Archive for August 15th, 2008


August 15, 2008

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Don’t emulate me, man with 86 wives warns youths

By Francis Falola

FRANCIS FALOLA narrates the gripping story of Pa Bello Abubakar, 84, who has 86 wives and 113 children.
TO a first caller at Masaba in Bida, Niger State, the unusual movement of a crowd in and out of an expansive two-storey building in the area should be a point of attraction. A teeming crowd of people is ever present in the building, all having needs ranging from food, shelter to health and spiritual matters. The man on whose shoulders the multitude lean for succour is an 84-years-old, Pa Muhammed Bello Abubakar.

Pa Abubakar‘s life is shrouded in mysteries. It is difficult to make a correct guess of his actual age, as his look bellies his age. Not only that, it is a taboo for his dependants and followers to take Western, Eastern or traditional medicine. To them God is the healer of all afflictions and they justify this with injunctions from the Bible and Koran.

In the institution of marriage, Pa Abubakar should deserve a place in the Guinness Book of Records for having 113 wives (with 86 surviving). He has lost seven to death and divorced 20. Out of the 86 surviving wives, 11 are currently at advanced stages of pregnancies, while one was delivered of a baby boy on July 4, 2008 when our correspondent visited.

And Abubakar is not through yet with women, as he disclosed that more additions were on the way. He added that he would continue to add more until Allah instructed him to stop. The last wedding bell in his household rang in February 3, 2008 when he married 30-years-old Hajia Monsura, who became his 86th (surviving) wife.

Pa Abubakar is knowledgeable enough in Western and Eastern education, as he graduated with a Grade Two Teacher‘s Certificate in Kutigi (Niger State) and worked for several years with UAC and Bacita Sugar Company before his retirement.

One would have expected a household of 86 wives and over 189 children to be a citadel of confusion and disharmony, but the family is closely knit with all the wives living in peace. And if you think it is difficult for Abubakar to remember all the names of his 86 wives and their tribes, then you are dead wrong. In minutes, he will reel out names and tribes of each of the 86 surviving wives from the first to the last.

To the wives of Pa Abubakar, nothing could be as good as marrying this old man, who is a philanthropist.

Monsura, who is currently the newest wife, described her husband as God‘s gift to the world.

Recalling how they met, Monsura, who is from Ibadan, said, ”I have known Baba since when I was a kid. We were living in the same neighbourhood when Baba was in Mushin in Lagos. My grandmother was a friend to Baba‘s first wife and then I never thought I could get close to him, not to talk of being his wife. But several years after he left Lagos, here am I today as one of his wives and I will forever be grateful to God for making this possible. Since I married him it has been happiness galore.”

The surviving first and second wives of Pa Abubakar, Hajia Hawawu Bello and Hajia Raliat Bello, are 75- and 76-years-old respectively. The former has nine children (four surviving ones); the second has four children. The two wives spoke glowingly of their husband. They described him as one who is specially created by God for mankind.

Raliat said, ”God is really using him to assist people in wonderful ways. He commanded us all not to take drugs. We don‘t go to the hospital. Four women today among Baba‘s dependants have given birth inside this house without visiting the hospital. In this house, women deliver freely without going to the hospital and people with afflictions are healed without taking any drugs. Baba will only caution you to look unto God and stop whatever bad habits you are into and whatever is the problem will be solved by God. Hardly will a day pass without four to seven women being successfully delivered of their babies.”

Eighteen-year-old Ajoke Shittu, who until she was impregnated by her fellow student at the CMS Grammar School, Bariga, Lagos disclosed that she was brought to Bida from Lagos by her father due to the danger alarms raised by medical experts in Lagos, who claimed that her chances of having a normal delivery was slim, and that she would have to undergo CS operation.

She said, ”I‘ve been here for the past two months before I was delivered of the baby today. Since I have been here, I‘ve never been taken to the hospital, since nobody visits the hospital here. I only mix and interact with other people around. Most people whose cases have been described as precarious or difficult by the hospitals are all here. We all eat from a common pot and today when I noticed the signs of labour, I called Mama (Hajia Raliat), who followed me into the room. With ease I gave birth to the twins.”

Raliat says that two bags of rice are usually cooked per meal. The same goes for beans, which is two bags per meal. If it is Semovita, 10 bags are prepared per meal to go round the family members and hangers on, while a cow is slaughtered to go with it.

Pa Abubakar is the proprietor of Muhammed Bello Abubakar International Nursery and Primary School in Bida. He has even concluded arrangements with all necessary legal backings to have the secondary arm of the school. Pupils within and outside the community attend the school without paying fees, with all relevant learning and teaching materials provided by Pa Abubakar. At present, the school has over 12 teachers, whose needs are met by the man.

Pa Abubakar, who is a prince of Bida from the Masaba ruling house, was the third child among the eight children of his parents.

He said that women were to be feared. He said, ”It takes the grace of God for a man to live with many wives in a home.” He advised youths not to follow his footsteps. ”If you are an ordinary person, you should fear women, because if you marry 10 wives, it is the women that will kill you. This is not by my own making. It is not with my power but it is through the power of God. No woman today, no matter whom she is and where she belongs, that I cannot live with and subdue as I fear no woman. I always caution my children not to go into polygamy because I did. If God gives you the grace, you can do it. If not, it is dangerous.

”Sickness always makes me sad, whether in me or my family members or anybody. I‘m happy when people are hale and hearty. As for death, I see it as a necessary evil that will come when it will come. So I do not bother about death.

”Nothing can make me sad. What God has done for me is so enormous and nothing I lay my hand on that did not work out. So with this, nothing can make me sad, except when I see people in pain. That is why I‘m always ready to put smiles on people‘s faces.”

Pa Abubakar said that before the divine turn around in his life, he was as ordinary as any human being, admitting that he engaged in vices such as drinking alcohol, (he insisted that he never indulged in fornication, stealing or nursing grudges against people).

He said that the transformation in his life started precisely on February 7, 1972 when he was living in Agege, Lagos.

He said, ”I was not sleeping. I was inside the house when I saw some strange visitors whom I later knew to be angels of God. I became unconscious for four days and I was rushed to hospitals with all the attempts made by doctors to treat me coming to nothing. The needles refused to penetrate. After the fourth day, I came back to life and as I was recovering, I kept on running away as the same spirits kept on appearing before me.

”Later they gave me a stern warning that they were angels of God and my refusal to submit myself for God‘s use could spell doom for me. So, reluctantly, I was forced to cooperate.”

He said he stopped taking drugs and warned his people from doing the same when an angel of God appeared to him on February 10, 1980 and banished him from taking traditional, Western or Eastern medicine.

On politics, Pa Abubakar chided the government for its insensitivity to the plight of the masses. He attributed the increasing rate of crime in the country to poverty and urged the Federal Government to develop the nation by providing welfare packages for the unemployed and the needy in the society.

He told public office holders that God was against greed and corruption, adding that the wrath of God was on leaders who failed to address the needs of the people.

He said, ”God gives the rich wealth so that they can take care of the needy. It is very unfortunate that in Nigeria you will see a public office holder having 10 cars, without any going for less than N10m and the majority of people are dying of hunger and want. Allah will surely judge such leaders here and hereafter.”

For a living, Pa Abubakar is a practising spiritualist. And it is the people who come for patronage that sustain him, with some giving him millions of naira, according to the octogenarian.

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