Date: 8th Rajab, 1443 AH
10th February, 2022
Inna liLlahi wa inna ilaehi raaji’uun!
The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) under the leadership of its President-General, the Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, CFR, mni, received with utter shock the news of the gruesome murder of a top functionary of the Council in Delta state, Mallam Musa Ugasa Okaro, on Thursday, February 3, 2022. The late Muslim leader was fatally shot directly on the head on his way back home from the masjid after observing his night prayers.
Until his death that fateful Thursday, Mallam Okaro was the Secretary-General of the Delta State Council for Islamic Affairs, a position he occupied with an unwavering commitment to Islam and uncommon selflessness in the service of humanity. That his death has left a big vacuum that is difficult to fill in the Muslim ummah in Delta state specifically and Nigeria at large is a bitter reality that continues to confound us. We pray that the Almighty Allah forgive his sins, overlook his shortcomings, admit him to Al-jannatul Firdaws and console his family and the Muslim community left behind.
Though as Muslims who fully and unconditionally submit to the Divine Decree, we believe that we all come from Allah and we shall all return to Him. We are also convinced that no life can end without the permission of Allah as no leaf, fresh or dry, can fall from a tree without His will. Nevertheless, the horrendous termination of a prominent Muslim leader’s life in a country with laws and a state with government speaks to the general insecurity on the one hand and the new wave of targeting Muslim leaders for assassination in some parts of the country on the other.
It is public knowledge that Muslims have been subjected to all kinds of harassment, intimidation, attacks and negative stereotyping by a section of the Nigerian religious leaders and media organisations. Islamophobia and anti-Islamic hysteria being promoted by those who have politicised religion have now manifested in assassinating Muslim leaders as witnessed in Delta or killing peaceful Muslim protesters as witnessed at the same time in Kwara. More than any other time before now, Muslims are increasingly falling victim to unbridled intolerance, religious bigotry and sheer wickedness.
While we grief-stricken as human beings on the loss of our brother, we call on the police and other security agencies to, as a matter of urgency, unravel the circumstances surrounding this tragedy and ensure that the perpetrators of the heinous act are apprehended and prosecuted. The Nigerian Muslim ummah believes, just like Shaykh Usman Dan Fodiyo, that conscience is an open wound, only truth can heal it. Therefore, no stone should be left unturned in expeditiously uncovering the whole truth about the murder of our dear brother and administering justice without fear or favour.
Once again, the Council commiserates with the family of our late brother and the Muslim ummah of Delta state while praying that the Almighty Allah illuminate and expand his grave, grant him His pleasure and admit him to Al-jannatul Firdaws.
Arc. Zubairu Haruna Usman-Ugwu
Director of Administration