Friday, February 14, 2020



His Excellency, Ambassador Adnan Mahmoud Bostaji passed away on Tuesday, February 4th 2020 in Abuja, according to an announcement issued by the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia. 

“Before his appointment as a Saudi ambassador to Nigeria, Bostaji served as deputy to the ambassador at the Saudi Embassy in Berlin in 2016
“He started his career by joining the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Later, he was appointed deputy to the ambassador at the Saudi Embassy in Tehran from 1991 until 1998.
“Bostaji also worked at the administration of the Gulf Cooperation Council for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 1998 until 2000.
“In 2000, he was appointed as chargé d’affaires at the Saudi Embassy in Copenhagen, Denmark, until 2003.
“He then worked as head of economic affairs and international organizations at the Saudi Embassy in London from 2003 until 2005. He also joined the office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Makkah as director from 2003 until 2016.”

A close friend and former Saudi Arabian ambassador to Nigeria, Sheikh Fahd Sufayyan sent to me via WhatsApp a eulogy to Ambassador Adnan Bustaji written in Arabic by a Nigerian, Prof. Abdul Rahman bin Ahmed Al-Imam and I rendered into English: 

We are Allah’s and to Him we shall return.

(His Excellency, Ambassador Adnan was the):
 1- first ambassador (in the annals of Nigerian-Saudi Arabian diplomatic interactions) to combine, in perfect harmony, both diplomacy and advocacy without a clash. 

2- first ambassador that shepherded the interests of the Muslims as well as discharged his diplomatic mission.  

3- first ambassador to meet with hundreds of thousands of indigents affected by insurgency - touching the heads of their orphans and feeling the pains of their widows, strengthening the youths, and delivering, directly to the affected people, thousands of tons of Saudi aid.

4- first ambassador to confer with the Islamic propagators with a view to encouraging them on the need for constant interaction and camaraderie for the purposes of advancing the cause of Da’wah according to the dictates of the Saudi approach of moderation in proselytisation. 

5- first Saudi ambassador to convene a meeting of all Nigerian graduates of Saudi Arabian universities. That was unprecedented! We ardently hope that this (innovative) initiative will be continued by his successors, inshaa Allah. He met with the Nigerian graduates at a well-publicised ceremony that was witnessed by the media in Nigeria; the  joy of the attendees, and (indeed) all Nigerian Muslims was incalculable because they have never seen anything like it before!

6- first Saudi ambassador to declare to Islamic propagators that “your work singly and disjointedly is fruitless  and devoid of governmental recognition. You will achieve very little unless you hasten and stop procrastinating your registration with the government; only then will you be able to stand on firm legal ground, make Da'wah and guard Muslims’ interests with the instrumentality of the law.” On account of this His Excellency gave an appointment to the Constitution Drafting Committee for the (Association of Graduates of Saudi Universities in Nigeria), and that appointment was for tomorrow, Wednesday 11-6-14441H, equivalent to February 5th 2020AD, but he passed away today, Tuesday 10-6-1441AH. May have mercy on his soul.

We pray Allah to register him as a martyr stationed on the cause of Da’wah, because he did not do anything to hamper his diplomatic mission between the two countries; moreover, he infused into that a middle-course Da’wah activity in tandem with (acceptable) custom and law amidst those who consider any involvement in Islamic propagation as extremism! When? The tryst was for tomorrow. The date for the meeting with leading propagators of Islam in Nigeria - PhDs, and sheikhs - to review the constitution and benefit from his political and diplomatic sagacity, and he has just passed away before the deadline of this historic Da’wah meeting.

7- We are not saying that he was the first ambassador to facilitate complete cooperate with the Saudi diplomatic mission, as this is within the administrative realm, but what became apparent to us, and Allah knows best, was that he unprecedentedly bore enormous diplomatic burdens due to his concern for Da’wah

 8- Allah has ways of accomplishing His purpose; He brought to us in Nigeria, two years ago, an energetic attaché like the late ambassador, in the personage of Sheikh Abdul Rahman Al-Sa’eedi, may Allah guard and protect him, who started his mission, as did this ambassador, i.e. with unprecedented concern for Da’wah - organising, encouraging Islamic propagators, arranging courses on education and law in all parts of Nigeria that have not previously known anything called Saudi Arabia or the justly-balanced Sunnatic Da’wah. In fact, he was the first attaché witnessed by the Nigerian space after Sheikh Al-‘Uwaini, may Allah have mercy on him. The efforts of senior Nigerian Islamic propagators did not succeed in seeking for an extension from relevant authorities of the period of his mission in Nigeria,  but Allah has myriad ways of accomplishing His purpose;  He destined, in his stead, the energetic Professor Adnan Bostaji as ambassador to Nigeria.
9- We pray Allah Almighty to direct the Kingdom in appointing the likes of Al-Sa’eedi and Adnan in its Nigerian mission or even those better than both, or reassignment of Sheikh Abdul Rahman Al-Sa’eedi as ambassador -  your merchandise returned to you. 

10- Oh Allah, forgive Professor Adnan, the Ambassador of Saudi Arabia in Nigeria; have mercy on him, make him dwell in your spacious gardens, and inspire his family with fortitude and solace. We offer condolences to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, His Majesty King Salman bin Abdulaziz and his Crown Prince, His Royal Highness Prince Muhammad bin Salman Al-Saud, for the loss of a standard-bearer of politics and Da'wah. May Allah guard and protect the people and government of Saudi Arabia. May Allah guard and protect our country, Nigeria, and make it a region of security and prosperity. 

Sorry, for prolonging this discussion; the ambassador’s death was indeed a catastrophe!