Rahmatu Musa Abba (Mrs Muazu)
Over the course of his expedition as the Chairman of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), Barr. Abdullahi Mukthar Muhammad has successfully gotten himself some “permanent enemies” who, from all indications, will pass their hatred to their next generation.
This open hatred is as a result of his dedication to serve the guest of Alrahman, his search light has beamed from loading warriors, accommodation agents, catering brokers, the state boards, tour operators, hadaya cliqs to mention a few, down to individuals who are frightened by his decisions and actions.
He championed several pilgrims oriented reforms such that if not because he has exhibited a great sense of character, they since have since broken him down into pieces.
Like a wrecking ball, he has wrecked havoc on the enemies of the Nigerian state, the pilgrims and the whole country as well. Not all heroes wear costumes, fit the description of Mr chairman, he is a force to reckon with when it comes to management of Hajj.
He has survived through the odds of several money mongers who will spend anything possible to get him down.
Several people were aiming at his seat, but he was chosen, they can do whatever they want to do but they cannot break the man I know, the accomplishments, achievements, relationships, that he has built over the years can never be broken.
Aside, talking about the unbreakable things in his life, his detractors/enemies should know that regardless of what they do, they can never break him down. How can they break him down when he’s so unbreakable? At least that’s what made him stronger. he saw the changes in the management of pilgrimage in Nigeria, he makes us proud and nowadays any Hajj official can flaunt his official uniform or ID card because pilgrims are being offered services beyond what they expect.
I was afraid when I heard the tenure of his board has elapsed, because handling a sensitive job and maintaining the pace he has set for Hajj in Nigeria is a job that few can handle and finding his replacement is like finding a drop of ink in an ocean.
I fear the day he will leave the commission because he has been a true leader who lead in war front by charging first, what I mean is when any situation confront the commission he single handedly start looking for solutions and move to implement them.
I also fear his exit because he is the guardian of the NAHCON Galaxy, as far as he is on that seat some people know that they won’t feast on pilgrims hard earned money, they won’t have a field day on the country’s economy and they know that he won’t allow that, they know that he is always on alert to defend the common pilgrim and the Nigerian dream.
In order to subdue him, they ganged up to see his breakdown, several allegations, petitions and queries. Traps have been set on his path, but Alhamdu lillah he has been coming out clean. He cleared them all one by one.
I often pity him, because I see his restlessness trying just to justify to the pilgrim that what they are paying is the exact charges they face, nothing more or less. To be honest, most of his staff don’t go through what he goes through, he is a man that we will work all day and when the sun shines he will be in the office as at the time he used to come, any day that he is not in the office, you will know by the slow movement of activity even in the conduct of the staff.
The latest move is to play a tribal card on him by dwelling on his extension of tenure.
Haters don’t want to open their eyes and see him, I learnt that those who want to play the tribal card are in his midst, they forget that zonal board members are the only ones mandated by the act to come from the six geopolitical zones, the federal government can decide to appoint people from a single tribe in the board except for those mandated by the NAHCON Act.
So far, this issue has troubled me. Most of the commentators brushed its importance aside, saying that the issue of whether or not tribal barriers should be set in religious affairs, I appeal to leave NAHCON alone and stop the noise over the tribe of who should become the board members or the decision to make him the acting chairman
People are simply against Mukhtar because they both either frightened because he is not from their clan or tribesmen or he because they know he won’t dance to their tune.
No matter which language or tribe you come from it does not matter if you are serving the guests of Allah to the best of your ability as he rightly says in the holy qur’an
“Oh mankind! Behold, We have created you all out of a male and a female, and have made you into nations and tribes, so that you might come to know one another. Verily, the noblest of you in the sight of Allah is the one who is most deeply conscious of Him. Behold, Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware” (Quran 49:13)
Clearly such prejudice based on cultural symbols being used to cajole the federal government to favour those who are thinking about playing the tribal card will not work.
We must never allow them to do so by recognising that racial definitions do not remain fixed, Islam is not a race, but using arguments that rely on racial stereotypes and ignoring the work ahead which is serving the Nigerian Pilgrims and looking at people based on their names, how they look, their dress, and using these cultural symbols as signifiers to treat people with contempt is a form of racism.
As discourse portrays an enemy within, racism has come to adjust and capitalise on this new ‘othering’ to whip up fears and anxieties, just as it has with other groups in the past.
And it has to stop.
Ramatu Musa Abba (Mrs Mu’azu)
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