Islamic scholars under the umbrella of the Conference of Islamic Organisations (CIO), have called on politicians to eschew violence just as they advised President Muhammadu Buhari to consolidate his fight against corruption, now that he had secured a fresh second term mandate.
Sheikh AbdurRahman Adangba, Chief Imam of Adangba Central Mosque, spoke on varying national and global issues on behalf of other scholars at a press briefing, held at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre, Alausa, Ikeja.
The Ulamau Forum of CIO urged the duo of Buhari and Osinbajo to see their victory at the just concluded general elections “as another opportunity to consolidate their efforts in the fight against corruption”.
The scholars specifically congratulated President Muhammadu Buhari, his Vice, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo as well as the governor and deputy governor-elect of Lagos state, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu and Dr Obafemi Hamzat, for their victory at the just concluded elections.
They also called on Sanwo-Olu and Hamzat to see their victory as a call to service and not a right.
“Our new set of political leaders should work tirelessly as a team to deliver dividends of democracy and ensure that people enjoy good governance through programmes and projects that are life-touching.
“Those who lost out at the elections should shun comments and utterances capable of leading to violence, riot or hate speeches.
“The blood of any Nigerian is not worth their emergence; politicians should eschew violence.
“They should not use politics to divide us on the basis of religion and ethnicity,” Adamgba said.
The CIO members also sympathising with families of victims of the recently collapsed buildings both in Lagos and Ibadan.
They called on the government at all levels to be strict with building regulations.
According to them, essential infrastructure to enhance the decongestion of over-populated areas should be provided.
New Zealand Killing
On the global event, the CIO condemned the inhuman and animalistic action of a white supremacist, Australian Brenton Tarrant, 28 and an extreme hatred to Muslims and Islam.
“Terror attacks hit Mosques at New Zealand’s Christchurch recently, killing no fewer than 50 Muslims and injuring 50 others.
“In the aftermath of the terror attacks, Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, changed the gun law in the country.
“She also received death threats through a Twitter post containing a photo of a gun and caption “You are next’’ that was sent to the prime minister.
“According to reports, the suspended account contained anti-Islamic contents and white supremacist hate speeches.
“We state categorically that this is an extreme terrorist attack taken too far. Islam is a religion of peace.
“We frown seriously on why the lives of the peaceful Muslims are rendered so cheaply.
“It is not as if they have committed any offence except that they believe in Allah and practise their religion.
“We condemn this inhuman and animalistic action and an extreme hatred to Muslims and Islam. This is an extreme hatred for Muslims and Islam.”
The CIO quoted relevant portions from the Holy Qur’an to buttress their points on the killing:
The Holy Qur’an says:
مِنْ أَجْلِ ذَٰلِكَ كَتَبْنَا عَلَىٰ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ أَنَّهُ مَنْ قَتَلَ نَفْسًابِغَيْرِ نَفْسٍ أَوْ فَسَادٍ فِي الْأَرْضِ فَكَأَنَّمَا قَتَلَ النَّاسَ جَمِيعًاوَمَنْ أَحْيَاهَا فَكَأَنَّمَا أَحْيَا النَّاسَ جَمِيعًا ۚ وَلَقَدْ جَاءَتْهُمْرُسُلُنَا بِالْبَيِّنَاتِ ثُمَّ إِنَّ كَثِيرًا مِنْهُمْ بَعْدَ ذَٰلِكَ فِي الْأَرْضِلَمُسْرِفُونَ
If anyone slew a person – unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land – it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people. Then although there came to them. Our messengers with clear signs, yet, even after that, many of them continued to commit excesses in the land.
“If the Muslims are being attacked mainly because they are worshipping their creator and by defending their right and are being wrongly tagged as terrorists, in the spirit of fair play and equal justice, anyone that perpetrated a dastardly act against humanity must also be referred to as one; most especially when they are non-Muslims of other faiths,” the Ulamau said.
They then called on the United Nations to protect the lives of Muslims in the world, particularly Muslims in Europe, and areas affected by this, like New Zealand, Australia and other parts of Europe because of Islamophobia.
The Ulamau Forum also said it observed that the UN and other world powers showed less concern for the killings.
“The silence of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) is also worrisome.
“CAN’s nonchalant attitude to making a statement on an event of such magnitude shows intolerance. This is unacceptable to us Muslims.
“We support the New Zealand Government to provide more security in places of worship for Muslims and non-Muslims. We also condemn the bad act and appeal that the perpetrator should be unfailingly brought to book.
The New Zealand government, Prime Minister Ardern sensitivity and firm stand against the incident is highly appreciated.
“This is an example of ultimate tolerance and cohabiting instance that should be shown by all World leaders.
“We equally salute the courage of President Muhammadu Buhari for being among the early world leaders to condemn the obnoxious act.
“Nigeria should emulate the provision of security at places of worship as currently seen in New Zealand Mosque attack.
“We urge the Nigerian Army to intensify efforts in combating terrorism in the country. The action of the Boko Haram sect is totally against Islam.”
By our correspondent