Sunmonu Secretary Umur Kharijiyyah (External Affairs)
Alhaji Muslihu Ali Secretary Umur Amma (General Affairs)
Mr. Abdul Rahman Adetunji Secretary Dhiyyafat (Hospitality)
Mr. Mudathir Adefarati Secretary Mal (Finance)
Alhaji Dauda Kehinde Sokunbi Add. Secretary Mal (Finance)
Mr. Shakirudeen Abdus Salam Secretary Wasaya (Wills)
Mr. Abdul-Hakeem Akintobi Secretary Ta’limul-Quran & Waqf-Ardhi
Mr.Nafiu Taiwo Ajimoti Secretary Tahrik-Jadid
Mr. Abdul Ganiy Babalola Secretary Waqf-Jadid
Mr. Muhammad Tirmiziy Ajibike Addl. Secretary Waqf-Jadid & Nau Muba’in (For New Converts)
Builder Bashirudeen Asimiyu Towolawi Secretary Jaidad (Properties)
Alhaji Muslihudeen Ademoye Secretary Waqf-Nau
Prof. Abdur Rahman Abdullah Secretary Zira’at (Agriculture)
Mr. B.O. Ghazal Secretary Sanat-o-Tijarat (Industry and Trade)
Mr. Issa A. Shokunbi Muhassib (Accountant)
Alhaji Muheeb Lanre Idris Amin [Treasurer]
Mr. Hussein King Internal Auditor



Al-Hafiz Yunus Omotayo

If Muhammad, the Messenger of Allāh (peace and blessings of Allāh be on him) had been sent to personify the mercy of Allah to mankind (Qur’an, 21:108), the Holy Qur’an is indeed the ever-living proof of that mercy (Qur’an, 4:175).

More interestingly, by applying the same criteria by which the American Historian, Michael H. Hart had so ranked our Holy Prophet (saw) as the first of the 100 Most Influential Men in History, we may as well go a little further to rank the Holy Qur’an as the Most Influential Book of all the scriptures and books in the world. For, if Muhammad (saw), the body, had so influenced humanity, it is the Qur’an, the soul, which had first influenced Muhammad (saw); and, if he is the action, it is the teaching, the substance. Hence, speaking about the Holy Qur’an, Goethe, the greatest of German poets, declared: “This book will go on exercising through all ages a most potent influence. (www.alislam.org, The Al Islam e-Gazette, Friday, August 3, 2007, p. 10)

Allah the Omniscient Himself sufficiently bears witness through the treasures of the Holy Qur’an as a proof of its divine origin; even the Angels all attest to this fact. (Qur’an, 4:167). Muhammad (saw) the Prophet of power and glory, in a Hadith reported by At-Tirmidhi, describes the Holy Qur’an as the strongest Rope of Allah (Habluhu al-Mateen), His Clearest Light (Nuruhu al-Mubeen), All-Beneficial Cure (Shifa’uhu an-Nafi), and a means of protection (‘Ismah) and salvation (Najah) for its upholders. Mirza Ghulam Ahmad,(as) the Imam of the Age, was also blessed with a revelation which declares: “Al-Khairu kulluhū fil-Quran”, i.e., all kinds of good lies in the substance (Ahmad, Mirza Ghulam, Our Teaching, Islam International Publications Limited, UK, p. 17)

The above perhaps establish the reason why Allah gloriously eulogizes Himself thus: “All praise belongs to Allah Who has sent down the Book to His Servant and has not put therein any crookedness.” (Qur’an,18:20).

In the light of the above, the exigency of the revelation of the Holy Qur’an is asserted as the Divine Book whose teachings, doctrines and principles must be believed in, and submitted to, by man; whose divine text must be continuously taught, learnt, read and oft-recited by all and sundry; whose literal words must be recorded intact, committed to memory and preserved by Muslims; and most significantly, whose injunctions,  message, philosophy, and ideology must be obeyed, imbibed, practiced and propagated.

This is therefore the reason why it has received more attention by believers and detractors alike. According to Abdullah Yusuf Ali: “ There is no book in the world in whose service so much talent, so much labour, so much time and money have been expended as has been the case with the Holy Qur’an (3) Indeed, no other scripture has been patronized by men of letters, philosophers, philologists, sociologists and political analysts as the Qur’an. (Ali, Abdullah Yusuf, The Holy Quran English Translation of the Meaning and Commentary, Introduction (Commentaries of the Quran)

Excerpt from: Memorization of the Holy Quran – Merits and Methods, by Al-Hafiz Yunus Omotayo (2013)



The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 has highlighted the factors that led to the increased figures of coronavirus recorded in the country since November 2020.

Addressing reporters on Monday in Abuja, the PTF Chairman, Boss Mustapha, revealed that increased local and international travels were among the major factors.

He listed the others to include increased business and religious activities, reopening of schools without strict compliance with COIVID-19 safety measures.

Mustapha, who is also the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), faulted the attitude of some state authorities to the management of the disease.

According to him, no state in Nigeria is immune to the pandemic even if reports are not coming out of such states.

The PTF chairman urged the people to stay away from activities that can expose them to the virus as the nation’s tally crossed 100,000.

He announced that the government has concluded plans to roll out the pilot exercise on the use of Rapid Diagnostic Test-Kits (RDTs) ​next week in five tertiary health institutions in Abuja.

Read the full text of the SGF at the briefing below:


​I welcome you all to the National Briefing by the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 for today, Monday, 11th January 2021.

​Reports coming in from all over the world show that the COVID-19 pandemic is still wreaking huge havoc on humanity, economies, and systems.

