Abubakar Audu: Between life, death and pseudo-prophet
In the name of the Almighty, the Beneficent, the Merciful
“Indeed to the Almighty belongs the knowledge of the Hour… No soul knows in what land it will die…” (Q31:34)
BRETHREN, exactly what is sweeter than life? Nothing! Exactly what could be more sour than death? I say life in hell. Brethren, when you put the reality of life and death on the same scale, you probably would come away with the conclusion that nothing could be more instructive than death; that nothing could be more sobering than seeing people you know die in the middle of their life; that nothing could be more teachable than having to die, in line with John Green, ‘in the middle of a sentence’.
Dear brethren, the departure of Prince Abubakar Audu early last Sunday has been described by many as a rude shock. Some have even gone further to say that it was an untimely death. Brother, when you say a particular death is untimely, it becomes incumbent on you to provide information as to when the experience would and should have been timely. This is because when properly understood the reality of death is not the same thing as bringing forth a premature baby. While certain intervening circumstances could force a woman to labour before the expected date of delivery, the man who ‘kisses’ death must have, a priori, exhausted his divinely ordained treasury on mother-earth.
In other words, I know, as a matter of fact, that nobody dies before his appointed date; that the Almighty does not commit errors; that there is no after-thought in the divine scheme. To say Audu died an untimely death is to indulge in falsehood, chicanery and mendacity.
But quite ironically, three types of falsehood surrounded his demise. The first relates to those who were said to have prophesied that he would die before his inauguration as governor, the second is that of religious charlatans who invaded his homestead and swore they had powers to restore life to his body after he had already departed this world, and the third is the claim that certain political hawks in the APC were actually responsible for his death.
Brethren, aside from being false and specious, I found all these postures and commentaries to be banal and ribald. But we are indeed located in a village where banalities and humongous claims to spiritual capital sells like hope diamonds.
Brethren, I thought you need no reminder of the Quranic posture on these claims. I know it is clear to you that it is grievous a sin to invent a lie against the Almighty (Q29:69). I know you know that all these pseudo-prophets who have held our villages by the jugular, no matter the garb they put on, be it the Muslim or Christian, are perpetual liars in reference to five realities the knowledge of which are firmly in the hands of the Almighty. He says: “Indeed, to the Almighty belongs the knowledge of the Hour and He sends down the rain, and knows what (is) in the wombs. No soul knows what it will earn tomorrow nor does any soul knows in what land it will die. Indeed, the Almighty is All-Knower and All-Aware (Q31:34).
Brethren, the lie in the claims of those who wanted to act ‘God’ did not take long before it unraveled. It did not take long before they realized that only one Authority controls the movement of the human soul – He is the undated Dater of dates. If this argument stands, if it is true that the claim of those who said they could give what they did not have was quickly put to shame immediately Prince Audu was lowered into his grave and into his “real palace”, then other claims should fall too: that some people were responsible for Prince Audu’s death; that some people actually knew he would die at the very moment of fame.
Brethren, let us seize this opportunity to re-learn what Islam has always striven to teach us: that nothing in life shall be important once it is time for you and me to expire; that death would come not at your own behest nor that of mine. Remember that it is an infraction against our faith to listen to situate our faith in entities who are by and in themselves pawns in the chessboard of the Almighty. No human power can fathom or control death- that reality which lies like a camel at our doorsteps waiting to be ridden by all to the great beyond. My Sister, to come to life, to emerge from the wombs of our mother is to keep an important and inevitable appointment with the destroyer of all happiness. It means we are permanently at the mercy of the ‘silent crawler’.
Again, contemplating the life and times of Prince Audu yields more lessons for the discerning minds. Here reference is made to somebody who had more opportunities to enjoy life than others. Yet, he went for the last election to the State House in Lokoja as if he never passed one night in the Government House. In other words, brethren, something about our existence is highly uncanny. We sleep everyday as if we never slept before; each time we go into our wives it is as if moments before we were virgins. When we feel the pangs of hunger, we take our meals in the manner of lions in the den devouring their prey.
Brethren our vegetative, appetitive and procreative instincts are such that know no closure insofar as the beat still sounds in our bodies. The same thing applies to our desires to be seen, to be known, to be heard. Tell me of a former President, who, given the opportunity, would shun the invitation to become “His Excellency” once again. Brethren, but why; why is it that each time we pursue the pleasures of this world, it feels as if we never had a taste of them before?
Meanwhile, Prince Abubakar Audu had since begun his lonely journey back to his Fashioner, the Almighty. He departed this world the same way he came sixty eight years ago. He departed all alone without taking any earthly possessions, the lawful and the unlawful, which he gathered over the years with him. He left them all for those who would devour them; properties and wealth for which he would be taken to account in his grave and on the day of resurrection. Please pity him; pray for him; pity yourself.
My sister, Prince Audu departed this world silently; he came to the world silently. In fact, at the moment of his passing, the whole of Kogi State was completely oblivious of the event. He died at the very moment he was about to achieve fame. He died at that moment so that his passing can become a signifier, the signified being the nothingness of this world and all it contains. Prince Audu died at that very moment of fame so that those who had congregated under his canopy all these years could remember that it is only He, our Creator, whose pavilion would never suffer dissolution. My brother, please count how many breath you took while reading this; remember, the beat would stop when we least expect it. (08122465111 for texts only).