The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar; Gov. Gboyega Oyetola of Osun and Alhaja Noimot Salako, Ogun Deputy Governor, have urged Muslims to embrace peaceful coexistence.
They made the plea on Sunday at the opening ceremony of the Islamic Vacation Course (IVC) held at the Muslim Students Society of Nigeria (MSSN), B-Zone IVC Permanent Site on Ibadan-Lagos Expressway.b
Recall that the Society was established on April 18, 1954 in Lagos.
The theme for the 111th edition of the IVC entitled “How Could This Be” was targeted at examining issues affecting Islam and how it could be addressed.
The Sultan, represented by Alhaji Abdur-Rasaq Oladejo, admonished the students to eschew violence, urging them to be constructive in their presentations and agitations.
Abubakar urged them to be peaceful and good ambassadors of Islam, whether in schools, homes, social events or wherever they find themselves.
Oyetola, also represented by his Special Adviser on Education, Mr Jamiu Olawunmi, admonished participants to use the opportunity in renewing their faiths and reawakening their spiritual life.
“I enjoin you all to always propagate good virtues and also propose to all tolerance as well as peaceful coexistence, regardless of our geopolitical zones, ethnic or religious practice,” he said.
Commenting, Mrs Noimot Salako, the Deputy Governor of Ogun, congratulated the MSSN on the 111th IVC programme, urging them to remain committed to the propagation of sound morals.
Salako admonished participants not to adopt divisive attitude or confrontation in achieving their goals, advising them to find a way of forming consensus.
“We have to make sure we always cooperate to help ourselves. We must not always see things as conflicts at all times.
“My brothers and sisters, another election circle is coming. We don’t have to go for elective positions to be relevant in politics.
“Let us all play our parts. Let us lend our voice to candidates. Let us support candidates who will not fail. Let’s support candidates that will help us achieve all that we want,” she said.
In his lecture, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, the Secretary-General, Nigeria Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), said there was no time to waste in achieving their mandates.
Oloyede, represented by Dr AbdulWahab Oyedokun, said that Allah had endowed them with intellect, knowledge, resources and wealth to fix their challenges.
He urged Muslims to propel the ummah to greater heights as well as prioritise education of youths and moral rebirth.
“We must strengthen our capacity for managing ideological differences.
“Those of us in government and public service at both the centre and sub-national levels must re-dedicate ourselves to the plights of the masses.
“We must invest in Islamic schools, be dedicated to reducing poverty and social exclusion of Muslims, among others,” he said.
Oloyede said it was imperative to examine the socio-political balance sheet of Nigeria with a view to determining the role expected of Muslims in the continual reconstruction of the society.
He said that the nation was beset with a number of challenges, traceable to poor social engineering as a result of breakdown of family values.
“We owe ourselves the primary obligation of self-appraisal. As Allah’s creatures, it is important to make a critical evaluation of our life’s journey; to ask ourselves questions whether we are actually on course,” he said.
Also, Retired CP Olayinka Balogun, in his lecture “Prevalence of Insecurity in Nigeria and Its Effect on Human Conduct” said that absence of good governance could perpetrate or cause multidimensional insecurity problems.
He listed causes of insecurity as weak and incapable government, corruption, politics of hatred, unemployment, general discrimination, impunity as well as breakdown of traditional institutions.
Balogun said that there was need for people to rise and ask those in authority to do the needful.
“We have worshipped and obeyed the government, let there arise amongst you now to advise, call on, admonish those in authority to fight corruption, lethargy and open audacity.
“They should teach deterrence, punish impunities and openly admonish; that is how to fight and curb insecurity, food, life, employment, freedom of movement as well as association,” he said.
Earlier, Mr Qaasim Odedeji, the Amir/Coordinator, MSSN B-Zone, cautioned those in authorities, as well as individuals, especially religious bigots not to use their positions to infringe on the fundamental rights of Muslim students.