His Excellency, Governor Ganduje, is in the news again. This time, it is between her Excellency Prof. Hafsah Ganduje and his Excellency Abdulazeez Ganduje her biological son. Please excuse my ignorance for I don’t know if governors sons also bear Excellency. But I think it is better to err by prefixing his name with Excellency than the otherwise. The latter allegedly reported his mother to EFCC on ‘financial issue. I don’t want to say ‘financial crime for some good reasons. I will mention two: one, ordinarily, it should be family issues which should have been resolved within. Two, I am not connected to the Gandujes, thus, I am not in the know of the details of the issue beyond what I read in the newspapers.
If we think that a son reporting his mother to EFCC is a taboo, then (it is not only that) it is a bitter taboo. I was recently informed that taboo is of two types, viz. the bitter one and the sweet one. I learnt that that of the Kwaran based woman (from Benin Republic) who was impregnated by her son(s) and consented to carry her children and at the same time grandchildren’ in her womb to deliver a triplet is a sweet one.sweet taboo! I hope you know what that means. Trust Nigerians; we are funny!
Let us consider what Abdulazeez did in the light of Islam. Is it wrong, disliked, prohibited, permissible, recommended, or even obligatory? What triggered my interest is that a Nigerian son reported his mother to EFCC! Can this happen between any son and any mother in a conservative society? This is unlikely. However, this is happening before our eyes between the first son and the first mother in the first family in Kano State. Our society is becoming more liberal than we think.
It sounds like a taboo to many especially the conservatives whose conservatism is intertwined with Islam. But is Islam really against it? What is the position of a mother in Islam vis-à-vis to a child? It is a hallowed position; no doubt. Let’s consider the following:
The Quran says; And We have enjoined on man to be dutiful and kind to his parents (Q46:15, Q29:8); …but behave with them in the world kindly (Q31:15) and And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honor. And lower unto them the wing of submission and humility through mercy, and say: My Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy as they did bring me up when I was young (Q17:23-24).
It is conspicuous from the above that parents are very important in Islam. In fact, the last verse presents them as if they are next to the Almighty. As if the Quranic emphasis on goodness to parents is not enough, the Prophet lent credence to it through some of his noble sayings. Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal (RA) narrated a hadith in his Musnad where it says Mu`awiyah bin Jahima al-Sulami came to the Messenger of Allah (SAW) and said, O Messenger of Allah, I desire to go on the military expedition and I have come to consult you. He (the Prophet) asked, Do you have a mother? He said, Yes. He (the Prophey) said, Stay with her because paradise lies beneath her feet.
It was also narrated that Abu Hurayrah (RA) said: A man came to the Messenger of Allah (SAW) and said: O Messenger of Allah, who is most deserving of my good company? He said: Your mother. He said: Then who? He said: Your mother. He said: Then who? He said: Your mother. He said: Then who? He said: Then your father.
Similarly, Ibn Maajah reported, a man complained; O Messenger of Allah, I have wealth and children, and my father wants to take all my wealth [to spend on his own needs] and leave nothing.” The Prophet (SAW) said: “You and your wealth belong to your father. My salary/money/earnings and yours belong to our fathers? This is subject to further discussion, I will leave the details to the scholars. The point here is that our parents are just too important.
Nevertheless, children can drag their parents to court in Islamit is not a taboo. Islam is not as conservative as we think. It is the context that determines if the action is tabooed. The justification for this is the popular Hadith of Man bin Yazid (RA) who took his father to the Prophets court. He narrated: My father set aside some dinars for charity and gave them to a man in the mosque. I went to that man and took back those dinars. He (the father) said: I had not intended you to be given. So we went to Messenger of Allah (SAW), and put forth the matter before him. He said to my father, Yazid, you have been rewarded for what you intended. And he said to me (son), Man, you are entitled to what you have taken. [Al- Bukhari].
In the case of Abdulazeez, as reported by Premium Times, he was approached by a property developer to help facilitate the acquisition of some plots of land in Kano with some hundreds of thousands of US dollars and at least 35 million Naira as facilitation commission. He allegedly paid the money into his mums account. Now, the land was not sold/given to the developer and his money not refunded.
What we dont know is whether Abdulazeez explored alternative options or not before bringing in EFCC. If the money had been Abdulazeezs, then we shall say himself and his money belong to his mother. And it will be a display of irresponsibility to report the mother to the EFCC. But the money is not his, and the developer is demanding for refund. Where would he get the money?
It is possible there are many things to this issue than meets the eye. No matter how much is the money and whatever happened to it, I dont think it is so whopping such that the first lady or the first man (the Governor) cannot raise. Or is it that we over estimate their worth? A governor and his first lady (a professor)?
What is even more disturbing is that the mum did not honor EFCC invitation. Some are already calling for her arrest, arguing that the immunity of the husband doesnt cover her. This is true. But I dont think Prof. Hafsah refused to honor EFCCs invitation for no reason. I learnt she went to attend one of her sons graduation in London. Most likely she had made the arrangement to travel before the invitation.
Some commentators are already saying the whole thing is political. They opine that Abdulazeez actually wants to score some political points. I leave this to political scientists and analysts. But if the case is as it isi.e. what we readthe son errs not. It is the injunction of Allah to stand firmly for justice even if against ones parents. The Quran says; O you who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even though it be against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, be he rich or poor, Allah is a Better Protector to both (than you). So follow not the lusts, lest you may avoid justice, and if you distort your witness or refuse to give it, verily, Allah is Ever Well-Acquainted with what you do (Q4:135).
May Allah guide us and our leaders.