The Situation Report as of Sunday, 10th January point in the following direction:

On 8th January 2021: 833,496 cases were recorded. This represented the highest ever since the pandemic started

The three days preceding the 8th, each recorded over 700,000 cases

Global cases have now reached the 90,676,320 mark

Global fatality count is fast approaching the two million mark

The global CFR has declined from 2.2 to 2.1%

The CFR for Africa has also declined from 2.3 to 2.2%; and

The WHO African region crossed the two million case mark on Wednesday, 6th January 2020.

​In Nigeria, we have crossed the 100,000 cases mark and now rank second in the number of new cases, the 4th in cumulative cases in Africa, and 5th in cumulative deaths.

Last week, Nigeria recorded over 9,000 cases. Realistically, if we estimate the numbers missed, we would be in a much higher region.

There is no state in Nigeria that is immune to this pandemic even if reports are not coming out of such states. The Hon. Minister of State for Health and the DG NCDC will expand on the statistics during this briefing.

​It is, however, very instructive to stress that factors that have contributed to rise in numbers from late November 2020 included increased local and international travels, business and religious activities, reopening of schools without strict compliance with COIVID-19 safety measures.

​The full import of the fore-going is to press further on the need for us all to elevate the level of our vigilance and compliance with the recommended non-pharmaceutical interventions.

The current wave of infections is swift and virulent, and we do not know how long it will last. Besides, the facilities available for the treatment of critical cases remain very limited and we do not wish to be overwhelmed.

Your best bet, therefore, is to avoid infections completely. The PTF has continued to receive inquiries about the issue of testing before traveling out of Nigeria.

For the avoidance of doubts, the protocol in Nigeria requires inbound passengers to test, not more than 96 hours, before boarding flights to Nigeria.

However, for passengers leaving Nigeria, it remains the responsibility of travelers to confirm the requirements of the country of destination and that of the carrier of choice. The National Coordinator will clarify the extant protocol and the policy position.

For in-bound travelers, a new protocol on pre-boarding has been released and compliance is still strongly recommended. The additional requirements for passengers coming from the United Kingdom and South Africa also remain in force. The NC will also speak on this during the briefing.

​Next week the pilot exercise on the use of Rapid Diagnostic Test-Kits (RDTs) will be rolled out in 5 tertiary health institutions in Abuja. The DG NCDC will expand on this.

​The isolation of different strains of the virus is being vigorously pursued. In this regard, the PTF is working with the Africa CDC and the NCDC on the sequencing of the COVID strains circulating in Nigeria. We shall keep Nigerians informed as the exercise progresses.

​As part of measures to deepen community engagement and enforcement of protocols, the PTF met with the Nigerian Governors Forum last week and will be meeting with key religious and traditional leaders soon. It will similarly meet with security agencies.

​The third stream of NYSC members will resume on 18th January and the PTF is working closely with the management to ensure that participants are tested, and protocols are complied with.

​Finally, the PTF has advanced the preparation for the management of all aspects of the vaccines discuss.

Particularly, lessons are being drawn from other jurisdictions on the successes and challenges of the vaccine administration. The Executive Director of the NPHCDA will elaborate on this.

​I now invite the Honourable Minister of State for Health, the DG (NCDC), and the National Coordinator to brief you from the technical perspectives.

​I thank you all for listening

Source: Channels



The Department of State Services (DSS) has alerted the public about plans by some elements working with external forces to incite religious violence across the country.  Targeted States include Sokoto, Kano, Kaduna, Plateau, Rivers, Oyo, Lagos, and those in the South East.

In a press release made available to the media on 11 January by its Public Relations Officer, Peter Afunanya, the security service disclosed that part of the plans is to cause inter-religious conflicts as well as use their foot soldiers to attack some worship centres, religious leaders, personalities, key and vulnerable points.

It, therefore, advised Nigerians “to be wary of these antics and shun all divisive tendencies aimed at inciting or setting them against one another.”

It further warned those hatching these plots to desist from such in the interest of peace, security, and development of the country.

“However, law-abiding citizens (and residents) are encouraged to report suspected breaches of peace around them to the nearest security agencies,” it said.

The full text of the press release can be read below:



The Department of State Services (DSS) wishes to alert the public about plans by some elements working with external forces to incite religious violence across the country.  Targeted States include Sokoto, Kano, Kaduna, Plateau, Rivers, Oyo, Lagos, and those in the South East.

Part of the plans is to cause inter-religious conflicts as well as use their foot soldiers to attack some worship centers, religious leaders, personalities, key, and vulnerable points.

Consequently, Nigerians are advised to be wary of these antics and shun all divisive tendencies aimed at inciting or setting them against one another.

While the Service pledges to collaborate with sister agencies to ensure that public order is maintained, those hatching these plots are warned to desist from such in the interest of peace, security, and development of the country. However, law-abiding citizens (and residents) are encouraged to report suspected breaches of peace around them to the nearest security agencies.

Peter Afunanya, Ph.D
Public Relations Officer,
Department of State Services,
National Headquarters,
11th January 2021



President Muhammadu Buhari has joined the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and workers in the country in celebrating the pioneer President of the congress (1978-1984), Alhaji Hassan Adebayo Sunmonu, on his 80th birthday, January 7th, 2021.

In a release on 6 January by Femi Adeshina, the Special Adviser to the President (Media and Publicity), the President rejoiced with the former NLC President and his twin brother, Hussein Oyekanmi Sunmonu, on the milestone, saluting their courage for dedicating most of their working life to public service, starting out early in the ’60s as staff of the Ministry of the then Works and Surveys.

President Buhari affirms that the former Secretary-General of the Organization of African Trade Union Unity (OATUU) left a strong legacy in the public service and fought diligently for the welfare of the Nigerian worker, institutionalizing a national minimum wage and minimum pension scheme, and consistently negotiating with public and private sector employers on better packages for workers.

