Auzubillah Minashaitan Nirajeem. I seek refuge in Allah from being misguided by Satan the accursed.
Dear Ummah, the social media platforms have been awashed with overwhelming vituperations over purported removal of niqob from a Muslim Sister in the Department of Nursing by a Professor in the Faculty of Nursing LAUTECH, Ogbomoso.
Over the past few days that the news have been circulated and outpour of vehement reactions have rented the media space over what was considered an outright and intolerable infringement on the right of the Muslim sister who by right of being a student reserves the right to dress in the way that best suits her faith and her Creator. I have keenly monitored events and painstakingly observed restraint from making comments while I curiously and meticulously await a convincing proof of the veracity of the claims of removal of Niqob aside a viral video in circulation with a voice-over ladden with emotion which actually is far from being in tandem with what actually transpired in the visual of the same video.
Over the past few days, I have exhausted search of potent and compelling proof to substantiate actual removal of niqob or any directive by the Professor at the centre of the quandary but till date couldn’t find a convincing evidence to substantiate the crime as alleged (I beseech whoever has a potent proof where the ‘act’ was effected to come up with such. This I covet for Allah’s sake).
To put the records straight, sometime earlier in the year, I had my first and only personal encounter with Prof. Lawal Ajibade in respect of a Muslim sister in need of a professional assistance with the Nigerian Nursing Council in Abuja, I was received in Professor Ajibade’s office with overwhelming enthusiasm and while our discussion was underway, Prof checked his time and it was time for Suhr, Prof politely called for abrupt suspension of my discussion with him and requested that solat be observed while our discussion continued thereafter. Solat was observed in a small section of his office where he carved out for solat. That being my first ever and only physical engagement with Prof Ajibade. Our subsequent contacts have been on phone with him initiating most of the calls to follow up on the assistance I sought for a Muslim sister from him.
I believe in the parlance that there’s never a second opportunity to make the first impression and first impression they opine lasts longer. If you ask me, I’ll tell you the Prof Lawal Ajibade that I know isn’t just a Muslim by mere names or physical appearance but one with intense consciousness of the Deen and profound taqwa.
Alas, on Wednesday 17th November, 2021 news broke out that a LAUTECH Professor forcefully pulled Niqob from a Muslim female student and being a Muslim myself I was curious to know which Professor could have detested Islam so gravely. To my utmost dismay, the name of Prof. Ajibade Lawal came with the news of such despicable conduct. It became incredulous for me to align the name with the conduct alleged. But for the avoidance of doubt and obedience to the Hadith that when in doubt one should refrain, I declined lending my voice to the allegation but obviously dazed at what could have come over Prof but with the assurance of the fact that University Management wouldn’t allow such to be swept under the carpet regardless of whoever the purported culprit was.
But still perturbed, I had to watch the supposed video in support of allegation of removal of Niqob but couldn’t find a nexus between the emotional laden voice-over in the video circulated and what actually transpired visually.
Then came the next day, Thursday 18th November, 2021 the entrances to the campus were taken over by fierce looking, battle ready Muslim brothers who were mostly non-students. Further enquiries revealed that they have been mobilized from far and wide to come and instill discipline into a erring Professor, all effort to appease them and allow the university management investigate the veracity of the allegation and sanction appropriately were abortive. Not even LAUTECH Chief Imam who came to calm the situation was granted audience. After being shouted down repeatedly, the university Imam returned to his office and things went wild and weird unabated.
Dangerous weapons were brandished by those who had come to teach an erring Professor, a supposed Muslim brothers of theirs a lesson of his life.
