Masaba, man with 85 wives, in critical condition
From: JOHN ADAMS MINNA
There was pandemonium, fear and air of uncertainty on Saturday, gripped the home of the Bida based super-polygamist Islamic cleric, Alhaji Mohammed Bello Masaba as his deteriorating health and rumoured death caused scare among his followers.
The inability of the 97 year old controversial Islamic preacher to attend congregational prayer at the ground floor of his expanse house in the last two days due to his failing health had been of concern to members of his family and followers.
Unconfirmed source said that tension had been mounting since Friday, when the Islamic cleric slumped twice and it became pronounced yesterday morning when “Baba”, as he is fondly called by his followers and admirers, failed to attend his popular Saturday morning Islamic teaching which attracts participants from within and outside Niger State.
These developments gave room for the speculation of the death of the octogenarian preacher yesterday, as members of his sect were seen in gloomy eyes while many of his associates refused picking calls.
But sources within the Masaba enclave denied the passing away of the preacher who came to limelight following a face-off between him, some Islamic scholars and the then Niger State government over his outright flaunting of the Islamic law that forbids male adherents of the faith from marrying more than four wives.
Masaba has over 90 wives.
Personal Assistant to the cleric Alhaji Mutairu Salawudeen Bello in a telephone chat denied the rumour. According to him, “Baba is alive. Baba is not dead. We are Muslims. We don’t hide the death of any faithful. All I can tell you is that Baba is alive.
“This is the second time of his rumoured death in the last six months. By tomorrow morning, I will give official and detail information about Baba’s health,” Bello stated.
But another impeccable source and a close follower of the cleric admitted that the octogenarian has been having some health challenges in recent time adding that the development has affected his activities.
” Baba is not dead. The fact is, age is not on his side and people should not expect a 97 year old man to be as active as a 50 year old. Baba is alive though slightly indisposed due to old age,” our source disclosed.