The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), an Islamic human rights group, has strongly criticized Rauf Aregbesola, the former Minister of Internal Affairs and two-term governor of Osun State, describing him as an unwelcome figure and an outcast within the South-West Ummah.
According to Professor Ishaq Akintola, the Executive Director of MURIC, Aregbesola’s recent actions have caused dissatisfaction and confusion.
Akintola maintained that two days ago, Aregbesola was widely quoted as apologizing for his past misdeeds in the state, saying, “I am saying it today and I am begging for forgiveness. After this, we are not going to beg anybody again. We didn’t offend anyone, and we don’t believe anyone offended us, but it’s possible that they believe we offended them, that’s why we are apologizing to them.”
“However, another media outlet later quoted him as denying the apology,” Akintola said.
The media reported that Aregbesola claimed the earlier reports of his apology, where he blamed the devil and sought forgiveness, were untrue and misleading.
MURIC, therefore, questioned which report to believe and highlighted Aregbesola’s contradictory statements.
The group perceived him as a stubborn troublemaker and an unrepentant anarchist, considering his behavior an utter disaster.
MURIC acknowledged that during his time in office, Aregbesola did some commendable work for the Muslim community. He addressed the issue of hijab persecution and introduced the hijrah holiday. However, it asserted that his actions in handing over power to a Christian governor tarnished his legacy.
The group asserted that Aregbesola will be remembered as a Muslim politician who reversed all the progress he made while in office.
MURIC claimed that no reputable Islamic organization in the South-West region will associate with Aregbesola, and no conscious and committed Muslim individual will support him.
It stated that Aregbesola has shown no remorse for the harm he caused to Southern Muslims by facilitating the exclusion of Muslims from positions of power in the region. It accused the ex-governor of dividing the Ummah and betraying their trust.
The group credited the intervention of Northern politicians, led by former Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State, for preventing a similar betrayal of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
MURIC questioned why Aregbesola claims not to know whom he offended, asserting that he offended the entire Ummah by robbing South-West Muslims of their rightful representation.
It emphasizesd that Aregbesola still has a debt to settle with the Muslim community, regardless of whether Oyetola forgives him. They stress that he will ultimately be held accountable for his actions by Almighty Allah in this life and the hereafter.
MURIC warned Nigerian politicians, emphasizing that leaders are accountable to Allah both during their time on earth and in the afterlife, stating that politicians who deceive or betray the Muslim community will be rejected, and those who emulate such behaviour will face consequences.
“Politicians who disrespect Islamic scholars have no place in public office,” MURIC said.
The Islamic group firmly declared that Aregbesola’s apology holds no meaning for them. They accused him of conspiring with an individual who has abandoned the principles of Islam and emphasize that no principled politician or serious Islamic organization would associate with him. It labeled Aregbesola as an unwelcome presence and an outcast within the South-West Ummah.
The full statement reads;
“The former Minister of Internal Affairs and two-term governor of Osun State, Rauf Aregbesola, was widely quoted two days ago as apologising for his misdeeds in the state.
“He allegedly said, ‘I am saying it today and I am begging for forgiveness. After this, we are not going to beg anybody again. We didn’t offend anyone and we don’t believe anyone offended us but it’s possible that they believe we offended them, that’s why we are apologising to them.’
“But another media house later quoted him as denying the apology. The report said, ‘According to him, the reports in some sections of the media that he blamed the devil and seeking for forgiveness is untrue and misleading.
“So, which of the reports are we expected to believe? How can he apologise and claim that he did not apologise afterwards? Aregbesola comes across as a recalcitrant confusionist and an unrepentant anarchist. He is an unmitigated disaster.
“For the records, Aregbesola will go down in history as the Muslim politician who did so much for the Muslim community when he was in office but went back out of office to undo all the good things he had done. The Muslims will not forget how he liberated them from persecution over the use of hijab and how he gave them hijrah holiday.
“But they will never forgive him for truncating a Muslim administration and handing it over to a Christian on a platter of gold. Rauf Aregbesola is on his own as far as South-West Muslims are concerned and only him can tell Nigerians why he excommunicated himself from the Ummah.
“We have no doubt that as at today, no responsible Islamic organisation in the sub-region will hobnob with Aregbesola. Neither will any conscious and committed Muslim individual associate with him.
“Aregbesola has demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt that he felt no remorse for the disaster which he brought upon Southern Muslims. There was only one Muslim among the 17 governors in Southern Nigeria. That was Alhaji Isiaka Oyetola of Osun State. Today, there is no single Muslim among all the 17 governors after Aregbesola’s treacherous and irrational action against South-West Muslims.
“But for the intervention and far-sightedness of Northern politicians led by former Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State, Aregbesola would have repeated the same treacherous feat in the case of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Or did anyone see him in Tinubu’s campaign train?
“How can such a man claim that he does not know who he had offended. Aregbesola should understand what he is up against. This is not about Oyetola at all. His grouse against Oyetola is personal. Aregbesola actually offended the Ummah. He robbed South-West Muslims. He gave our mandate to a Christian pretender knowing fully well what he stands for. Aregbesola put a poisonous dagger in the heart of the Ummah.
“He still has a case to answer with the Muslims even if Oyetola forgives him. Even beyond that, he still has an eschatological burden on his hands because he will still account for his actions before Almighty Allah.
“This is what most Nigerian politicians do not know. They think everything will end here on earth. But the truth is that every leader is a khalifah (i.e. representative) of Allah on earth and the real Ruler is going to hold them to account both in barzakh (period between burial and resurrection) and in al-Akhirah (the Hereafter).
“Allah will ask Aregbesola, ‘Why did you abandon the Ummah? Why did you sell their mandate to a non-Muslim? Why did you divide the Ummah? Why did you make the Muslims unhappy? Why did you rob the Muslims of their only governor in the whole Southern region? Why?’
“The Prophet peace be upon him told the Muslims before he died : ‘Whoever cheats us is no longer with us’ (Mon gashaanaa, falaisa minna). Aregbesola was the vehicle used to rob South-West Muslims in the last gubernatorial election in Osun State. He did it willingly and revelled in it. From now on, only hypocrites among the Muslims will associate with him.
“Aregbesola cannot deny it. He forgot there was going to be a tomorrow. We have clips of his video and audio performances where he rejoiced at the loss of the Muslim governor and where he mocked President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who, today, is a Muslim president of whom we are so proud and happy.
“We are watching Muslim politicians throughout Nigeria particularly the public office holders among them. We will blacklist any of them who proved to be of no benefit to the Muslims around him or her and those who emulate the black sheep. There is no single Islamic scholar in the South-West who did not appeal to Aregbesola. But did he listen? Muslim politicians who have no respect for Islamic scholars will not fear Allah. Such Muslims have no business holding public offices.
“To Aregbesola we have this to say, ‘You should have been sacked as a minister. But you can continue to live in self-deceit. If your fellow politicians will not tell you the truth, we will tell you. If no Islamic organisation will tell you, MURIC will tell you your standing in the Ummah today. Your apology is meaningless. You cannot eat your cake and have it. Pocket your apology.
“You conspired with a Nurudeen who jumped the fence a long time ago but who pretends that he is still a Muslim. MURIC asked him pertinent questions sometime ago but he is yet to respond. No principled politician will touch you with a long pole and no serious Islamic organisation or individual Muslim will have anything to do with you. You are a pain in the neck and an outcast in the South-West Ummah.”