A former Muslim preacher, who was famous in Nigeria for marrying more than 100 women, has passed away at the age of 93, media reports said. Mohammed Bello Abubakar died from an unknown illness on Saturday in Bida of Niger State and large crowds attended his funeral on Sunday, Daily Mail reported.
His personal assistant, Mutairu Salawudeen Bello, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that his employer had died at home “following a brief illness”.
Abubakar, who has more than 200 children, was in a controversy for his unusual interpretation of the Koran–that a man could marry as many wives as he was able to do.
“Baba (Abubakar) told us that his time was up; he personally told me that he had completed his divine assignment and was ready to meet his creator.”
In 2008 he was criticised a lot by other Muslim preachers for having 86 wives and they demanded that he must divorce 82 of his 86 wives within 48 hours. But the cleric refused stating that it was his ‘divine’ mission to keep marrying.
He told the BBC in 2008 that he had a god-given ability to control his many wives. It is believed that some of his wives are pregnant.
He said: “A man with 10 wives would collapse and die, but my own power is given by Allah. That is why I have been able to control 86 of them.”
Before his death, he had married 130 women in his entire life, although ten of the marriages are believed to have ended in divorce.
It has been learnt that many of his wives first came to him for healing. They could not deny when he proposed them as it was allegedly a command from God.
And when he proposed, they agreed to marry because it was allegedly a command from God.
He said in 2012: “Left for me, I would have married maybe two wives, but what I am doing is divine.
“I just want to advise those fighting against the number of my wives to stop because such people are waging war against God, their creator.”
A large number of people gathered at his funeral in Nigeria on Sunday, describing him as a good father and loving husband.