President Muhammadu Buhari says his administration is committed to national unity and religious harmony, urging Nigerians to embrace the effort.
He gave the assurance on Sunday during the 10th Anniversary of Muslim Ummah of South West Nigeria (MUSWEN) and N5 billion launch of MUSWEN International Centre in Ibadan.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the president’s message was read at the event by Adamu Adamu, the Minister of Education.
Buhari urged religious leaders to embrace religious tolerance to achieve peaceful co-existence and national unity, re-stating his administration’s commitment to religious harmony and national unity.
The president commended MUSWEN and its leaders for their contributions to national growth and development, saying the south west Muslim leaders were the most dedicated.
Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State acknowledged MUSWEN’s support and contributions to the successes recorded by his administration.
He appealed to religious leaders to disseminate message of tolerance, unity, peace and tranquility in their sermons, particularly as the 2019 general election approached.
Ajimobi said it was only in the atmosphere of peace that development and growth could thrive in any society.
Sa’ad Abubakar, the Sultan of Sokoto, urged all to always extend hands of fellowship to others, irrespective of religious beliefs, ethnicity and status in the society.
He counseled Nigerians to eschew the use of foul languages on others even when they felt so much aggrieved, saying the nation could only achieve greatness through tolerance and unity of purpose.
The Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi, in a keynote address entitled “Muslim Voice on Good Governance”, said the topic was timely considering the challenges facing the country.
He said that Islam and Muslim political heritage had profound principles, norms and practices for good governance, saying such predated modern democracy which was about 200 years.
“Muslims should be at the fore front in advocating and leading with examples in good governance.
“This has become necessary because our political culture has deteriorated and increasingly mercantile, where money is everything.
“This is responsible for bad governance that has characterised the polity, subverted development, perpetrated poverty as well as elicited the unending social conflicts.”
Sanusi said money-based politics would continue to fuel unprecedented corruption seen in the society today, saying pristine values as a people had been supplanted and the future thrown into jeopardy.
He urged all political, spiritual and traditional leaders to join hands in salvaging the polity from the danger posed by the current political culture.
According to him, “we have to take leadership seriously and cannot ignore centuries old wisdom which places high premium on leadership and criteria for shouldering responsibilities.
“The consequences of ignoring the standards are already showing and we must not wait until the bubble bursts. We cannot allow full reins to money politics and expect the eradication of corruption.”
Wale Babalakin, the Chairman of the occasion, commended MUSWEN for the sustenance of its meaningful contribution to Islam and national development in the last 10 years.
Babalakin appealed to the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to call off its industrial action and dialogue with government, assuring them of meaningful resolution of the issue.
NAN reports that the event was attended by prominent Muslim clerics and scholars across the country.