After much hullabaloo, the Dean of Students Affairs tactically was able to convince some of the leaders of these protesters who grudgingly agreed to meet with LAUTECH Imam. By then, the Imam had gathered some members of LAUTECH Muslim community in his office where the brothers vehemently registered their grievance. Then the Imam put a call through to the sister who allegedly had her Niqob removed by the Professor. The Imam asked the sister in plain language if Professor Ajibade truly removed her Niqob or instructed anyone to carry out the such ungodly act and the sister on speaker for all in attendance to listen to her response said an emphatic NO to the question of Niqob removal asked by the Imam. It was there and then that some level of normalcy returned meanwhile the university business of the day never be. In the course of the pandemonium, the university had released a video footage to reveal the entire proceedings in the class where Niqob was claimed to have been removed, yet not potent proof of such happening was seen in the video.
Fastward, Tuesday 22nd November 2021. A press release was purportedly made by the Oyo State Muslims Community where a peace meeting was said to have held in Ibadan the previous day by the panel set up to mediate between Professor Ajibade and the husband of the allegedly harassed sister.
Expectedly, the first assignment of the panel should have been to establish beyond doubts the veracity of the allegation but such never happened.
Surprisingly enough, the composition of the said panel contravened Islamic jurisprudence as taught to a student of Islamic religion like myself, how does one justify setting up a six man panel for an incident that happened between a Lecturer in LAUTECH Ogbomoso and a student in the same university as partly witnessed by Amir MSSN and Imam of LAUTECH and neither the Imam, Amir MSSN nor a representatives of LAUTECH Muslims Community where Prof Ajibade is a prominent member was never considered worthy of being in the panel but five people resident in Ibadan and One Ullamah from Saki the hometown of the allegedly victimized student who all read about the incident in the social media were panel members.
Also, the panel reportedly met under a peaceful ambiance and all parties involved resolved amicably and agreed to release a joint communique of what transpired at the meeting but a breach of trust occurred when the Prof only came across a press release that never had his consent in which he was humiliatedly reported to have WEPT BITTERLY (as capitalized in the release for the sake of emphasis)
It’s quite unfair and disheartening that the panel conspicuously never investigated the veracity of Niqob removal claims, not even from the sister who’s the purported victim but outrightly passed a fatwa on the purported culprit and compelled him to tender an open apology for an offense that was never established to have been committed but the preasurized Prof had to succumb to pressure arising for endless threats to his life and that of his family members by Muslim brothers and sisters globally.
The deliberate choice of words “The Professor WEPT BITTERLY” is a wantom psychological trauma to a Dean of a Faculty who would be expected to return to classroom to take lectures for students who may become unruly and uncouth to their Professor who they were told WEPT BITTERLY.
Meanwhile, till date no one has been able to produce a convincing proof of niqob removal coupled with the fact that the sister repeatedly and consistently maintained that Prof never removed her niqob nor instructed such yet a very senior Muslim brother in the rank of a Professor, the most senior certificated member of the Nigerian Nursing Council who should be a pride of Islam was made to WEEP BITTERLY for an allegation that was never substantiated. Indeed a need for social media regulation is strongly recommended.
The press release by Oyo state Muslim community under the “Appreciation” column also appreciated everyone involved in the debatacble but deliberately singled out Professor Ajibade who for the sake of Allah swallowed his ego and oblige the call to the meeting and even was reported to have been remorseful over a crime he never committed but did all for the sake of Allah and peace among the ummah.
The release further indicted LAUTECH management severally and gave stern warning to stoppage of harassment of Muslims Brothers and Sisters in a university where such case of harassment has never been reported, this is not fair enough against the image of the institution.
In all of the scenic, Prof Ajibade who himself has a biological daughter, a Hijab wearing musleemah as a student on LAUTECH campus seems to have been unfairly treated and we can only beseech Allah to grant him takhviv (relief) from the psychological trauma he’s currently undergoing sequel to the imbroglio.
Once again, I seek refuge in Allah against Satan the accursed and beseech peace on the Noble Prophet (saw).
I pray Allah to always guide the thoughts and decisions of our religious leaders so that through them we will never be misled and through their fatwa they will continue to enjoy Allah’s benevolence.
Adetunbi Saheed Ige PhD