Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has revealed his knowledge of the Islamic religion, reports Naija News.
The former leader, speaking to a group of Islamic scholars on Sunday, said his Islamic journey ended as a child after he ran away from Arab school because of flogging.
According to Obasanjo, the fear of being tortured by his Koranic masters at the time made him abandon the Arabic school better known as Ile-Kewu in Yorubaland.
The eldest statesman, who holds a doctorate in Christian theology, revealed this while delivering a speech during the inauguration and turbaning of Sheikh Salis Alao Adenekan as Grand Caliph of the Tijaniyyah for the Yorubaland, Edo and Delta states today.
Naija News understands that the event held today in Abeokuta, the capital of Ogun State, saw the presence of leaders and members of the Tijaniyyah sect from all South West States, Edo and the Delta as well as the representative of the sons of Cheikh Ibrahim Niass, from Kaolack in Senegal, led by Cheikh Abdullah Baye Ibrahim Niass.
In his brief remarks, Obasanjo enjoined those present at the Islamic gathering to strive for Al-Jannat (paradise) as the final abode of the righteous.
He maintained that anyone who considers heaven his final resting place would not mess with his religious beliefs and practices.
Obasanjo said, “I am here to greet you. What we have come together to do has to do with religion. And one of our main goals, while living on earth, is to create Al-Janat. Anyone who knows there is Al-Janat, whether or not he jokes about religious practices while on earth.
“I thank you all for honoring and celebrating our leader in Islam, Sheikh Adenekan. May your reign bring blessings to you and the organization.
Sharing his Islamic knowledge, Obasanjo said “When I was young, I repeatedly told the story that Koboko (the whip) did not allow me to learn Kewu (Arabic) effectively. But despite that, I still remember a lot of those songs that we used to make.
The Governor of Ogun State, Dapo Abiodun who was also the guest of honor at the event described Ogun as the “religious capital of Nigeria.
Represented by his Chief of Staff, Shuaib Salis, Governor Abiodun instructed Muslims to ensure they fulfill their civic responsibility in the 2023 election to ensure “leaders who can bring prosperity to the country are elected.
He described the newly turbaned Grand Caliph of Tijaniyyah as a “pious, a man of honor, integrity and worthy ambassador of the Islamic religion.
Meanwhile, a popular Lagos-based Islamic cleric, Sheikh Sulaimon Faruq Onikijipa while delivering his message, warned the leaders against abuse of power, saying they would all be held accountable for their management on the day of reckoning.
Onikijipato Grand Mufti of Ilorin also challenged the members of the Tijaniyyah sect for a common front and to remain united as a body to fight for the interest of the ummah and also to claim their rights from the government.