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How to groom patriotic youths through quality sermons

By Sulaimon Salau
01 May 2015   |   12:42 am
For Nigeria to achieve its growth aspirations the need for clerics to deliver quality sermons that would ginger the spirit of idealism and growth in Nigerian youths has been stressed
Members with Donor

Members of Zumratul Islamiyyah Society Nigeria (ZISN) and Bashorun Adinni, Lagos Island Branch of ZISN and Otun Balogun of Ibadan land, Alhaji Chief Saliyu Adetunji (third left) during the signing and presentation of the deed of assignment of landed property donated to the group by Adetunji … in Lagos last week.

For Nigeria to achieve its growth aspirations the need for clerics to deliver quality sermons that would ginger the spirit of idealism and growth in Nigerian youths has been stressed.

Indeed, the youths, who were described as clueless and lacking good role model and mentors by Alhaji Ayo Adeyemi, in his paper titled: “Sharia and the Fundamentals of an ideal human society series”, were also said to be engrossed in corruption and illegal money-making ventures.

Adeyemi, the Founder, Islamic Mission Organisation (I.M.O International), urged that sermons from the mimbar and pulpit should be directed towards encouraging the young people on hard work and faith in God, adding that the youths should also wake up and play important role in the governance of the country in the new dispensation.

He believed that religion could reshape the youths who are described as the future of the nation, if the clerics choose to go the righteous path as role models and determine to groom the youths through well-synchronised sermons.

“Sermons from the Mimbar and Pulpit are no more directed to encouraging the young people on hard work and faith in God. It is now directed to fighting imaginary enemies.

It is about making money and becoming millionaires over right. “Rather than work hard for their needs and solve earthly problems the confront mankind from day to day, worshippers are taught to leave everything to God and look out for miracle in every aspect of their lives.

Our youths have been compromised to join this mind-set. In fact, many of them, instead of spear-heading robust industrial revolution, now lead many of the much-room prayer houses and becoming superrich over right,” he said.

He however added that: “No nation can progress without the contributions of vibrant, brilliant, articulate, aggressive and daunting youths. Unfortunately, the youths of nowadays in Nigeria lack the type of grooming and development which our own generations took for granted. Those role models of yesteryears are very scarce.”

Lamenting a number of atrocities committed by the youths in recent times, the IMO boss queried: “How do you expect a compromised youth who see nothing wrong in corrupt practices to subject government appropriation to scrutiny? That expectation may even be far-fetched because most of our youth lack knowledge of government budgeting.

They don’t read papers or listen to news – they are not well informed on current affairs.” Giving reference to the early Nigeria independence days, he noted that the well-informed youth who later became the leaders of those days’ government officials found it difficult to steal or embezzle government money.

“They would be exposed, and if that happened, the police did not require the governor’s permission before stepping in to investigate, arrest if necessary, prosecute and obtain penalty from the court. Cases of corruption were very few.

“Today, we are in a serious trouble that goes beyond mere good intention to stop or reduce corruption drastically. We need to build institutions – lasting institutions which must be spearheaded by many successive administrations starting with Buhari’s. Corruption has permeated every fabric of our life to the extent that we breathe and live it as a culture.

“Every home, every parent, every child in Nigeria breathes and lives corruption. That is why exterminating it is not as easy as is being suggested. Where does one start from? Most attention is usually focused on government officials in the federal, states and local governments but the greatest centre of corruption is the public, the educational institutions and unfortunately, the religious houses – the so called houses of God and these, are the supposed untouchable precincts of ‘holiness’.

“How will a Muslim President bring an erring Church to book or a Christian President prosecuting an erring Mosque for instance, considering our attitudes to religion? What about the attitudes of the compromised Press.

Are we all not living witnesses to the support which some sections of the Press openly gave to the campaign of calumny that characterized the last electioneering campaign? How do you get the cooperation of the Press in fighting corruption and building lasting structures to bury its re-emergence?” he worried.

Adeyemi however identified the increasing level of corruption and lack of ideas as the bane of the country’s progress. “Nigerians are poor – very poor in intellectual and material sense.

Even those who steal and embezzle the nations’ money are still poor. You may think that they are smart, but many of them are in bankruptcy of ideas.” He therefore urged the President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari to instill into youngsters in Nigeria a spirit to make them feel wanted through proper nurturing and support, a spirit of giving back after receiving.

“I invite you good Nigerians, because I believe there are many good Nigerians who are willing to rescue this nation from stupor, to come out and let us work together.

By working together, we can reach across the racial, cultural, social and economic gaps that divide us. “We can recover our sense of community – our pride in being a nation of neighbours who care.

We can together recover and re-establish the tradition of service to others that has been so much of our history – African history and national character,” he said.

Adeyemi however welcome the youths to a new beginning in Nigeria, and urged them to join the crusade for a new resolution to build a peaceful, progressive and prosperous Nigeria through selfless efforts and personal sacrifices.