In the name of Allah The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful
All praises and thanks are due to Almighty Allah. May his peace and blessing be upon our Prophet Muhammad (SAW).
First and indeed foremost, it is pertinent for me to state the purpose of writing this article from the onset for my reader to have an insight about what he’s reading right from the beginning. It is more of a rejoinder and an enlightenment on what to do when one does good.
The desire and intention to write this article came more than one year after somebody commented on a post I shared on my facebook timeline showing Haj. Asmau Inuwa Yahaya, the first lady of Gombe state in her full hijab attending public gathering.
His comment was that soon “she will stop wearing the hijab after six months.” But my reply was that “we don’t pray and hope so.” Glory be to Almighty Allah! This happened in 2019 around July or so and now it is November, 2020, and her excellency the first lady of Gombe state is still wearing her full hijab not even half. Alhamdulil Lah! Allah has answer our prayers.
In my tradition, when one does good deed, whether I like him or not, know him or not (like the case of her excellency), I commend and pray for him/her to continue doing the good deeds even if it his or her right to do that. But for some people, they choose to conclude and judge one with what others in his/her similar capacity have done. And it is not good.
We all know that it is the teaching of Islam for all women to cover their body completely except for their hands and face. It is good whenever a lady does same should be commended for obeying the law of Allah. I hope my reader is aware of the beauty, importance of wearing hijab.
Unfortunately, today, many Muslim ladies are not covering their bodies completely, those that did not achieve anything are in exception. This may not be unconnected with islamophobic laws in some places and imitation of new cultures (e.g western) by some ladies.
Even in Nigeria, I am aware of several cases of violations of constitutional rights of female students in various institutions of learning across the country. For instance, during the just concluded JAMB examinations, Hijab Rights and Advocacy reported on facebook how many female Muslim students were forced to remove their hijabs at about four centres across the country including Plateau state despite having a good number of muslim population.
While in the southern part of the country, female muslim students wearing hijab are forced to remove it or face expulsion which is against their constitutional rights. Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) had dragged several cases to court of law to seek for justice.
Aside from these, another instance was what happened not too long ago on the case of Firdausi Amasa, a law graduate who was not called to bar for wearing not a veil but a scarf.
For everyone who is on social media platforms today, more especially facebook, twitter, instagram and the rest, is aware of how pictures and users displaying indecent dressing are making likes, shares and comments. This may encourages others who want to be famous to emulate them.
Even in the Nigerian tertiary institutions, female students are seen moving almost half naked. The institutions that boast of inculcating both character and learning. It is so sad. I once wrote an article on 11th November, 2019 (ABU sexual abuse: Prof. Ibrahom Garba should do more) on the cases of sexual abuse highlighting the importance of hijab and the consequences of not wearing it. I am happy that some of what I suggested were implemented.
At times I wonder if those kind of ladies are not humans. Maybe animals. Taking into cognizance, the way animals move around nakedly and comfortably. Dressing is one of our major differences with animals but unfortunately some people choose to imitate them.
But according to them, it is freedom and wiseness. But I have never agreed with them and will never. Rather, they are uncultured, unwise, and not free from neocolonialism.
Let me not deviate from my topic of discussion. It become necessary to make this introduction before going into the main topic of discussion, Haj. Asmau Inuwa Yahaya, the first lady of Gombe state, a Hijabite Role Model for Muslim Governors’ wives.
If people like Haj. Asmau Inuwa Yahaya, the first lady of Gombe state, wears a full and complete hijab, despite her qualifications, status, achievements, richness and all that a woman needs in this life, no way an ordinary varsity indecently dressed student will think that I will believe she is wise. It is not possible.
I know wise people, how they look like and where to find them. A close and a typical example is Haj. Asma’u Inuwa Yahaya, the first lady of Gombe state. She is humble, knowledgeable, and religious. She is passionate about girl child education. Although, I did not know her before coming into government and have never met her, but within her short stay in office, I have observed how she has demonstrated the good qualities needed of her as a leader.
Her Excellency, Haj. Asma’u is not just sitting in her office as a first lady but working for the betterment of the girl child education and women in general. It was in the news that she parleys a non-governmental organisation (NGO) initiated by the first lady federal republic of Nigeria, Future Assured, to distribute hygiene packs to women in Gombe as part of her support/empowerment of women and girl child education.
This is not her first time of doing this. In October, she was also sighted at GGSSS Tula where she distributed sanitary pads amongst other things to the students of the school.
In fulfilling her aim of creating awareness and sensitizing the women folks, Her Excellency, the first lady of Gombe state, flags-off 4 breast and cervical screening centres through a non-governmental organisation she initiated (Jewel Care Foundation) in collaboration with Amen Care Foundation, few days days ago.
These centres are located at different local government across the states to make them easily accessible. The following are the centres: Gombe state specialist hospital, General hospital Kaltungo, General hospital Kumo, and General hospital Bajoga.
Not only these, even yesterday, her excellency, Haj. Asma’u through her foundation, Jewel Care, in collaboration with fidelity bank, flags-off a two-day medical outreach at the conference hall of the ministry of women affairs to provide succour to the most vulnerable at the grass root communities. The medical outreach covers blood pressure and diabetes tests, mass deworming, HIV counselling, cryotheraphy treatment, free cervical and breast cancer screening etc.
Haj. Inuwa Yahaya appeared in public events with her hijab without fear of discrimination from anyone. Indeed she is a role for other Muslim governors’ wives that don’t cover their bodies completely.
At several events that her colleagues are seen not covered completely from their head to toes, her excellency, the first lady of Gombe state, is seen in her full hijab and comfortable no matter in the midst of who she is.
She attended a dinner organised for the outgoing and incoming governors’ wives. At the event, she was still wearing her full hijab and sitted between those who are not wearing even veil not to talk of hijab. However she is comfortable since she did not remove it or stop wearing it.
To attest this, wherever you see a picture she appeared in, or attend an event she is present, check to see if what I wrote here is true. In case you don’t know her, please ask somebody that knows the Gombe state first lady, Haj. Asma’u to point her out for you to confirm what I said.
The first picture I am made reference with, was captured at an annual conference event organised by the computer society of Nigeria held at international conference centre Gombe in July, 2019 as stated earlier. She was also honoured with the presidential award of the association during the annual conference. Even as up yesterday, 10th November, 2020, she was present in a public event and in her full hijab. Alhamdulil Lah!
My prayers and well wishes are with her excellency Haj. Asmau Inuwa Yahaya, the first lady of Gombe state. May Almighty Allah continue to guide and protect her. May Allah give her the ability to continue wearing hijab.
Amin Yaa Allah
Muhammad Auwal Ibrahim is a journalist, fellow African Investigative Journalism Conference (AIJC) 2020 Wits University, Johannesburg, South Africa. He writes from Gombe State.
He can be reached via [email protected]