As the identical twins turn octogenarians, the President extols their courage and discipline in always accepting to serve the nation, believing that their knowledge and experiences will continue to inspire many into public service and pressure groups, which continue to work with governments in fostering development.

President Buhari prays for good health and longer life for Alhaji Sunmonu and his brother, Hussein.

Boko Haram: ‘Western Nations Have Shown Borno More Concern Than Arab Countries,’ Zulum says


In the midst of challenges with the Boko Haram insurgency, countries from the West have shown more concern for the plight of Borno people than rich Arab nations whose people share a similarity of religion and culture with the majority of Borno citizens, Governor Babagana Umara Zulum has said.

Zulum stated this on Tuesday in Maiduguri when he received the Palestinian Ambassador to Nigeria, Saleh Fheied Saleh, in Maiduguri. Zulum praised Palestine for being one of the few exceptions, within the Arab community.

“I am a practical person. I work with the realities I see on the ground. In the face of our challenges over the years, we have received humanitarian support from the UK and other parts of Europe, the United States, Canada, Japan, and a host of others who has demonstrated concern and has made efforts to support our traumatized citizens in many ways especially on food, medicals, and livelihoods.”

“However, that level of concern never came from Arab countries with whom millions of Borno people share a similarity in religion and culture. We even have indigenous shuwa arabs in Borno and this shows how our histories are tied. We have made severe efforts, written and visited embassies of Arab countries, especially those that are rich and not dealing with crises, but obviously, the majority of the Arabs do not care about our situation, neither do they support us. The Arabs have not shown concern to us. Your visit, however, has renewed our hope especially and we are very grateful for your visit” Zulum said.

The Palestinian ambassador had informed Zulum of a plan to support the Government of Borno State in some areas of need.

“There are a lot of Palestinian companies in Nigeria, they are willing to work with the Borno State Government, we are ready to cooperate with you, we are ready to help in anything you want us to do that we can do,” Amb. Saleh said.

The Ambassador also said many Nigerians are currently residing in Palestine, particularly Borno indigenes, some of whom have diligently served the government and people of Palestine. He cited that among Borno people in Palestine, a lady called Fatima Barnawi was once a minister and a police chief.

Nigeria, Carnage and Curse: Why This Gory Trend Must Stop!


Al-Hafiz Yunus Omotayo

As humanity continues to be aghast and the media abuzz with the news of the pervasive, wanton killings that are currently bedeviling Nigeria, it is the thrust of this article to assess the ominous development and make a case for why a stop must be put to the gory trends in the country, if truly the citizens genuinely desire to existentially break the jinx of their collective utopia for sustainable peace, security and development.

Did our history begin with the curse of Cain? It is a gory tale of murder, assassination and torture in any event. So much blood has been spilled throughout history that the whole world could be painted red with it – with plenty to spare. When will man stop killing his fellow men? When will his thirst for blood ever be quenched?

The above thought-provoking questions were raised by Hadrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad [who later became the Supreme Head of the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community 1982-2003] in the opening paragraph of his master-piece titled Murder in the Name of Allah, written on the heels of the 1953’s Public Disturbance in Pakistan which shut down the 5-year old independent country amidst carnage and curse.

More particularly, in his historical novel titled “A Carnage before Dawn”, published online by Okada Books, the author, Ayomide Akinbode, took us on a gory tale of Nigeria’s First Coup D’état which took place in the night of 14-15 January, 1966. Today, over 50 years after the bloody event, it is still the same bloody story of killings, as Nigeria has not known peace and security of lives and properties.

Would it be inconsequential to remark, for instance, that the gory tale of bloodbath in the Nigeria’s first Coup D’état did signal an ominous repetition of the history of Cain’s carnage and curse which re-occurred to change the national fate of the nascent independent state of Nigeria, barely 3 years after her 1st republic in 1963? The atrocious event saw the shedding of the blood of Nigeria’s First Prime Minister, the Premiers of the Northern and Western Regions, the Federal Minister of Finance, and most of the senior army officers.
Of course, cases of bloodshed had earlier occurred across the three regions of the country, particularly, on the heels of the crises that greeted the 1964’s National Census and the Western Region’s election in 1965. However, considering the ominous effect the above 15th January bloodshed bore on the national destiny of the country, one may conclude that, if bloodletting is both a sin against the God of life and crime against humanity, then the bloodshed was, symbolically, an ominous incident that profaned the Nigerian soil and marked a turning point from humanely giving of life to violently causing of death in the history of Nigeria. Since then, the number of the cases of assassinations, extra-judicial homicides and wanton killings caused by the various recurring political power struggles, electoral crises, ethno-religious conflicts, inter-communal/intra-communal conflicts, vigilante killings, civil war, insurgency, militancy, suicide terrorism, banditry, abduction-for-death killings, armed robberies and alleged killings for ritual purposes etc are as uncountable and unimaginable much as they are dastardly and disturbing.
Let us look into few of the notable data.

According to Wikipedia, during the two and half years of the 1967-1970’s Nigerian Civil War, there were about 100,000 overall military casualties, while between 500,000 and 2 million Biafran civilians died of starvation. In the same vein, the 1980s were bedeviled by the Maitatsine riots which were a series of violent uprisings instigated by Islamist Muhammad Marwa on December 18, 1980 in Kano and resulted in 4,000 deaths (including Marwa).

To jump from the late histories and come closer to the recent ones, the last two decades have arguably been the bloodiest and most disturbing periods in Nigeria as a result of the increased spate of mass killings in the country.

