By Laleye Dipo in Minna
The Bida-based Islamic cleric in Niger State who claimed to have married 89 wives and was reported to have died is till alive, according to a source at his Masaba Ward residence.
Alhaji Muhammad Bello Masaba was reported to have died on Saturday but a reliable source who claimed to have spoken to the cleric on phone yesterday disputed the story.
The source claimed that the 92-year-old cleric was hale and hearty and that the “ death rumour is totally false.”
Masaba was quoted as saying that the rumour of his death was “the figment of the imagination of his enemies,” saying “Allah will make him fufill the divine assignment He has given him.
“I am alive. I am not dead. Allah’s divine assignment must be carried out. Though death is the ultimate end for all, for me, I will fulfill my days and divine assignment.
“I have heard the wicked rumour being peddled, but Allah is greater than all the perpetrators of this wicked rumour. Please I am inviting you to come to Bida. I am now with all my children and other well-wishers. My health is in perfect condition and I have been attending to people since the wicked rumour went viral,” Masaba stated.
One of the close relatives of the cleric said: “We have been receiving calls from all over the country since the enemies planted the fake death news of baba. The panic the report has caused can only be imagined. That is why we have asked baba to stay outside and address faithful.
“Baba is not sick talkless of being rumoured dead. Enemies are at work. Like baba told us, no man can take his life when he is not due,” the resident stated.
Since he claimed to have married 89 wives and threatened to take more, Masaba has been in the eye of the storm with some Islamic scholars and traditional rulers asking for his head for marrying 89 wives in contravention of the maximum four as prescribed for Muslim faithful.
The criminal and civil cases filed against him died prematurely.