The Special Assistant to the President on Social Media, Mrs. Lauretta Onochie, recently accused some people of allegedly hiring spiritualists to pray for the death of President Muhammadu Buhari. Does such prayer request have a place in Islam?
Muslims and Christians believe in destiny so it is immoral, it is wicked, it is inhuman for a human being to pray for the death of another human being because he or she covets the position or the possession of that person. Such idea has no place in any religion or any culture. Even animals do not do it. I don’t know if it is true that people do it. But if they do it then it’s taking depravity of human value to an unprecedented level. This world has provision for everyone. We can only have one president at once. We can’t have two or three at the same time and people must learn to wait for their time because nothing is going to happen to a man or woman if the time is not ripe. And who controls this? The one who created is the controller of it.
Then what can you make of this claim?
This is my take on this issue: if the person who made this accusation is not further trying to sensationalize and heat up the polity, if people truly do it then that is laughable and it is something that is criminal. It is like hiring spiritual assassins, if you would permit me to use the combination of these words.
At a time like this, what should be the role of Nigerians, particularly our spiritual leaders?
Well, we are Nigerians. And apart from the fact that we are all human beings, our humanity is common to us. It is the health, the stability and the progress of Nigeria that should be paramount to us. In other climes and even before our colonial masters, you remember in those days, the British used to pray for the Queen saying “long live the Queen” and in our various cultures whether the Yoruba, the Hausa or the Igbo culture; all of the cultures in Nigeria, you pray for the kings, long live the king. So our culture is to pray for the good health of the king. That should be our role as Nigerians and as spiritual leaders. Our role is to pray for the health, for the guidance of the president and all those who are in position of authority because if it is well with them, it is well with us too. If they then betray us and they become self-centred, then there are so many ways our creator can intervene. And you can see it all over; they amass wealth but they can’t spend it. Even when they spend it on their children, their children turn out to be drug addicts. They build houses but they cannot live in. They buy cars they cannot drive. This is the way I look at it.
Before now a number of political leaders, particularly those of Muslim faith, have organized prayer sessions for the quick recovery of the president. But now that one of the aides of the president has raised such allegation, won’t this discourage those who may still have the intention of organising such prayers?
It is not only the Muslims that are praying for the president. I know a good number of Christians who also pray for the president because they know the importance of stability in the polity and what Nigeria can be thrown into. Those are elderly; those are people who think right. I don’t think any sincere person can be discouraged by the statement of any individual. That is my opinion. Except it is not borne out of conviction, if you pray for someone out of conviction not necessarily because you have been given a contract to pray, no matter what anybody says, your conviction will always guide you.