Again, captioning on religious violence in Nigeria, Wikipedia also recalls that the events of Abuja in 2000 and Jos in 2001 were riots between Christians and Muslims that took hundreds of lives. Another such riot killed over 100 people in October 2001 in Kano State. In 2002, the Nigerian journalist Isioma Daniel wrote her sarcastic article which led to the demonstrations and violence that caused the deaths of over 200 in Kaduna. Similarly, the reaction to the Mohammed cartoons brought about a series of violent protests in Nigeria. Clashes between rioters and police claimed several lives, with estimates ranging from 16 to more than a hundred. This led to reprisal attacks in the south of the country, particularly in Onitsha. More than a hundred lost their lives.

On June 28, 2018, Tribune [Online] published the checklist of killings in Nigeria from 1999 to 2015 released by Femi Adeshina, the Senior Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media. The list shows 2,500 recorded deaths during the November 20, 1999 Odi killing. Similarly, between February and May 2000, about 5,000 people were killed during riots over Sharia law in different parts of the North. In 2001, hundreds of people, including the old, infirm, women and children were killed in Zaki Biam. Between September 7 and 12, 2001, Jos, Plateau State, erupted in internecine killings. Between 500 and 1,000 people were killed. In 2010, 992 people were again killed in Jos. Just a year after, on 16th May, 2011, Reuters reported Human Right Watch’s record in which more than 800 people were killed and 65,000 displaced in three days of violence following a presidential election in April won by President Goodluck Jonathan.

In fact, according to a report titled Ethnic and Religious Crisis in Nigeria, published by ACCORD on 29th August, 2016, between 1999 and 2013, more than 11,000 deaths have occurred in Nigeria. This statistics is however an extremely modest one when compared against the report published on December 12, 2011, by International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law on Nigerians who died outside the law since 1999. According to it, there are over 54, 000 unlawful deaths in Nigeria since 1999.
The writer, Emeka Umeagbalasi, further analyzed the progressive pace of the review. He writes: On 8th April, 2003, the Leadership in the then Anambra State SLO estimated that over 18,000 Nigerians died outside the law since 1999. On 5th August, 2009, Intersociety estimated that over 30,000 unlawful deaths took place in Nigeria since 1999, a period of ten years, and on 17th March, 2010, we reviewed it and concluded that the number might have increased to 34,000 as a result of the further rise in the killings. Our later findings, however, indicate that this figures were under-calculated, hence, the latest figure in the neighbourhood of 54,000 illegal deaths.

More worrisome is the finding that between 1 June 2006 and 31 May 2014, the absolute number of violent deaths recorded by the Nigeria Watch database was 61,241. We must not quickly forget that in 2014 alone, according to Global Terrorism Index, at least, 1,229 people were killed in the Middle Belt.

The Premium Times of February 13, 2017 reported a shocking revelation attributed to Borno Governor that the Boko Haram insurgency has killed 100,000 and displaced two million Nigerians. In the same vein, Sun News Online of 29th June, 2018 reported that while the Amnesty International said it had independently verified that since January 2018, no fewer than 1,813 people were murdered in 17 states, the UN revealed that at least 881 children were either killed or maimed by the Boko Haram terror group and the Nigerian security forces in 2017. According to the Director Amnesty International Nigeria, Osai Ojigho, the death tolls reflected killings as a result of farmers-herders conflict, communal clashes, Boko Haram attacks and banditry. Indeed, the incident in Plateau State, where armed gunmen attacked 11 villages on 23 June for at least seven hours and killed at least 200 villagers is still very much fresh in the memory of Nigerians.

More worrisome is the 2019 Global Terrorism Index published by the Institute of Economics and Peace where Nigeria was ranked 3rd with 8.597 scores, coming just behind Iraq (9.241) and Afghanistan (9.603) respectively. However, most disturbingly and dastardly are the current gruesome killings reportedly perpetrated by bandits and herdsmen from Katsina, to Kaduna, Benue, Plateau and other parts of the country.
At this juncture, one is compelled to again revert to Mirza Tahir Ahmad’s panoramic view of the pathology of man’s disease of bloodshed as impressively espoused in his book referred to earlier. He writes, “Abel was the first man to be killed, by his brother, for no reason. The story of that murder has been preserved by the Quran and the Bible as a lesson to us all – it will remain as an example till the end of time.”
“Study history, and one thing becomes clear: that man is an aggressive creature. His aggressiveness has been untamed by the growth of civilization. Man is as cruel today as he was thousands of years ago. The story of his ruthlessness, his tyranny and his aggression is long and painful. The fire of human aggression has not been quenched even after thousands of years of savagery.”

“Assassination of individuals and the annihilation of whole groups of peoples are a repetitive theme of history. States have attacked states; countries have fought against their neighbours and against nations far from their borders. Hordes of people living in the steppes and deserts conquered nations with ancient civilizations; blood was shed by Caesar and by Alexander; Baghdad was destroyed by Hulagu and Gengiz; the soil of Kurukshetra ran red with the blood of Kauravas and Pandavas.”
“Sometimes blood was spilled in the name of honour, sometimes in the name of revenge for supposed wrongs. Sometimes angry hordes overran peaceful lands in search of food, sometimes in search of world domination. But more often the blood of man – created in God’s image – was shed in the name of his Creator. Religion was used as an excuse for mass murder. Seeing this aspect of human nature makes one wonder if mankind is not the basest and most ruthless species on earth.”

Localizing the above analysis in the context of the Nigerian situation, one quickly comes to realize not only the factors behind the carnages in Nigeria, but also the enormity of the concomitant curses they have brought, and still bringing, upon the soil of the country. For, any genuine study of the history of Nigeria would reveal that the more Nigerians had spilled the blood of their fellow countrymen, the more the country had become accursed. True, in any society where human peace and security of lives are elusive, there, sustainable development is ever elusive, and vice-versa.

