Muslims are people who have professed belief in Islam. As believers, they worship the One God and revere Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, as the last messenger of God. Additionally, they also believe in all the prophets which preceded Prophet Muhammad and the holy books which they brought, such as the Psalms, Torah, and the Gospel. A fundamental article of faith in Islam is belief in the Day of Judgement, when all humanity will be recompensed for their deeds in this world. Muslims believe in angels, as well as in predestination.
Nigeria is divided roughly in half between Muslims, who live mostly in the north, and Christians, who live mostly in the south.
The Igbo people in the South Eastern part of Nigeria with over 30 million population, have over the years maintained claim of being purely Christian region, but there is a modest population of Muslim Igbos in the region.
However, in this article, I will be sharing with you 8 famous Igbo men that are Muslims by religion:
1. Chief Abdulkadir A Obiahu
Chief Abdulkadir A Obiahu, an Igbo man from Afikpo in Ebonyi State, converted from Christianity to Islam in 1982. He is a professionally trained Engineer. Eze Nwosu I, the Ezeigbo I of Abuja conferred on him the Chieftaincy title of The Defender of the Islamic Faith in Igbo land.
2. Ned Nwoko
Born Chinedu Munir Nwoko better known as Prince Ned Nwoko is a Nigerian lawyer, politician who was born on December 21, 1960. He was a member of the House of Representatives between 1999 and 2003 representing Aniocha North-South and Oshimili North-South.
Prince Ned Nwoko is a Delta Igbo Muslim who was born into a royal family of Idumuje Ugboko kingdom in Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State.
Ned Nwoko will be 61 Years old by December 21st, 2021.
Ned Nwoko had his early education in Nigeria. He later relocated to the United Kingdom and got his first degree in law and history at the University of Keele, Staffordshire UK. He also attended King’s College London, culminating in a post graduate class with an LLM in Maritime and Commercial law. Nwoko was subsequently called to the English bar, at Lincoln’s Inn.
Nwoko began his legal career as a prosecutor for the crown and qualified as a solicitor of the supreme court of England and Wales. He worked at Kumars Solicitors and Pascaldiers & Co Solicitors before establishing Ned Nwoko & Co Solicitors in London.
Nwoko was secretary general, Nigerian legal practitioners UK and was visiting adviser, citizens’ advice bureau, based in London. He received an Honorary Doctorate degree in Letters by Commonwealth University College, Belize and honorary doctorate degree in science by the Federal University of Petroleum Resources Effurun FUPRE, Delta state.
Nwoko returned to Nigeria in December 1998 to contribute to the enthronement of a viable democratic institution in the country following the military disengagement from power, after long years of military dictatorship.
Ned Nwoko got married Nigerian Nollywood actress Regina Daniels ashis 6th wife in 2019.
3. Alhaji Abdulaziz Chibuzo Ude
Alhaji Abdulaziz Chibuzo Ude is an Igbo Muslim who originally hails from Anambra State in Eastern Nigeria. He is a prominent businessman, philanthropist, and an industrialist. He is the founder of Nok Publishers and the first African editor at Double Day. In the 1980s, he was the acting Chairman, Board of Directors Newswatch.
4. Ustaz Isa Friday Okonkwo
Ustaz Isa Friday Okonkwo is one of the famous Igbo Muslims.
Ustaz Isa Friday Okonkwo is the director of administration of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA). NSCIA is the umbrella organization and the superintendent of the affairs of Islam and Muslims in Nigeria, under the leadership of His Eminence, the Sultan of Sokoto and its President General Alh. Muhammad Sa’ad Abubaka.
Isa is also the director of DIT Global Consult Ltd, that specializes in family enlightenment and education consultancy.
Ustaz Isa, who is presently a postgraduate student of peace, conflict and strategic studies at the Nile University of Nigeria has his first degree in biochemistry from the University of Ibadan. He has undergone various trainings and qualifications including business and financial literacy and a consultancy qualification programme. He is a certified Chartered Project Manager (CPM).
5. HRH Dr. Abdulfatai Emetumah
HRH Dr. Abdulfatai Emetumah is a staunt Islamic scholar who is currently serving as the Igwe of Umuofor Kingdom in Oguta Local Government Area of Imo State.
He was formerly a Christian before converting to Islam through the influence of his father, Eze Alhaji Abdul Gaffaru, who brought Islam to his hometown during the Nigeria civil war.
6. Alhaji Daud Onyeagocha
He is from Imo state, a human right lawyer.
He is currently serving as the Chief Imam of Imo State. He is also the Waziri Hausawa. It was said that his grandfather is the first man in Owerri, Imo State, to accept Islam in 1908, about 113 years ago.
7. Alhaji Yahaya Ndu
He is an Igbo Muslim from Ezeagu Local Government Area of Enugu State. He was once African Renaissance Party’s presidential candidate.
8. Ustaz Aminu Igwebe Odera
Ustaz Aminu Igwebe Odera is another famous Igbo Muslim. He is from Orlu Local government area of Imo State. At a tender age of 12, he embraced Islam. Before proceeding to study Food Science Technology in the University of Tripoli, Libya, he studied Islamic studies. He is the former Chief Imam of Owerri, Imo State. In 2000, he bagged an appointment as the Administration of Nigeria Supreme Council For Islamic Affairs’ director.
I want you to know that those Igbo people who embraced Islam are not fools who rush in where angels fear to tread, but they honored their own choices and preferences. In Nigeria, everyone has the fundamental human right of freedom to the religion of choice.
Moreover, they have thought and convinced that they will find salvation in Islam before they embraced it. Almost everywhere in the world, Islam is spreading gradually likewise Christianity.
There are some Hausa people that we believe they born to be Muslims and they ended up accepting Jesus Christ in their lives. So, those Igbo people should not be criticized.
Moreover, oftentimes, the best things in life are free. Air, which is the most important element for all creatures, is free, water, especially the rainwater, is also free for all, and likewise, God’s salvation is also free. These Igbo people were merely looking for God’s salvation until they found it in Islam according to their final judgment which later led them to accept the religion.