By Kolade Larewaju
THE Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Saâ€™ad AbubakarÂ has warned that there is no way Nigeria can build a truly functional, dynamic, multi-cultural and multi-religious society without establishing the bonds of partnership and understanding with other religions and communities.
The Sultan who spoke weekend as a Special Guest of Honour at the Commissioning of the multi-billion Naira Egba-Agura Central Mosque in Abeokuta said, â€œwe cannot truly face the challenges of building a purposeful society without imbibing the ethos of religious harmony and mutual co-existence.â€
Saâ€™ad who is the President-General of the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, NSCIA, stated that it was equally important to emphasize that the building of unity and understanding also presupposed the breaking down of any artificial barriers â€œwe may erect to cause division.â€
Condemning the recent Jos mayhem that claimed several lives and properties, the Sultan urged Nigerians to â€œbeseech the Almighty to take to account the perpetrators of this senseless mayhem and lay bare their nefarious plans and frustrate their designs.â€
Tasks Nigerian leaders
He also urged prayers for the speedy recovery of ailing President Umaru Musa Yarâ€™Adua, families of the victims of the Jos mayhem and the entire nation saying â€œwe must pray to Allah to grant Plateau State and indeed the entire nation, the kind of leadership that protects the life and property of all its citizens, regardless of creed and ethnic origin and works earnestly to safeguard their welfare and livelihood.â€
The Sultan also urged prayers to Allah to â€œstrengthen the efforts of the multitude of well-meaning individuals and organisations, including the Nigeria Inter-Religious Council that has been working hard to bring peace and re-conciliation in our great country and crown their noble efforts with an enduring success.”
He commended the Egba-Agura Muslim Community for their sacrifices made to make the construction of the Mosque a reality.
According to him, “the Mosque serves as veritable centre of learning that will be able to impact basic Islamic knowledge to the young and capable, in a concerted and forward-looking manner for the future generation of Islamic leaders and scholars.â€
Among the notable Muslim faithful that graced the colourful occasion were the Secretary-General of the NSCIA, Dr. Lateef Adegbite and Alhaji Arisekola Alao and Alhaji Kola Animasaun.