Nigeria’s structure is defective —Professor Olagoke
Professor Sabitu Olagoke is the founder and spiritual head of Shafaudeen in Islam Worldwide with headquarters in Ibadan, Oyo State. The author and former lecturer, in this interview, speaks about issues affecting Nigeria as well as religion. Excerpt:
Your organisation recently held its annual convention, what is the event all about?
The annual celebration of Ishrat for Shafaudeen is for some fundamental reasons. One, January happens to be the founder’s month as the organisation was established on January 23, 1983. When we began to expand, we looked inwards as regards how best we should be congregating, to review the year’s activities. The basis of our coming together could be traced to Qur’an 3:104.
You are an author, a religious leader and a scholar, how do you balance these roles?
When you allow the intervention of God in your life, you are given one grace and that grace is the fact that you will be rightly inspired to do everything, even in thinking and writing. Qur’an 96: 4-5 says it is God that inspires the heart; it is this same God that inspires the pen to write. That is why I classify education into three arms. The first one is knowledge-driven education and that involves the primary and secondary schools and tertiary institutions.
The second one is wisdom-driven education and it is achieved when education leads you to your career and your career leads you to professionalism. The third one is for us to make the church, the mosque and other faith-based organisation relevant. What we derive from that is the aura of God, that inspiration that allows you to take the right decisions with accuracy and precision.
When you have these three, everything is easy because you are God-controlled. Each one of them has three domains, affective, coordinative and psychomotor. I am so endowed in arts and I am endowed in science and technology, so it makes my contributions easy. I can easily switch into any of them. God has given me the ability to identify, to read and know and to be able to apply the acquired knowledge.
The two books that were launched recently make it 32, the number of books that I have authored. Some of them dwell on technology and religion.
What do you think about the security situation in the country?
Ab initio, we ran ourselves into the problem. If we had continued with the spirit, with which we tackled the colonial masters, Nigeria would have been okay. Unfortunately, immediately these people left [the colonial masters], we faced the challenge of power sharing and this has given rise to ethnic strife, nepotism, religious intolerance. Instead of appreciating God for our diversity, we are using it as a reason to hate, fight and kill one another. What we need is restructuring because everything is dysfunctional in the country. The structure is defective, so restructuring is inevitable if we want to continue as one Nigeria.
We must revisit the concept of resource control which helped our politicians then to govern us well in the past, to develop the regions. That concept must be revisited because the so-called sharing formula we are having is not favouring any state or region; it is only favouring the centre, which is not as close to the people as the states and the local governments.
If we do not allow restructuring to take place, what we may begin to experience is secession. If restructuring fails, we may face a situation whereby people would be saying they want to go. But my take is that we must not allow bloodshed.