Barely one week after the demise of Nigeria’s first Executive President, Alhaji Shehu Usman Shagari, who was buried on the last Saturday of December 2018, the Nigerian Muslim Ummah was bombarded with another breaking news, last Saturday, of the demise of a great and exemplary woman, Hajiya Aisha Lemu.
She was reported to have stopped breathing last Saturday (January 5, 2019) after a brief illness. Her demise has come to create a new leadership vacuum for the Nigerian Muslim womanhood the like of which a onetime American woman convert, Margaret Marcus, who adopted the name Maryam Jameelah after accepting Islam, left behind in 2012 in Pakistan after her demise.
Incidentally, the two great women were contemporaries in birth and in lifestyle. While Maryam Jameelah was born in New York City in 1934, Aisha Lemu who was named Bridget Honey at birth, was born in Poole Dorset, England 1940. Both women coincidentally embraced Islam in the same year (1961) and their roles in Islamic propagation were as similar as if they jointly planned them.
The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), under the leadership of its President-General and Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence, Alh. Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, CFR, mni, wishes to inform the Nigerian Muslim Ummah that, there was no positive sighting of the crescent of Jumadal-Hula, 1440AH on the 29th of Rabiul-Thani, 1440AH, equivalent to January 6, 2019. Therefore, Monday, January 7, 2019 is the last day of Rabiul-Thani, 1440AH.
In line with the above, His Eminence, the President-General of NSCIA and Sultan of Sokoto, has approved Tuesday, January 8, 2019 as the 1st day of Jumadal-Hula, 1440AH.
The Council hereby enjoins the Nigerian Muslim Ummah to continue to promote peaceful coexistence and unity among all the citizens of the country.
Prof. Salisu Shehu
When the media announced the demise of a Nigerian political icon and first Executive President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Alhaji Shehu Aliyu Usman Shagari, last Friday with a reverberation effect across the world, many Nigerians with rich experience in various aspects of life began to dust their diaries for a recount of the episodes that propelled the deceased to have made history as much as he was himself made by history.
The late President Shehu Shagari’s life was like a huge elephant surrounded by blind men and women of letters and substance. To describe the features of that proverbial elephant, each of the persons that surrounded it would only be able to give an account of the area he/she is able to touch on the body of the mammoth animal and not the whole of it.
The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) is appalled by the odious stench of religious bigotry and intolerance oozing out from the academic precincts of the premier University of Ibadan. This is with regard to the needless acrimony and vendetta, hatred and hubris being brought to the fore on the plight of the young Muslim girls of the International School, Ibadan (ISI), owned by the University.
In this age and at this stage of our socio-political development, it is highly deplorable and condemnable that the leadership of the foremost academic community where freedom of religion and expression should be held sacrosanct, apart from other freedoms guaranteed by the Nigerian Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Rights document, can lie supine while inanity is made to fester in its International School.