As a build-up to the general elections, scheduled to take place next month, Muslims have again been called upon to engage meaningfully in the political process of electing God-fearing leaders who will deliver good governance and ensure peaceful society.
An Islamic scholar, Ustadz Ismail Busayri, made the call at a political discourse on “elections and electioneering” jointly organised by Centre for Global Peace initiative (CGPI) and The Muslim Congress (TMC) on Sunday in Lagos.
The discourse, with the theme: “Credible Elections: Foundation for Positive Development”, was held at the TMC Dawah Centre, along Apapa/Oshodi Expressway.
In his lecture titled: titled “Attributes of a Good Public Servant”, Busayri who is the Secretary of the Muslim Community of Oyo State, spoke on the importance of leadership position in any society and as enjoined in the Glorious Qur’an and Hadith of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him).
Quoting relevant portions from the Glorious Qur’an, the scholar spoke on the imperatives of Muslim to meaningfully engage in the political process by voting and seeking public office, noting that Allah described Muslim as the best leaders evolved for mankind.
Busayri, who is a former Naibul Amir (Vice President of TMC), also highlighted the prerequisites of a good leader in accordance with the principles of the Shari’a, quoting relevant portions from the two authentic sources of Islamic scriptures.
He delved into history by highlighting three methods by which leaders emerge in the society globally which include; through military coup, monarchy and through Suurah (Consultations).
He said that while coup and monarchy systems were forceful, brutal and without tenure, the emergence of leaders, through consultation tends to involve the people and has a tenure of office.
Also speaking, an official of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mr Luka Buba charged the gathering on the need to play an active role in the election process and what they need to do to ensure that their votes count on election day.
According to him, the first step they needed to take was to collect their Permanent Voters Card (PVC) which is the only instrument through which they can elect their leaders for the next four years
When the officer asked the gathering “How many people have PVCs here”, the response was in affirmative as virtually everybody at the venue raised their hands.
Luka told the gathering that INEC had registered over 84 million Nigerians for coming general elections from which Lagos accounted for about seven million.
According to him, there are more than one million PCV lying in wait at INEC office in Lagos for collection.
He, therefore, charge those that have registered but are yet to collect their PCV to do so by going to their ward headquarters to get theirs.
The INEC official commended the organisers of the discourse, expressing joy at the massive turn-out of the Muslims for the programme.
“I have attended series of sensitisation programmes organised by different Muslim organisations and mosques, the turn out here today was massive. I am really impressed.
“Not only did the men come out, their wives and other Muslim women also attended in their numbers.
“This is what INEC wants and the bodies should be commended.’’
Earlier in his welcome address, Dr Luqman AbdurRaheem, the Amir (President) of TMC, said that the programme was put together to sensitive people about their civic responsibility as citizens, educate them on the voting process and to highlight the attributes expected to observe in those vying for public offices.
AbdurRaheem remarked that good governance could only be realistic when leadership emerge through general consensus.
He said “every effort must be geared towards enlightening the public on active participation in election process’’.
BY Oluwashina Iyanda