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Echoes of religious co-existence in Nigeria at MUSWEN at 10 outing


Oyo State Governor, Senator Ishaq Abiola Ajimobi (left); Sultan of Sokoto and President – General, Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar; Deputy President General (South) Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Alhaji (Dr.) Sakariyau Babalola and Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi II at the MUSWEN Grand finale 10th Aniiversary Celebration & N5N Launch of MUSWEN International Centre held at International Conference Centre, University of Ibadan.

President Muhammadu Buhari, as enjoined Nigerians to embrace religious tolerance for peace to reign in the country.

Buhari who spoke at the grand finale of 10th anniversary of Muslim Ummah in the South Western Nigeria (MUSWEN) and N5 billion launch of its International Centre, in Ibadan, said since Islam is a religion of peace, it behoves on Nigerian Muslims to always promote peaceful coexistence even in the face of provocation.

The president, who was represented by the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, assured of the readiness of his administration to continue to promote religious tolerance in the country.

He commended MUSWEN for giving “a voice to Muslims in Southwest Nigeria, noting that the region has continued to contribute immensely to the development of Islam and the peaceful coexistence of all in Nigeria.

President – General, Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) and Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Mohammed Sa’ad Abubakar, cautioned Muslims against violence, urging them to remain calm and use their religion to entrench culture of understanding, tolerance and peaceful coexistence.

He said whenever the Muslims are denied their rights; they should not use foul and abusive languages.

“Lets show decorum, let’s show people that we are Muslims. We should not use foul languages. We can be aggrieved, but don’t let us allow grievances to make us turn violent”, Sultan counseled.

The Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi II, insisted that the ongoing killings and destruction of people’s property in some parts of the country is not part of Jihad as being speculated in some quarters.

Sanusi maintained that the national security should not be threatened or undermined all in the name of Jihad.

The Emir added that, “killing people in the name of Jihad is not Jihad. Allah does not prohibit us to cater for and take care of people.

“So what we see with people destroying the peace of the nation is not a Jihad especially when your freedom to practice Islam is not tampered with. And we have to take it and we to have it as our responsibility to say that this is not Islam.”

Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State, who was the host governor, urged Southwest Muslims to continue to embrace peace as the 2019 general elections are fast approaching.

Ajimobi, who noted that it is only in the atmosphere of peace that meaningful development can be witnessed, commended MUSWEN leadership for promoting religious harmony in the region.

The organization’s chairman, Board of Trustee, Prince Abdul-Jabar Bola Ajibola, who stressed the need for unity among Muslims in the zone with credible leadership, noted that in the last 10 years, MUSWEN had made conscious efforts to have robust engagement with its internal and external stakeholders.

He said MUSWEN had taken genuine steps that have set the Ummah in the region on the path of development and progress, adding that the body had recorded some modest achievements especially in the areas of education, scholarship scheme for female medical students, empowerment scheme through zakat, free medical and professional development opportunities among others.

President of MUSWEN, Alhaji Sakariyau Bablola, said the group had “in the past 10years provided leadership for and helped enhance peace and unity amongst stakeholders in the region. Besides, the body has taken genuine steps that have set the Ummah in the region on the path of development and progress, he said.

Babalola however appreciated those that contributed to the feat, assuring a better future for the body and entire Muslim community in the region.

The Executive Secretary, MUSWEN, Prof Dawud Noibi, said: “The vision of MUSWEN is to serve as a united and effective voice for Muslims in the region under a strong, veritable and collective leadership. The overall aim is to raise the profile of the Muslims in this part of the country “.

Noibi bemoaned the marginalisation of Muslims in the region in the area of education and socio -political matters while alleging that the media paints wrong perceptions about the religion.

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