It is instructive to note that, according to statista.com, in 2020, Nigeria’s population was estimated to amount to 206 million individuals. Notably, an 18 December 2012 report on religion and public life by the Pew Research Center stated that in 2010, 48.3 percent of Nigeria’s population was Christian, 48.9 percent was Muslim, and 2.8 percent were followers of indigenous and other religions, or unaffiliated. This statistics clearly shows that 97.2 Nigerians claimed to profess faith in the two main religions that strongly prohibit bloodshed. For, the legal dictum, ‘Thou shalt not kill’, is an imperative enshrined in the Biblical book of Exodus that is very commonly heard from the lips of many Nigerian Christians. Similarly, the Quranic junctions: ‘And kill not yourselves,’ and ‘Whosoever killed a person – extra-judicially – it shall be as if he had killed all mankind; and whoso gave life to one, it shall be as if he had given life to all mankind’, encapsulated in the 4th and 5th Quranic Chapters respectively, are beautiful Quranic injunctions very often recited daily by the Muslim worshippers. Yet, the spate of wanton killings continues to increase astronomically! This indeed is the most disheartening phenomenon!
When will Nigerians stop shedding the blood of their fellow Nigerians? When will they let Nigeria be cleansed of the curse of blood? Now, as the going gets tough and the tough gets going against both the individual and national peace and security of the country, it is high time Nigerians all realized why this gory tale of carnage and curse must stop. To this end, it is expedient all Nigerians walk the talk: stop the killing; stop the curse!



Taofeeq Ajibade

Most secondary schools in Nigeria were only a couple of days to the beginning of their second term examination for the 2019/2020 academic session when the federal government declared a national health emergency and locked down the whole country. Even the schools that had begun as at the time had only written a few papers. What then started like a few weeks’ precautionary step eventually ran for six (6) consecutive months.

Secondary school students eventually lost the examination week of the second term, a full (3rd) term, and a few more weeks in the first term of a new session (2020/2021) due to the #EndSARS protest and the nationwide destruction that trailed it. While the coronavirus ravaged the world, the consequent multifaceted national and individual losses for many citizens can only be imagined. The rest, they say, is history.

At about the same time, the university teachers embarked on indefinite strike action over an unfulfilled agreement the federal government had with their union, Academic Staff Union of University (ASUU) way back in 2009. That too sent university students back home. They were to remain at home for the next nine straight months – that is an equivalence of time to finish a Master’s degree in some universities.

The ASUU/FG feud was only resolved in the last week of December 2020. As the celebrated resumption coincides with the Yuletide, effective resumption was expected in the first week of January until the Federal government ordered all schools to close down until January 18, 2021, for it to observe the spread of COVID-19 and decide what it would do next. This was the same pattern the first lockdown extended over a six-month period as the government continued to extend the period until well into September 2020.

With the now widely-known reality about COVID-19, locking up schools on the pretext of a COVID-19 pandemic is, in my opinion, rather counterintuitive. The largest gathering of people – educated and uneducated – is not found in a hall or a school; it is found in the market. Not even the largest political rally can match the size of a city market. So, if markets can open, without any visible prevention protocols, and yet with only a few or no incidents of spread, it is not out of place to suggest that schools can safely open, especially with all the prevention protocols that are already in all schools and which can even be upgraded as the Health Ministry may instruct.

There is no arguing the fact that schools are more organized than markets. It is also much easier to explain the dangers and prevention of any diseases/viruses to students and subsequently gain their understanding and cooperation than it is with the largely less educated folks in the marketplaces. Even where students seem uncooperative, they can be whipped into line without much ado.

We have already been informed that this coronavirus will be around for a long period of time. It is also a fact that medical researchers and pharmaceutical companies have since been working tirelessly to find effective drugs for viral infection. Pfizer/BioNtech and AstraZeneca-Oxford have already produced and got their respective vaccines approved for mass production and distribution.

Given this fact, there is no point to further paralyze the academic system which was probably the greatest loser in the year 2020. Schools – arguably the most adaptable to change – cannot be held as the most vulnerable and therefore locked up purportedly to contain the spread of a disease which, according to experts, would not go anytime soon. This is especially instructive considering the fact that the vast majority of students in this country still receive their education through a face-to-face medium. Our school system still relies much on the brick and mortar classroom.  Even the higher institutions are yet to move close to the real digital classroom. What passes for digital integration in our schools is mere online registration for courses, school fee payment, and the download of some texts. The core of teaching and learning is still fully face-to-face. The only exception is a few private schools – secondary and tertiary. I am not aware of any public schools that have substantially moved their lesson delivery, assignments, and grading online using the latest Learning Management System (LMS).

In view of this reality, rather than locking up schools indefinitely, the relevant Ministries should enforce strict compliance with the COVID-19 protocols and deal singly with erring schools. It is therefore my hope that January 18, 2021, the tentative resumption date fixed by the federal government for schools across the country will not be extended on the excuse of the second wave of COVID-19. Schools (obvious students) across all levels have suffered enough and should not be subjected to further hindrance or agony because of a virus whose total cases since February 2020 is still much less than the cases of malaria. Just imagine the number of people who may have died of malaria or other preventable or treatable diseases (since last February) due to their inability to afford the right drugs or, regrettably, the unavailability of the right equipment or medics in our hospitals.

It is the responsibility of the government to make our health system truly functional and accessible in a manner that significantly reduces mortality from minor and preventable diseases.

God bless Nigeria!

Taofeek Ajibade is an education researcher and public affairs analyst. Trained at the International Centre for Educational Evaluation, University of Ibadan, his interests include Digital Classroom, Teacher Competence, Learning improvement, and emotional intelligence. He’s also a member of the Muslim Writers’ Guild of Nigeria (MASQ-NG).

