By Kunle Wizeman Ajayi
Sermon by sermon, act by act, Azeez Adegbola popularly known as Tani Olohun has been fervent in responding to all the anti-Isese invectives and actions of the Islamic Community in South West Nigeria and nationally. His perspectives and penchant for exploring the Quran to educate people on some “Islamic cultures” that are intolerant and against traditional Yoruba ideas and ways of life, as well as human and social rights, have been largely overwhelming and massive.
So, the Shari’a state of Kwara (the only “Islamic state” in the South West) connived with the Seyi Makinde-led Oyo State government and arrested Tani Olohun, ferried him to Kwara where he has been illegally subjected to “penal code.” The allegations as filed are nothing related or marrying with any of the lines in the 1999 constitution.
However, as a court of the Shari’a state of Kwara, a Magistrate Court has sent Tani Olohun to remand in prison custody!
The next five paragraphs will pen five reasons why the Islamic state of Kwara is so afraid of a fiery Traditional sermonist like Tani Olohun.
Recall that Tani Olohun is not only critical of Islam but Christianity and even Isese. Tani Olohun (by the implications of his pseudonym) is querying the existence of “God” as a subject of reality. The efficacy of his questioning led him to acknowledging the Traditional Yoruba beliefs as even more truthful and objective than the imported religions like Islam and Christianity. Those ruling us generally hate the public projection of this seemingly atheist idea. They use religion for their ends, so, any full demystification of same is an attack to their sources of power.
And of course, the Muslim-Muslim strategy of the Tinubu/Shettima presidency has allowed so many moslems and also Islamic influencers to have some sense of ownership of the country. The shocking public bullying of Davido, Femi Adebayo and Oshoala over their so-called “anti-Islamic” open acts peaks such psychological anomaly.
The third is that Nigeria has been plunderer into much more serious poverty since Tinubu assumed presidency. With Buhari, it was 133 million people in serious poverty. I am sure about ten million more considering the hardships and pains his regime’s extreme neo-liberalism has imposed on the populace. So, with poverty rigmaroling the streets mosquitoes, religion becomes more powerful as it is really the “opium of the masses; the soul of the souless” as Karl Marx correctly postulated.
The agitations for Isese festival in Ilorin, the Kwara state capital is already spreading so widely. And same is attracting many other dissidents. This is dangerous to the base of the Islamists. So, they are fighting hard to stop the further spread. The old battle was against Christians, but they have adapted. The rise of the love for Isese in Southwest, especially amidst Youths is alarming to the Islamists generally.
Finally, one reason the Islamic state of Kwara is being used to jail Tani Olohun and other traditionalists is the fear of further revolts by citizens in Kwara. The Otogee Mass Revolt was started by Omoyele Sowore’s public tackles against the Bukola Saraki dynasty. Sowore defeated Saraki finally, and the efficacy of his family’s theocratic hold on Kwara vanished. But as typical of the ruling class, that energy was diverted by electoralism. The new dudes who have taken over Kwara are also identical and part of the old dynasty. So, they have done everything to keep hold of Kwarans and suppressed the socialization of the Otogee Revolts by further entrenching Islamism. So, activists like Tani Olohun and others would destroy the packaged lies by Governor Abdul Rahman and others. For the bases of the Otogee Revolts in Kwara is purely economic and anti-oligarchic. Giving Otogee a religious face is a disguise to keep the brazen thefts of the Commonwealth of Kwarans running!
Nigerians should rise and demand for the immediate release of Tani Olohun, Mubarak Bala and several others who are under attack for speaking out on religion. Every human has a right to decide her own destiny!