With less than three weeks to the National Discourse on national food security, Muslims have been urged to take a more active interest in national development by engaging more in public service activities and charities.
This view was canvassed at a stakeholders meeting hosted by the Muslim Public Affairs Centre, Nigeria (MPAC) at the weekend in Lagos to discuss strategies towards ensuring public participation at the programme where Vice President Yemi Osinbajo will deliver the keynote speech.
The discourse, which centres on strategies for attaining food self-sufficiency in the country, and being organised by “The Companion National” an association of Muslim Professionals and businessmen, is expected to be chaired by former governor of Osun State, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola.
In his message to the stakeholders meeting, the Executive Chairman, MPAC Nigeria, Mr Disu Kamor, commended The Companion for its patriotism to Nigeria as demonstrated by consistently organising the national discourse, now in its fourth edition to address germane national issues.
Represented by MPAC Director of Media and Strategic Communications, Abdulwarees Solanke, Kamor said it was an Islamic obligation that Muslims must seek the good of their country or wherever they find accommodation.
According to him, Islam is very strong in its mandate to Muslims to advocate for and support righteous causes that promote public safety, security and national stability.
In his message, the Lagos chapter Chairman of the Muslim Media Practitioners of Nigeria (MMPN), Mallam Kabir Garba said the National Discourse tallies with the aim and objective of the Project Muslim VIP – Voice, Identity and Participation, which his group is partnering with MPAC to implement.
He said the project seeks to promote qualitative participation of Muslims in public and global affairs to change the perception that Muslims are not forthcoming in contributing to national debates.
The representative of The Companion, which is the chief hosting organisation, Ismail Bello Ozugha said The Companion, as an open Muslim organisation, believes in partnership and synergy of Muslims to improve quality of life.
He said Islam and Muslims have a lot to offer in the resolution of most crises confronting humanity and that it is by harnessing resources in explaining and demonstrating best practices that the world can find peace.
According to him, this is what informed why The Companion extended its hands of fellowship to NGOs and Muslim public service organisations like MPAC and MMPN towards a successful hosting of the discourse
Other stakeholders who spoke at the meeting and applauded The Companion initiative include representatives media houses and independent producers like Aims Media Company Limited.