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Monday, June 17, 2024

PMB and the Place of Precaution for Prudence in Providence

PMB and the Place of Precaution for Prudence in Providence

A lot of reactions are trending on the social media now, pursuant to the successful solemnization of President Muhammadu Buhari’s son’s wedding, Yusuf, to the daughter of the Emir of Bichi, His Highness, Dr.Nasiru Ado Bayero yesterday, sequel to the cliché I put out on Facebook, thus: “N500,000 paid as dowry, at a time Nigeria is going through a difficult economic condition, occasioned by government introduced measures to reduce squandermania and wastage in public expenditure. Whoever advised the President to be a party to such extravaganza, really needs some counselling, I think”.

I read, and am still reading with amusement, the interesting interpretations of individuals, with regards the position of dowry in Islam. Almost everyone is right. Those for, and those against the show of such opulence. After all, you cannot give what you don’t have.

Indeed in Islam, there is nothing like “maximum” in dowry, provided you are rich enough to display the great wealth or lavish luxuriousness. In other words, no amount is too high to pay as dowry, provided the groom can afford it.

It is not my intention to go into the details of the doctrine of dowry in Islam, because I am not that learned. But I want to leave the legality and touch on the morality, by going into the doctrine of modesty, which Islam upholds very well.

In the legality of dowry, it is said that, “You shall give the women their due dowries, EQUITABLY”.

Scholars argue that what is an equitable dowry is what one has to assess for himself. It depends on case to case. The rich as he can, and the poor as he can. This should not be abused for God holds us responsible for our innermost intention.

If I may leverage on the warming against abuse, and the latitude of the adverb equitably, as provided by sharia law, which regulates all human actions, and puts them into five categories: obligatory, recommended, permitted, disliked or forbidden, I think the intention to place fairness, modesty and humility cannot be denied.

Certainly, humility is equivalent to submission to Allah.

Islam enjoins us to shun all pride in our human power, and stand humbled, meek, and submissive as servants. The principle of modesty includes behavior, especially such behavior that promotes the quality of being relatively moderate or limited in ostentation.

PMB has many virtuous qualities, but the most marketable is his attested quality of being unassuming in the estimation of many. That quality played pivotal to his selection as a military Head of State and his election as democratic President of Nigeria twice.

It is on record that since the creation of the code of conduct in Nigeria, Buhari has been the one person that has declared his assets more than any Nigerian to date. At the last count, he had declared his assets eleven times.

While submitting the last one, which reaffirmed his ownership of 270 cows, 25 sheep, five horses, birds and economic trees, with five houses in Kaduna, Daura, Kano and Abuja, the declaration said the Daura houses were made of “mud.”

There are no new houses, no new bank accounts at home and abroad and there are no new shares acquired. Nothing more can illustrate the meaning of modesty, for a man that was a Governor, Minister, Head of State and twice a President. In between, he was the first and last Chairman of PTF, the richest parastatal ever established in Nigeria.

For a man of such antecedents, opulence ought not exit in his constitution. He has long been elevated beyond extravagance by God. As such, I don’t expect him to be present, in places of such display.

I found it painful to associate President Muhammadu Buhari with matrimonial splendor always. I don’t like it, because to me, he should be associated with simplicity and regular restraint to materialism.

It may be recalled that in 2018, President Muhammadu Buhari played the father at the wedding ceremony involving the daughter of Africa’s richest man, Alhaji Aliko Dangote and the son of former Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, where, like the father he played yesterday in Bichi to his son Yusuf, the President received N500,000 dowry, presented by the Jamilu Abubakar’s family. This was about a year to his campaign for a second term in office, when he was appealing to Nigerians to be more tolerant with the excruciating pains of austerity.

To make matters worse to the meaning of modesty, the half a million naira dowry of yesterday was paid in cash by Mallam Mamman Daura, President Muhammadu Buhari’s nephew, the man rated as a standing symbol of modesty.

Last year, in one of my blogs, I had this to say about Mallam Mamman Daura: “Every time I come across modest people, I always ask myself whether I was genetically modified, because unlike them, I don’t have the quality of being less showy, less ostentatious, or simply unassuming. I belong to the other side of pompous people, that deceive themselves as being self-important, I suppose. Nature has been so kind to some people, such that it gave them the ability for the humble presentation of themselves, and their enviable achievements or accomplishments.

“Such people are never too proud or confident about themselves or their amplified abilities. They conduct themselves with proper propriety. Propriety in dress, propriety in speech and propriety in comportment, regardless of whatever provocation or public prodding. At the risk of sounding like a sycophant, who may be seeking attention to secure some advantages, I make bold to say, I see and admire these excellent qualities of gentleness in Mallam Mamman Daura, the over-exaggerated nephew of President Muhammadu Buhari.”

It may interest the reader to know that, back in the year 1993, General Muhammadu Buhari played the father at my wedding in Kano, where he paid in cash, the dowry of N50, 000, to change my status from a single man to a happily married man.

Although the request for dowry is always initiated by the bridal side, and the side of the groom cannot but comply, the act of such compliance, in moments of economic moderation, deserves to be moderated, because it sometimes violates the principle of frugality.

And I think the sooner the society frowns at such extravaganza, the better for us all.

More so, for exemplary people like President Muhammadu Buhari, whose penchant for prudence is acknowledged by providence.


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