Balarabe Musa, Rahama Sadau and the Blasphemy FuroreBy Sadiq K. Dangogo


Not just the North, but Nigeria as a nation has lost, Alhaji Balarabe Musa, the last of its dying breed, a one of a kind true patriot, a renowned statesman who fought for our return to democracy, someone who advocated for social and economic change.
Within the same period, fake news about a ‘controversial’ actress, Rahma Sadau, has been going round social media as a result of a post she did on Twitter.
The discourse on the death of Balarabe Musa and on the lifestyle of Rahma Sadau demonstrarate the power of public figures on national issues.
It should be noted that a public figure is a person, such as a politician, celebrity, social media personality, or business leader, who has a certain social position within a certain scope and a significant influence and so is often widely of concern to the public, can benefit enormously from society, and is closely related to public.
As a young person, I examine what make the two personalities attract public attentions and media commentaries in the past weeks.
Abdulkadir Balarabe Musa, the first civilian Governor of Kaduna State, passed away on Wednesday, the 11th of November 2020. He was the first civilian governor that was elected in 1979, under the platform of the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) in the Second Republic, and controversially impeached in 1981, making him the first governor to be placed in that position.
The opposition party, NPN refused to cooperate with Musa, mainly because he protested against nominating them for his cabinet. Therfore, forming the cabinet was impossible for him as they were the majority in the State House of Assembly.
Musa stated that their lack of cooperation was due to his plan to open small and medium sized industries in the State and this wouldn’t have given them the elbow room to operate their own businesses.
Despite his impeachment, Musa never compromised, he always stood firm by his ideologies and continued to take shots at goverment officials, as he advocated for a democratic and eligatarian Nation.
He remained present in the political arena right until his health challenges in 2018. Growing up in Kaduna, I was fortunate enough to hear, first hand, how his government was, and the kind of person he was. People who have been aquainted with him only have impressive stories about him especially of his political ideologies. Musa was indeed an extraordinary human. In Nigeria, anybody who has held a polical office is believed to live an extravagant lifestyle, but with Musa, that wasnt the case.
His house is in a suburban area in Kaduna, where he and his family lived and are surrounded by modern structures. Attending the same schools with some of his children was a clear picture of how humble Musa was. As children, we made fun of how ordinary their lives were, especially of the cars that were used to pick them up from school. An old station wagon Peugeot which we called “PRP” because it was branded with the PRP colors and logo, is believed to be the same vehicle he uses for his campaign rallies.
The Peugeot was the main vehicle used to pick them up, and sometimes a Mercedes Benz popularly known as “Regular”. Indeed Balarabe Musa was a force to be reckoned with. My thoughts and prayers are with him, and my deepest condolences go to his family.
Speaking of controversy, Rahama Sadau has been, and still is being surrounded by it. Though, it is known that she is in the business of controversy. Her career choice will always attract controversial issues around her. Earlier this week, the actress posted certain pictures of herself on twitter, and this is something she does usually. The so called “Arewa Twitter” always criticizes her contents, and this time, it wasn’t any different .
According to Arewa twitter, Rahama’s character and way of life contradicts that of a true Muslim lady, but she clearly disagrees or doesn’t really care about the opinions of her own people.
This time around, a blasphemous comment was made under the tweet that carried the pictures, and has been causing lots of tension on arewa twitter, and also the North, in general.
Rahama took down the photos and later posted in a thread of tweets “Any disrespect to my religion and Prophet regarding those pictures remain condemned and reprobated, not in any way and not on any event. The perpetrators should learn to separate peoples way of life and respect for their faith.”
The Muslims, especially in the North, believe Rahama’s lifestyle is indeed a disrespect to the Prophet and the entire Muslim ummah. According to many, she is a poor representation of a Muslim, because the only way to show love to the Prophet is by abiding by his teachings, and clearly she hasn’t been ‘abiding’ by them.
Islam is indeed a way of life, and if your day to day affairs are not in accordance with the faith, then how much of a believer are you? And is such a person actually in a position to be offended by a disrespectful remark on the Prophet, when her lifestyle is also a clear disrespect to Him and His people?
Few days later, she posted a video wearing a hijab, crying and apologizing to the general public. The apology appeared to be full of smoke, because it wasn’t actually clear what she was apologizing for. Was it for her improper representation of a Muslim? Or was it for posting the pictures? Or was she actually apologizing on behalf of the person with the blasphemous comment? Or was she just feeding the hungry audience of twitter with more controversial content?
Well, almost immediately news on her arrest was in circulation, as there were claims that she was being charged to court for blasphemy. But those claims appeared to be false as she and her siblings denied them on the same platform.
As a Muslim compromising her faith for the sake of a career should never be an option. What Rahama does, and how she did it, may be seen by others as a reflection of her faith. If she doesn’t complement her religion accordingly, how does she expect non-Muslims to show her the proper respect?
As it is often said, respect is earned you don’t demand for it. For Rahma Sadau, we may just not have heard the last of her ‘antics’.
Sadiq K. Dangogo
Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria

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