Email: taofeeqajibade@gmail.com

Twitter: @taofeeekajibade




Musa Abubakar, Abuja

The year 2020 has been a hellish, thorny, and awful year for our country. The novel health crisis – COVID-19 pandemic – has taken over 1,221 lives and still counting. Followed by a disastrous and burdensome economy that has wrecked millions of small businesses and jobs in the country.

The year has also witnessed politicization, corruption, and deceptions surrounding the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. The mysterious revelations about how COVID-19 funds were diverted for other purposes were abstruse.

The aftermath of the famous #endsarprotest exposed how palliatives and survival funds were hoarded and embezzled by government officials in charge of the palliative across the country. The manner in which people began to burgled shops and business enterprises in search of palliatives (like goldfields) revealed the stealing and criminal tendencies in some people.

But companies,  businesses, and private individuals weren’t left out. They all take advantage of the pandemic by devilishly and unnecessarily increasing the prices of goods and services during and after the lockdown; which made life difficult for fellow Nigerians.

The education sector is dreadfully affected by the pandemic when schools were closed nationwide to curtails the spread of the monster virus. There come the punishing and painful ASUU strike that has been ongoing even before the outbreak of the virus.

The Nigerian students were at the mercy of inaction and dawdle government response to ASUU demand. The faith of Nigerian students is still hanging on thread till now 8 months after the strike.

However, religious organizations- people of faith, different faith, and no faith weren’t left out of the painful impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. All religious places of worship were closed down which, at least, this generation and for centuries have never witnessed nor imagined.

The effect was a bit hard to comprehend for the Muslims around the world when it came to the holy month of Ramadan. The religious practices associated primarily with Ramadan were constrained. Muslims couldn’t visit the mosques as usual during the holy month, Jumu’ah prayer, Taraweeh, Eid, Tahajud, Itikaf, Tafsir ul Qur’an, kulu Jami’an or get-togethers were all constrained to be said, albeit, at home as a result of the notorious virus. Ditto for Christians’ Mass and Easter festival.

Here comes the famous but controversial  #endsarsprotest that demanded an end to police brutality, but the scope of which was later widened too much more demands, such as #endbadgovernance that degenerated to fiddly and debatable Lekki ‘massacre’; when many lives of protesters were reportedly lost in shooting by the Nigeria army.

Sadly, criminals, bandits, kidnappers, and terrorists may be said to have taken over the affairs of our nation technically, on a serious note, with the rate they are killing people at will. The recent killing of rice farmers in the northeast and a monarch -Oba of Ifon, a town in southwestern Nigeria – who was shot to death while traveling from Owo to Ifon by unknown gunmen, are all still fresh in our memory.

The turbulent year has equally witnessed numerous insecurities, ranging from life to property and food, etc. Food insecurity was caused by majorly due to the activities of the bandits, Fulani herdsmen, and Boko Haram. Nigeria is now one of, if not, the most terrorized nation on earth.

The strenuous but not surprising recession news in early November has been grinding and hitting hard on people in the country. Yet we still have a few weeks to go before the year ends. Let’s work harder, hope, and pray for a positive and better year come 2021 for our beloved country.

These challenges, hustling, struggles, and hardship make it hard to remain united as a nation. But at this critical time, we need to remember the blessings of God in our lives and our country, hence be grateful to Him.

In this demanding time of the year, I urge Nigerians to reflect that, whereas we can’t change what has happened, we can work together with love and compassion to push for a more just and fair future for our country.

As verses 5 and 6 of Chapter 94 of the Holy Qur’an assure, “There is ease after hardship; surely, there is ease after hardship.”



Taofeek Ajibade

In the last few days, the attention of the Nigerian public has been drawn to the “Arabic” inscriptions on our Currency notes and the Nigerian Army insignia – and which the promoters mischievously interpreted as a subtle “Islamisation” of the country.

One could be misled to think that the antagonists sincerely want a purely secular country, but, unfortunately, they are all silent on other inscriptions, epithets, and signs which are unarguably taken from Christian orientation!

There is no arguing the fact that the religion of the colonialists is Christianity and, expectedly, they brought with them their language – English. They not only forced us to speak this language, but they also bequeathed the same to us by the time they were leaving the country. Why have we not moved a motion to discard a language that is originally associated with our colonizers who were all Christians, especially given the fact that not less than 50% of this population is Muslim? Today, we all speak English and even compete for the best grammatical proficiency without ever thinking it is not one of our extant native languages.

Similar to this is the Cross sign in our hospitals. Why have we not yanked off the Cross sign which symbolizes healthcare because we are not all Christians, while the cross signifies Christianity? Why do we think this argument is not sustainable? The sign in itself has nothing to do with our healthcare – any other sign would be just as fine. But we all feel it is no sound idea to consider replacing it for its religious significance.

By the way, many do not know that the purported Arabic writing on our currency note is simply a combination of the Arabic transliteration of the English word “Naira” and the Hausa word for “thousand”? Odds are that an Arab not familiar with the name of our currency would not understand its meaning, though he would read it quite well. It is like using Igbo orthography to transliterate “Naira” combined with the Yoruba word for “thousand” in the same Igbo orthography. It’s simply no more than this. Why any fair-minded person would think it is sacrilegious to allow for this beats my imagination, especially considering that English itself was brought by an exclusive class of Christians.

The only truly Arabic word there is in our system is that written on the Nigerian Army logo. Coincidentally, this logo is complemented with the Stars of David. Though the designer had a different but commendable concept for using both the Arabic word and the Star of David which is historically devoid of religious bigotry or equalization, we have today murdered his good and patriotic intention on the altar of religious chauvinism and hypocrisy.

May I add that while the Arabic language does not even represent Islam – Arabic had existed long before Islam and is not exclusively for Muslims – the Stars of David is exclusively associated with Christiandom.

