Fanatical Pastor Busari And Role Of CAN In Iseyin Eid “Wahala”

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EId-el-Adha which Muslims—all over the world—celebrated two weeks ago was a memorable one for many of us in Nigeria. Memorable in the negative sense. Food items were (and still) very expensive. In some cases, few Muslims who were able to slaughter sacrificial animals, could not get tomatoes and peppers to make common peppered stew. Many find themselves in a situation whereby meat is available but no soup and no food. Some bought ram only to realize that money left with them was not enough to buy food.

However, it was a different case entirely for a household of one of our Muslim families in Iseyin—a town in Oyo State. While the Nigerian Muslims were planning to make lemonade from lemons—pretend to be happy in the midst of misery—and put on a good look on Sallah Day, Pastor Busari Stephen, who heads the Christ Apostolic Church, Oke Imuse, Iseyin, chose the Day to inflict injury on his Muslim neighbors.
I don’t know a pastor could be this sanguineous. What he did is not pastorly, except perhaps I don’t know what it means to be pastor. And I would have controverted his claim to pastorship, but as at the time of this writing, he has not denied being a pastor and the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has not denied his membership. That is to say, a pastor could be satanic, devilish, and heartless.

In an ambiance of love and tolerance, the pastor should have salivated over the Sallah meat of his Muslim neighbor, Sulaiman. That was not the case with Pastor Busari; EId-el-Adha Day seems to be the saddest day of his life. The sight of ram being slaughtered gives him headache. If he lives long, he should be ready to witness many sad days ahead because Muslims will definitely celebrate this festival every year. No amount of poverty and hardship in the land will prevent the Muslims, God willing, from slaughtering animals to celebrate this noble festival which origin is traced to Prophet Abraham—a common ancestor to both Christians and Muslims.

Pastor Busari’s belligerently wired thought pushed him to attempt killing his Muslim neighbor just for slaughtering ram. He reportedly claimed that the ram was made to face his church at the time of slaughtering. I grew up in Ajegunle in Lagos. I don’t know how many times I have seen Muslims slaughtering rams facing churches. I cannot count how many times Christmas chickens were slaughtered (and will continue to be slaughtered) facing our mosques. When does slaughtering ram while facing church become a crime that warrants attempted killing? Pastor Busari’s church is perhaps a shrine and the devil’s and evil spirits in his shrine do not like Sallah ram.

Let’s assume slaughtering Sallah ram while facing church is a crime as Pastor Busari wants us to believe, can’t he take legal action against his Muslim neighbor? Must he allow the beast in him to get over his thinking faculty? Having realized that he cannot singlehandedly send his Muslim neighbors to their early graves has he wished, he reportedly invited his son—a soldier—as an accomplice to accomplish his devilish act. His son did not come alone, he also came along with some men who fit the description of thugs.

These thugs, along with the heartless pastor, launched their bloody attacks on Sulaiman and members of his family with knives and other weapons. They were mercilessly beaten. Sulaiman has two wives. They smashed the head of one, I saw her head drenched in blood in one of the viral videos. The second wife who is pregnant, in addition to being beaten, was dragged to the church premises. No sympathy for her heavy pregnancy; not even for the innocent foetus(es) in her womb. These thugs are completely bereft of human feeling.

Sulaiman’s mother too (an old woman) was beaten; she was not spared. They shamelessly displayed beastliness in community of humans. We thank God that the beating only led to the hospitalisation of the victims, not to the termination of their lives which was apparently the Pastor’s plan.

What is the role of CAN in all this? What I heard initially was that the Iseyin CAN Chapter pleaded on behalf of Pastor Busari. I wonder if Pastor Busari acted the script of CAN. For how can a religious body like CAN plead on behalf of one who behaves like a ailing sanguinarian? That will discredit CAN and the religious ideals it proclaims to promote. Pleading on behalf of a heartless man like this pastor is tantamount to prodding him on his heartlessness. That is, for me, a repudiation of justice.

However, I later learned that the CAN Chairman in Iseyin Local Government Area, according to Daily Trust report, assured that the pastor had been sanctioned and asked to relocate his church from the area. If that is true, CAN has acted laudably. It acted well for sanctioning him. But it would have even been better if CAN leadership had disowned Pastor Busari as a blood sucking ritualist who does not belong to its fold. It is true that most religions have some eccentric lunatics, but that which Pastor Busari and his thugs displayed is in the superlatively unbelievable proportion.

What the trigger-happy Pastor Busari did could lead to religious war if not for the levelheadedness of Sulaiman and the Muslim community in Iseyin. If they had turned it to a tit-for-tat affairs, the story would have been different. They deserve our commendation. Several Muslim organizations and human rights activists have shown interest in the case. We are also watching. Sulaiman must get justice. Pastor Busari should be made to smell the wrath of the law. The Nigerian Military should not take it easy with the Pastor’s brutal-macho-soldier-son who should be chasing bandits in the forest but chose to engage a pregnant woman in a fisticuff. What a coward!

Thank God, pastor Busari has been arrested and will soon be charged to court along with his extremist cohorts.

With tolerance and love, we can live in peace despite our differences. May the Almighty heal Sulaiman and other victims from their various injuries.

 

Abdulkadir Salaudeen
salahuddeenabdulkadir@gmail.com

 

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