Governor of Zamfara state, Alhaji Abdul’aziz Abubakar Yari recently made a shocking statement about the cause and spread of meningitis in the country and that exposed how some Nigerian leaders address issues.
The governor wanted us to believe that the outbreak of the disease was because God is angry with the people.
He said “God always sends strange illnesses that have no cure to torment the people for turning their backs on Him”.
Shoo! Can anyone imagine the degree of his excellency’s thoughtlessness on the plight of his people?
There is nothing Islamic about this myopic statement though, but it seems to have Islamic undertone because it was made by a northern Muslim governor. And that makes it sensible to believe the governor spoke from an Islamic point of view.
Perhaps, it would have been a different kettle of fish if the reckless statement had come from a southern nonentity, but the truth is, when a northern elite makes a statement, we tend to see it from Islamic prisms because Islam is the dominant faith in the North.
This is why Islamic leaders in the country must always voice out whenever statements like Yari’s are adjudged to be the voice of Islam.
Thanks to the Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi for swiftly separating Islam from the comment.
Sanusi said the comment is Islamically incorrect. Not just that, it is also myopic, reckless and ignorant.
Also, to dissociate itself from the preposterous statement, the Federal Government has said the outbreak of “Type C’ form of Cerebro Spinal Meningitis (CSM) has nothing to do with moral or spiritual lifestyles of Nigerians.
So, this leaves us to wonder where the governor got his theory from.
Besides, if the people are suffering from type C Cerebrospinal Meningitis because of their sins, does it mean the governor and his cronies are saints and free from God’s wrath?
What type of God leaves the oppressors unpunished and punishes the oppressed because of unexplainable sins?
Interestingly, it was reported that the disease started from the governor’s state of Zamfara in December 2016 and all along it was not caused by the sins of the people.
Now, it has spread to 12 other states and instead of collaborating with other governors to kick out Meningitis, the governor is taking the blame to the people’s door step.
Is the disease spreading very fast because the victims in other states are sinful too? Only Yari can answer a spiritual question like this.
Since Meningitis is a contagious disease and since what we expect from the governor is to curb the spread of the disease, one would have expected the governor to apply a simple Islamic approach to stop the spread. (If the comment had not come from a spiritual mindset).
And that would have saved many other victims from contracting the disease rather than telling us that the disease outbreak is the wage of the people’s sins.
When there is an outbreak of a disease, Islam preaches that “If you hear the news of an outbreak of an epidemic (plague) in a certain place, do not enter that place: and if the epidemic falls in a place while you are present in it, do not leave that place to escape from the epidemic.” Sahih Bukhari, (Book #86, Hadith #103)
The governor should have taught the people about this first or quarantine the early victims to curb the spread of the disease but it is pathetic that Governor Yari, whose job it is to protect the people, decided to leave the issue at hand to make them feel they are reaping the wages of their sins.
Please Alhaji, attend to this issue aggressively before it gets out of hand. If you had been a victim of the epidemic, you wouldn’t sit back and resign to fate that you are destined to have Meningitis because of your sins. These people are your people and it is your responsibility to take care of them.
So, leave their sins alone and do the needful.
Akinbayo Wahab is a public commentator. This article was first published on Pulse.
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.