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Published On: Sun, Jan 29th, 2017

Nigerian Islamic Preacher With Eighty Six Wives Dies at 93

Masaba and his wives

Masaba and his wives


LAGOS JANUARY 29TH (URHOBOTODAY)- Nigeria’s most famous Muslim polygamist and Islamic preacher, Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar Masaba, who shot into prominence with his large army of wives numbering over 80 few years ago is dead, aged 93. He is reported to have told his male followers to share his surviving women and marry them aswives, even as he warned the men to shun adultery.
One of his aides told Sunday Independent that it was his wish that his women be kept together within the fold of his religious sect so as to be shielded from possible disdain among the public.
Masaba had during his lifetime advised other Muslim men not to follow his example and marry a large number of women.
The former teacher and Muslim preacher, who lived in Niger State with his wives and at least 170 children, was quoted as saying that was able to cope only with the help of God.
“A man with 10 wives would collapse and die, but my own power is given by Allah. That is why I have been able to control 86 of them,” he told the BBC in an interview in 2008.
Aside from report a few of his women who had either died or moved out of the enclave, latest reports had it that the super polygamist may be survived by as many as 86 wives and close to 200 hundred children.
Masaba had in his lifetime declared that his keeping the large number of women as his wives was “a divine calling”, that he would do till his end.
“What I am doing is divine. It is an assignment and I will keep doing it till the end.
“Left for me, I would have married maybe two wives, but what I am doing is divine.
“I just want to advise those fighting against the number of my wives to stop because such people are waging war against God, their creator”, he had said during an interview with journalists.
Masaba was said to have died around 2p.m yesterday.
His Personal Assistant, Alhaji Mutairu Salawudeen Bello, who confirmed Masaba’s death to our correspondent on the telephone, said that the preacher died in his residence in Bida, Niger State, on Saturday, after a brief illness.
“From Allah we come, to Him we shall all return; we announce the death of Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar Bello Masaba this afternoon. He was aged 93, and died after a brief illness,” Bello said amidst sobs in a telephone interview on Saturday.
Bello declared that the controversial cleric would be buried at 10 a.m. on Sunday, Jan 29.
He said that the preacher had a premonition of his death and prepared for it.
“Baba (Masaba), told us that his time was up; he personally told me that he had completed his divine assignment and was ready to meet his creator.
“He also told us to remain dedicated to the cause of Islam and urged us never to deviate from his teachings on righteousness, piety and total submission to the will of Allah.
“He warned us to shun adultery but said that we should marry our women because it is ‘Hallal’ (right), before Allah,” Bello said.
The late Masaba shot to international fame in August 2008, back when he had 86 wives, and he gave interviews to journalists and film crews explaining his unusual living situation and that “God has asked me to do it”.
Most Muslim scholars agree a man can take up to four wives, as long as he is able to look after them all equally.
But Masaba said his own interpretation was that “the Koran does not place a limit and it is up to what your own power, your own endowment and ability allows”.
That non-standard pronouncement saw him arrested later in 2008 at the request of the local Shariah Court, with the emir in Bida accusing him of “creating tension” by speaking to journalists.
The court released him in November 2008 on the condition that he divorce 82 of his 86 wives. He did not comply.
The nonagenarian had been rumoured to have died a number of times. He was first rumoured dead in 2012 and lately, in October 2016 but he soon came out to debunk the death hoax.
Daily Independent

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