Dear compatriots, it is important we rid ourselves of religious bigotry and join hands to fight bad governance which is the bane of our progress. We have got much more important concerns at hand than these pedestrian squabbles.

Nation-building is a lifetime project. Tyranny has neither religion nor ethnicity. The consequences of corruption do not discriminate between the rich and the poor, as well as between the religious and atheists. Is anyone other than the ruling class buying fuel for free? Is anyone paying less for electricity?

Just recently, the Governor of Kogi State spoke of hiring a consultant to tax every loaf of bread sold in the state! Prices are daily going up while the wage rate remains stagnant. We all share the pains and suffer the same consequences. Even those who think themselves untouchable today will tomorrow join the growing list of oppressed masses and be subjected to similar torments, even if it is in small measure. Who is not aware that many years after leaving office as Head of State of this country, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari – the current President – while still contesting as a civilian, was not allowed to hold a rally, had his convoy shot, and was also teargassed? He also had to take to the streets to protest the same fuel price hike he has today taken to a whole new level. That is how far a dysfunctional system can affect anyone indiscriminately.

That is why we all have a primary responsibility to work together for good governance and a society free from impunity, nepotism, and mediocrity which have all now become the order of the day. If we have a system that is working, no one would have to worry about religion. Religion is not our problem; religious adherents are. Those who loot this country have neither religion nor ethnicity as the basis. They will always unite to keep the masses preoccupied with, and divided on, frivolities so that they may continue and get away with their corruption and impunity.

God bless Nigeria 🇳🇬



Yunus Omotayo

The mid-December 2020 has seen social media buzzing with viral videos and texts by some propagandist Islamists notifying Muslim netizens of the result of an initial Google search on “Who is the current Caliph of Islam?” that displayed through Wikipedia the Khalifah and Supreme Head of the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba).

Disgruntled by this result, these fanatical elements resorted to a callous tactic to brainwash the Muslim populace through the outburst that this search result is a misrepresentation of reality, and therefore, should hit the Google feedback button to report it as “misleading and inaccurate.”

This writer would like to respond categorically that the true Caliphate and Caliph that have been divinely instituted and installed are neither dependent on the certification by nor vulnerable to the rejection of any and all of the world religious, political, economic, academic, and media powers. Not even that of the contemporary 1.8 billion demographic power of the mainstream Muslims world about which hollowness the Holy Prophet of Islam (saw) had sadly prophesied that:

يوشك الأمم أن تداعى عليكم، كما تداعى الأكلة إلى قصعتها. فقال قائل: ومِن قلَّةٍ نحن يومئذ؟ قال: بل أنتم يومئذٍ كثير، ولكنكم غثاء كغثاء السَّيل

“Soon shall nations invite one another against you as food-consumers invite to their dishes. A person enquired: would that be due to our numerical fewness on those days? He replied: No, you would be great in numbers, but as useless as the rubbish that float with flood.” (Sunan Abi Dawud, No. 4,297)

Indeed, how can a people groping in such a whirlpool of global power and identity crisis – as the contemporary mainstream Muslim world is – exert any formidable influence capable of marring the global progress, presence, and influence of the current Caliphate of Islam which the divinely installed Khalifatul-Masih, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba) actually represents?

Indisputably, if this aberrant trend has evidenced anything at all, it is that it has revealed the envy-laced dispositions and subjective emotions and undertones currently beclouding the collective mind of these unscrupulous Islamist elements. It has merely substantiated the deep-rooted desperation and frustration that have naturally followed their almost century-long successive abortive efforts to establish a world Caliphate, sequel to Mustapha Kamal Ata Turk’s 1924 abolition of the Turkish Caliphate – the hitherto mainstream Muslim world’s relatively world Caliphate.

Notably, from the subsequent Caliphate conferences held in Makkah  (1924), to that of Cairo (1925), then again in Makkah (1926), in Jerusalem (1931), and Geneva (1935), all ended without tangible results. Ditto to their foundations in 1949 of the Islamic World Congress in Karachi, in 1962 of the World Muslim League in Mecca, in 1970 of the Organization of the Islamic Conference in Jeddah (Hans Hung, Islam – Past, Present and Future, 2007, One World Publications, England, p. 456-457) and particularly, the 1973 conference in Pakistan, etc, the mainstream Muslim world have woefully failed to install a world Caliph whose presence and influence would hold politico-religious sway (of their whims and caprices) over the world. So far, the best that has emerged from among them has been that most horrible and notorious Abubakar Al-Baghdadi’s pseudo terrorist Caliphate established by the ISIS! Arguably, however, the sudden birth and death of such a horrible caliphate must be understood as only reflecting the wider abysmal state of the collective people that produced it, particularly the deplorable state of their politico-religious psychology, ideology, and idiosyncrasy.

Conspicuously, amidst the lingering incapacity and failure of the mainstream Muslims described above, and to their surprise, too, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, which they had declared heterodox, unorthoprax and, therefore, non-Muslim, has however been aided by the God of Islam to successfully re-institute, since 112 years ago, the exact Caliphate on the precept of Prophethood, which the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sa) had prophesied would be established in the Muslim world, with continued presence through the eschatological times. (Reported by Ahmad bn Hambal from An-Nu’man bn Bashīr, No. 18123 )

Indeed, it is highly gratifying to note that not only has the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community been blessed with five Caliphs in successive eras since 1908, but its apolitical Caliphate has continued to be hallmarked by the unity, solidarity, brotherhood, cohesion, harmony, peace, love and moral and spiritual tenacity that have characterized the tens of millions of its global membership now spread across over 212 countries and territories.

