Top Muslim Politicians with Christian Spouses


BY FRANCIS OGBONNA

No aspect of our culture has hampered our willingness to co-exist as a people like religion. Religion, instead of being a blessing, in most cases has been a burden. Unarguably, it is one of, if not the major cause of strife today in our country.

The Christian-Muslim divide on so many occasions has been exploited by politicians, who use it as a tool to realise their inordinate ambitions. However, away from the prying eyes of their supporters and sometimes unsuspecting fellow worshipers, these leaders hobnob with those they openly refer to as infidels.

Others have gone a bit further contracting or approving marriages between these ‘strangers’ and themselves or with their offspring or relatives as beneficiaries.

Since these unions are often considered as unholy, some in a bid to allay the fears of the people who look up to them ask their brides to adopt new names, reflecting a change of faith, at least publicly, while others simply have allowed ‘sleeping dogs to lie’, especially in states where you have an almost equal ratio of Christians and Muslims residents. That way, during elections, they appear as being tolerant to the electorate.

Here are a few of these politicians and their better-halves:

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General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida-IBB as the former military Head of State is fondly called, until her death was married to Hajia Maryam Babangida. Born Ndidi Mary Okogwu on November 1, 1948 to Mr. Leonard Nwanonye Okogwu, an Igbo from present day Asaba, Delta State and Hajia Asabe Halima Mohammed from the present Niger State, young Ndidi was persuaded to tweak her Christian name Mary to the Muslim transliteration ‘Maryam’ to reflect a conversion to her new groom’s faith. However despite this change, the celebrated ‘Better Life for Rural Women’ initiator maintained a connection with her roots until her demise in 2009. She also didn’t publicly display much affiliation to Islam, like many devout Muslim would do, but built bridges between people of the two major faiths in the country.

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Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, former Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria-is another politician who married a non-Muslim. His spouse, Amina Titi Atiku Abubakar was born into a Christian family-The Albert Family from Ilesa in present day Osun State.

Her primary and secondary education was even at a Catholic Missionary School, to show her parents commitment to the Roman Catholic Church. The former Polytechnic Don, who founded Women Trafficking and Child Labour Eradication Foundation (WOTCLEF) is said to be in touch with her roots, a position, commentators say is confirmed by her recent loss of N918m to a case of alleged fraud by her business partner, who happens to be a pastor.

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Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu-The former Governor of Lagos state and National leader of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) is married to Senator Oluremi Tinubu, a preacher of the Gospel of Christ.

She is also the convener of the annual Musical Youth Fiesta Initiative, which promotes godly lifestyle among youths.

Senator Tinubu is also an unapologetic member of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) where she serves as an ordained Deaconess and the Jagaban, publicly or otherwise has not shown any dislike for her expression of a different faith yet.

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Babatunde Raji Fashola-The triple portfolio minister is married to Dame Emmanuella Abimbola Fashola, a devout Catholic and friend to many other denomination of the faith. A recipient of the prestigious Papal Medal, bestowed on her by His Holiness, Pope Benedict the XVI, the journalist has been married to the former Lagos State Governor for 24 years and BRF as he is fondly called seems comfortable with their difference in believe.

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   Senator Isiaq Abiola Ajimobi-The helmsman of Oyo State Government, though a practicing Muslim is married to Mrs. Florence Ajimobi, a devoted Christian, with a strong Catholic background. Born in Benin City, in present day Edo State, into the Hajaig family of Lebanese descent, she didn’t renounce her faith even after her marriage with the former lawmaker.

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Abdulfatah Ahmad, Kwara State Governor-The former banker is wedded to Deaconess Omolewa, who he has allowed to commit to another faith unfettered. The Life Empower Anchor Hope founder has married her husband amid stiff opposition from her parents.

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Senator Ibikunle Amosun, Ogun State Governor-Beautiful first lady of Ogun State, Mrs. Olufunsho Amosun, described prior to her union with the former Federal Lawmaker as a staunch Christian, whose father was a Bishop, unlike those mentioned above from get go changed religion immediately after her marriage. According to her, she decided to do so, because she didn’t want her children someday to ask her why she is practicing a different faith from their father’s.


This is how far I have decided to go with this article. If you have others that you know, please let me know via mybackyardstory@gmail.com for update.
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