Muslim cleric calls for Nigeria’s first lady to be killed for serving as a pastor, apologizes

Nigerian Sen. Oluremi Tinubu speaks at the inauguration Of APC Women Campaign Council in October 2022.
Nigerian Sen. Oluremi Tinubu speaks at the inauguration Of APC Women Campaign Council in October 2022. | YouTube/TVC News Nigeria

A Muslim cleric has come under heavy criticism after he called for the killing of Sen. Oluremi Tinubu, Nigeria’s first lady. A video emerged of the cleric describing Oluremi as an “infidel” who should be killed for being a pastor.

“Tinubu’s wife is an unbeliever and even among the unbelievers, she is a leader,” said Idris Tenshi, an Islamic cleric, during a sermon in the local Hausa language.

The cleric quotes the Quran as a basis for his claims but did not provide the specific chapter or verse to back his claim justifying the call to kill the first lady.

Get Our Latest News for FREE

Subscribe to get daily/weekly email with the top stories (plus special offers!) from The Christian Post. Be the first to know.

“She is among those that Allah has instructed us to kill because she is among the leaders of the unbelievers,” he said in the undated video circulating on social media.

Oluremi is an ordained minister with the Redeemed Christian Church of God and is married to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, a Muslim who served as the governor of Lagos State from 1999 to 2007.

Following widespread condemnation, the cleric appeared on a recent video apologizing to the first lady and admitted that his comments were “a mistake”.

“I would like to pass this message to Nigerians regarding a video circulating on social media. All the things I said were a mistake and I don’t stand on the words I said. Other clerics have given me a proper explanation of the verse that I quoted,” said the cleric.

In a 2020 interview in TVC, Oluremi said that her faith has not been a source of conflict with President Tinubu.

“The point is he is quite respectful of my faith, and if someone respects you, it is quite right you show the same respect. He respects my faith, I respect his, so there is no conflict,” said Oluremi, who gave her life to Christ when she was exiled to the United States in the 1980s.

The Youth Wing of the Christian Association of Nigeria (YOWICAN) called for the arrest and prosecution of the cleric, urging security authorities to take urgent action. The chairman of YOWICAN’s National Executive Council, Belusochukwo Enwere, in a statement said that the cleric should be restricted from preaching in Nigeria.

“The NEC is giving the federal government and security agencies to act immediately to avoid further deterioration of the security situation in the country because of the unguided statement or utterance,” said Enwere.

Chief convener of Arewa Think Tank, Muhammad Yakubu, also condemned the cleric's comments, terming them “unacceptable."

There have been rising cases of religious intolerance in Nigeria. Twelve states in the north, for instance, have enacted penal sharia law, and there have been increasing cases of lynching on the basis of illegal and unproven ‘blasphemy’ accusations. In one of these states, Islamic police arrested a popular TikToker on Feb. 13 for posting ‘indecent and un-Islamic’ content.

report by the Observatory of Religious Freedom in Africa revealed that abductions and attacks on communities based on religion increased from 2020 to 2022. The report included attacks by Islamist jihadists Boko Haram, herder-farmer conflicts and retaliatory attacks. In 2022, 4,877 Christians were killed.

This article was originally published by Christian Daily International. 

Christian Daily International provides biblical, factual and personal news, stories and perspectives from every region, focusing on religious freedom, holistic mission and other issues relevant for the global Church today.

Was this article helpful?

Help keep The Christian Post free for everyone.

By making a recurring donation or a one-time donation of any amount, you're helping to keep CP's articles free and accessible for everyone.

We’re sorry to hear that.

Hope you’ll give us another try and check out some other articles. Return to homepage.

Most Popular

More Articles