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Muslims urged to tap opportunities in media

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Alhaji Akiolu Ibrahim of Public Affairs Unit, Lagos State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, (left); Alhaji Seriki Lookman of Ministry of Home Affairs; Alhaji Yusuf. A. Ibrahim of The Nation; Head Public Affairs Unit, Lagos State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, Alhaji Jamiu Dosunmu; Alhaji Tajudeen Adebanjo of The Nation; Secretary, MMPN, Lagos State Chapter, Alhaji Ishola Balogun; Alhaji Muritala Ayinla of New Telegraph and Alhaja Yesira Abiola of Radio Nigeria during a reception organized in honour of the 2017 Hujajs (pilgrims) and the new Chairman Lagos State Chapter of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Dr. Qasim Akinreti held last weekend in Lagos.


. MMPN celebrates the Hujjaj, NUJ chairman

The Nigerian Muslims have been urged to fully utilize the opportunities in the media space to create enlightenment on the teachings of the religion. Members of the Muslim Media Practitioners of Nigeria (MMPN), Lagos Chapter, and other stakeholders that converged at a reception organized in honour of the 2017 Hujajs (pilgrims) and the new Chairman Lagos State Chapter of Nigerian Union of Journalist (NUJ), Dr. Qasim Akinreti, bemoaned the under-utilisation of media space by the Muslims, calling on all Islamic groups and influential personalities to invest in media.

Publicity Secretary, Nasiru-llahi-l-Fathi Society of Nigeria (NASFAT)Banji Busari, lauded MMPN for its giant stride in the propagation of Islam in Nigeria. He described the forum as very crucial, and urged it to invite more Muslim practitioners to the group and mentor them to be very active as on the job.

Busari said Akinreti’s emergence as Chairman of NUJ came as a result of his enviable commitment to duty and good integrity. Akinreti stressed the need for Muslims to invest in more communication graduates that are determined to earn higher grades in their educational career.

He decried the low number of Muslims in journalism and poor participation in political positions, which provides them opportunity to partake in decision making.On his victory at the recent NUJ elections in Lagos, Akinreti said winning the lection was an act of God, adding that the victory came based on his confidence and trust in Allah.

He reiterated his commitment to turning around the NUJ.“The entire institution is so messy. When I saw what we met on ground I knew that we have to start from ground zero. And we will do everything to turn it around,” he assured.

The pilgrims were also given the opportunity to narrate their experience from the holy journey.Secretary, MMPN, Lagos State Chapter, Ishola Balogun said the yearly get-together was very important because paying pilgrimage to Makah is an obligation that is based on Allah’s Ramah.

He described the site as the holiest city on earth, where the holy Prophet (SAW) also endorsed to be clean from all immoral and evil act. He said the vices that are currently reigning in most cities across the world are not seen in the two cities -Makkah and Medina.

“The prophet said in the end time darkness will cover all cities except two cities-Makkah and Medina and that is obvious nowadays,” he said.Balogun said Muslim’s should take advantage of media to spread the message of Islam, saying the media has now become a tool of propaganda. “We need to strategically position ourselves to continue to be relevant in the society,” he said.

Balogun also sought the support the Lagos State government, which he said has been very active in terms of functional governance.Alhaji Seriki, Head Public Affairs Unit of Lagos State Home Affairs, lauded the group for projecting the beauty of Islam through the media.He said pilgrimage experience is a very exciting one never to be forgotten.

Narrating his experience, he said the city of Medina is a lovely city and visitations to the notable spots and historic places are interesting. He lauded the initiative and creativity of the Commissioner for Home Affairs, AbdulAkeem AbdLateef, which made the exercise to be successful.He advised those that have not gone for hajj to strive to go, because it’s one of pillars of Islam that must be upheld by everyone.

Head Public Affairs Unit, Lagos State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, Alhaji Jamiu Dosunmu, said Muslim journalists that attend hajj should be very objective in their reportage.“As Muslim journalists, you are there to do two things, observing hajj rites and reporting hajj events. You really need to careful about the facts you are pushing out. We must confirm and cross-check all our facts and report it with great sense of objectivity.

“For example, the story of the person reportedly stolen purse and jailed for three years is a cock and bull story. It’s not a genuine report.“We are Muslims, our priority should be reporting good things about our religion, if care is not taken we can shoot ourselves in the leg. We should endeavour to be modest in our reports,” he said.

Alhaji Ibrahim Yusuf of The Nation Newspapers, said: “You can’t go to hajj and remain the same again. For me it’s about the saying of ‘see Mekka and bow’.Then I begin to wonder what Nigerian government is doing. We have to wake up to the reality that we are lagging behind,”

Alhaja Yesira Abiola of Radio Nigeria, said: “It was a beautiful experience. I have been longing to sight Kaaba and immediately I sighted it I was crying. I experienced some spiritual mysteries around Kaaba that touched me and strengthed my faith in Allah. The exercise really changed my ways and I became a different person entirely,”


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