I read on the Blueprint Newspaper on 2nd September, 2018 with rapt attention the article with the title in reference.
I can’t but to confess that after reading it I was for some minutes taken in a quailing sensation.
What arrested my feelings to reply the said article is nothing but for the fact that the author of the said article is a Christian with his respective view that Leah Sharibu ought to have done what Simon Peter did Christ to secure her freedom.
My prejudicial holding in response to the article is in disagreement with the submission of the article and I shall expatiate on the reasons for my disagreement.
I am a Muslim from the North Central part of Nigeria and particularly from Kogi State.
It is not in doubt that North Central people are not core Northerners to talk of predominate nature of Islam in their settings.
Hence it could be a justification for me to say that I have similar reason to hold “inbetween” religious beliefs.
In fact, I consider myself nearly if not equal in the circumstances which facilitate the abiding faith of the writer on both Christianity and Islam as both preach for peace.
I was born into an Islamic family with my both parents Muslims.
After losing my parents at my age of eleven I was taken in care by my mother’s Christian relative a woman whom I am still enjoying her guidance till today.
The month of March in 2006 was when I lost my mom after the fourth year I lost my Dad.
I was in primary five at that time.
The evening I arrived in her house she cautioned me amongst other things to be obedient knowing that I was an orphan.
At the end she told me she would enroll me in school to proceed with my education while also said that I would be joining our Muslim neighbours’ children in every evening for Quranic Lessons.
In short, she allowed me the peace to practice my parents’ religion despite the huge advantage on her part to convert me to a Christian without much resistance from me or my siblings who knew her religious background before leaving me in her custody.
The school she enrolled was a missionary primary school called St.
Michael Primary school, in Idah Kogi state.
After my primary school I proceeded and completed my secondary education from another missionary school called St.
Peter’s College, in the same Idah Kogi state.
As a teenage Muslim growing up, I merged my Islamic religious background with my basic education in missionary schools to define what roles religions could play in personality development.
My simple understanding of religious role is that it teaches us to be tolerant and have respect for one another.
The reason for going through my religious background in response to the article is to do as done by the author in using his religious background to justify his expansive view on what Leah Sharibu ought to have done for her eventual freedom from the den of Boko Haram.
While the view in the article was that doing the act of Simon Peter in the Bible who denied Jesus Christ and later turned out to be the preacher of Christ could be an exemplary life to be followed by our detained fellow citizen Leah Sharibu who is in the captivity of the dreadful Boko Haram sect because of her religious view, I am in disagreement with the stance.
This is because Christianity is the way of life just as well Islam but both have been taken by fundamentalists to fuel crisis and disharmony in every society especially in Nigeria.
I support the stance taken by Leah Sharibu who despite as a teenager had the courage to assert her belief in the cage of such Islamic extremist group called Boko Haram which has plugged our nation in insecurity.
In support of my view, I cite the case of the Temptation of Jesus Christ who immediately after his baptism was Clement oluwole [email protected] 08034522101(text only) weekend BLUES Saturday 8 – Sunday 9, September 2018 No.
047 Zhul hAJJ 28 – 29, 1439 AH www.blueprint.ng Gas plants in residential areas: Death in neighbourhoods ‘Cooking stoves blocking cycling activities inside Abuja stadium velodrome’ PAGE 20 PAGE 43 Wellbeing Tuberculosis: WHO Nigeria’s efforts in scalingup PMDT PAGE 31 Books Authors exporting Nigeria’s magical realism overseas PAGE 37 www.blueprint.ng subjected to temptations.
Recall that the devil tempted Jesus Christ with so much luxurious of life but refused for the sake of his faith.
If Christ had accepted to bow down to the devil, he would still have been famous today but in different light than he is to us today.
So also, if Leah had denied Jesus Christ for her freedom, telling her encounter with the Boko Haram would still have made her known.
But her position on faith has made her more famous despite the great emotional traumatisation to her and her family and indeed distress to our nation.
She has a great courage of what a true believer could have.
The act of Simon Peter should not be seen as an alternative to Leah Sharibu.
Her courage with faith should be admired with utmost good faith while that should be seen by many if not all as exposing the truth that no government could sponsor any sect to afflict injury to national security neither could religious extremism be an established enterprise by an individual or group of persons for their political ends.
No patriotic Nigerian and a true believer in any religion should politicise religious extremism.
Time like this calls for the government to intensify efforts to secure the safety and eventual freedom of Leah and other girls in captivity of the dreadful Boko Haram sect.
I also recommend true believers in any religion to emulate the life of my Christian relative who despite her different religion brought me up in my own religious way.
It is nothing but total respect for human rights.
Abdullahi Suleiman Otiwe e.mail: [email protected]
At first, I admired Leah for her courage but that was before I remembered Peter’s experience and his wisdom to navigate himself out of avoidable danger.
If I were in Peter’s shoe(s), I would have acted the same way, not out of cowardice but wisdom, because the Bible teaches us to be as wise as serpent.
Peter’s denial of Jesus Christ was foretold by Jesus Himself and he was not condemned afterwards, even after His resurrection.
In other words, Peter did the needful.
He was later emboldened by the Holy Spirit, preaching the gospel fearlessly.
The Chief Apostle died the same way as Christ but pleaded with his adversaries to crucify him upside down because he was not worthy to die on the cross set upright.
However, in my view, there is no basis for comparison between Jesus and Leah Sharibu.
Jesus was tempted by Satan not as His captor.
Satan merely led Him away to be enticed, promising to give Him the whole world if he bowed before Him, forgetting that He (Jesus) was part of its creation at the very beginning.
He also refused to bow before Satan because He is of higher authority.
No one bows to his inferiors.
Even though Jesus was hungry after fasting for 40 days and 40 nights, He could have commanded victuals to come from nowhere like the ravens that fed Prophet Elijah in the wilderness, rather than obeying Satan who asked him to turn stones to bread.
How would the loaves even taste?! Also, Jesus is a Supreme Being, up to the hilt with the Ultimate Power, and the Tempter was powerless to detain Him like Leah is being held by the insurgents against her will for failing to deny her faith.
Satan only tempted Christ and when he lost out, the evil guy vanished! Jesus could not have fallen for Satan’s shenanigans… no way.
So, the circumstances are poles apart.
The lessons from the Jesus-Satan encounter are that faith adherents should be steadfast in the face of temptations posed by hunger, poverty and riches rather than hugging apostasy.
Nevertheless, I agree with you, in toto, that the federal government should intensify efforts to secure Leah’s eventual freedom and other captives of the dreaded Boko Haram sect.