In fact, instead of appealing to the emotions of the Muslim public in the manner, they have done, the questions which those who felt negatively toward the aforementioned search results from Google should have asked themselves or tried to find answers to should have been what impacts and influence has Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba) made upon the world that has had his name and office recorded in the world database as the current Caliph of Islam? They should have sought to find out the global presence he has displayed and the roles he has played and still playing in our contemporary time and which have positioned him in the capacity of a current global Caliph of Islam. The fact is, his title is Khalifatul-Masih, but the world has come to recognize him as the Caliph of Islam due to the great impacts which his global actions, presence and influence have had, and continue to have, on the world.

In this context, let us take a brief look at just a few of the prominent world-constructive roles His Holiness (aba) has played since the beginning of his Caliphate through which he has exerted positive impact and influence upon the world in general.

Going in descending order of time, an obvious global impact exerted by Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba) can be seen in the fact that, at the height of the destructive effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on all ramifications of human life, straining global health system and rendering world leaders powerless, there was no any current Caliph of Islam other than His Holiness that rose to the global level to proffer Islamic leadership direction to world leaders. This is evident in a series of historic letters written and dispatched during the month of June 2020 to leaders of 14 countries, namely, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Ghana, India, Israel, Japan, Nigeria, Russia, Sierra Leone, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. Others were Pope Francis and the UN Secretary-General, His Excellency António Guterres.

In these historic letters, he (aba) directed their attention to the exigencies of the time and the pragmatic ways to address them. For instance, here is a specimen of the messages embodied by these letters. Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba) said:

“As a religious leader and a person of faith, I believe that the tribulations of the past few weeks have occurred according to the Decree of God Almighty and as a grave warning to mankind to reform and to forgo all forms of injustice and cruelty. This pandemic is a glaring message to mankind directing the people of the world to turn towards God Almighty and to fulfil His rights and those of our fellow human beings.” (https://www.pressahmadiyya.com/press-releases/2020/12/letters-sent-to-world-leaders-by-head-of-ahmadiyya-muslim-community-during-covid-19-pandemic-to-be-published-for-first-time/)

Similarly, from the instance of the Arab Spring in 2010 which spread horizontally across the Arab world, overrunning their leadership configurations (Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi and Egypt’s Husni Mubarak etc.), to that of the outbreak of the  Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in 2012, the then and still escalating diplomatic hostility between Iran on the one side, and Israel and American and other Western powers on the other, the increasing global tensions over the proliferation of nuclear armaments, the growing threats of nuclear warfare and the concerns over climate change and global warming, etc., Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba) was and still the current Caliph of Islam who has risen to the global stage to address the world leaders. This ranges from his speeches at the European Parliament on 4 December 2012(https://www.alislam.org/articles/key-to-peace-global-unity/), to that of the American leaders at the Capitol Hill, Washington on June 27, 2012, the British Parliament on 22 October 2008, etc., as well as his letters written to the then Iran’s President Ahmadinejad, Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu, UK’s David Cameron, Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullāh bn Abdul-Azeez, USA’s Barack Obama, and China’s Wen Jiabao, and a host of others, which were later published in a book entitled World Crisis and the Pathway to Peace (https://www.alislam.org/book/world-crisis-pathway-peace/)

More so, the world cannot forget in a hurry how, during the period of the invasion of Iraq by US and the NATO powers that commenced in 2003 at the heels of the September 11 terrorist attack on USA’s Pentagon and World Trade towers, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba) was that current Caliph of Islam, then, who launched the annual National Peace Symposium in the UK in 2004 and followed it with the launching of the annual Ahmadiyya Muslim Prize for the Advancement of  Peace in 2009, all with a view to walking the talk towards actualizing sustainable just and peaceful relations within a united global human family. (https://www.alislam.org/profile/hazrat-mirza-masroor-ahmad/)

Furthermore, when in 2006 the blasphemous caricature against the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sa) published by a Danish newspaper erupted uproars and violent reactions by the mainstream Muslim world, he guided the Ahmadi Muslims in particular, and the Muslim world in general, on the peaceful but effective ways of reacting to the blasphemies of the blasphemers through a series of his Friday Sermons that were later published under the title: The Blessed Model of the Holy Prophet Muhammad and the Caricatures. (https://www.alislam.org/book/blessed-model-holy-prophet-muhammad-caricatures/)

Furthermore, in 2016, He was the Caliph of Islam that went to Denmark to demystify the issues of freedom of speech, among other salient issues before the Danish leaders, reminding them that,Even here in Denmark, some years ago, there were cartoons printed that sought to ridicule the Founder of Islam (peace be upon him) and to portray him, God forbid, as an imperialistic leader and belligerent warmonger. This unjust portrayal of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) defies history and defies the truth. The reality was that the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) was forever enslaved by his determination to establish peace and the rights of humanity.” And further declared that:

“If one reads the Holy Quran and assesses the life of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) through a lens of justice, rather than through a lens of prejudice, they will soon realize that Islam is a religion of peace. They will realize that the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) desired peace.” (https://www.alislam.org/press-release/denmark-copenhagen-reception-2016/)

Conclusively, if the foregoing lines have established any fact, it is that the propagandist, fanatical Muslim elements who are negatively disposed to the global presence of Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba) as the current Caliph of Islam should learn to accept and appreciate that His Holiness has been divinely established as the current Caliph of Islam; that he has continued to justify this divine appointment practically through his exclusive, impactful and positive global actions, presence and influence; and ultimately, that, since his elevation to the office of the current Caliph of Islam was done neither by the 1.8 billion Muslim populace nor by Google or Wikipedia etc., but rather by the Transcendent Power, their callous tactics to ensure that Google searches should not display Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba) as the current Caliph of Islam is not only ineffectual, with no impact whatsoever on the integrity, authority, presence and influence of his Caliphate, but it is extremely childish, unwitty and, therefore, aberrant.