By Ishola Balogun
The Council of Imams and Alfas in Eti-Osa, Lagos state has declared that the activities of the Boko Haram sect do not represent the teachings of Islam just as the Baba Adini of the area, Alhaji AbdulYekeen Olawale Bakare described the recent demand by the sect that President Jonathan must accept Islam as balderdash.
Alhaji Bakare stated this at the special Prayer held for the missing ace Presenter, Alhaji Aremu Gawat and Press conference on the state of the nation organised by the Council of Imams and Alfas in Eti-Osa, Lagos state.
The prayer which took about two hours in the form of recitation of the Holy Quran and other recitations for the safe return of Alhaji Gawat was led by the chairman of the council, Alhaji Abdul-Barri Yossuff Afini.
The group which described the mysterious disappearance of Gawat as a test from Almighty Allah appealed to his captors to have a rethink and release him forthwith.
“We appeal to any person or group of persons that may be connected to the disappearance of Alhaji Gawat to make available means of negotiation. Life is give and take. We are ready for negotiation, whatever it is, nothing from heaven is too heavy for the earth. We are sure the society is very much ready to forgive you, if he (Gawat) can be released, we shall go by your terms. Take it as a promise from Imams and it shall be fulfilled. Please release Alhaji Gawat now.”
Reacting to the state of insecurity in the country, Alhaji Afini who also condemned the incessant killings and destruction of property in the northern part of the country said the act is alien to Islam. He stated: “some people might be behind it using Islam to actualise their selfish goals and giving it religious colouration.
“Islam emphasises that if anyone kills a soul, it is as if he had killed a whole nation and whoever saves a soul would have saved a whole nation. So, anybody doing anything contrary cannot be said to be representing Islam,“ he stated.
The Baba Adini of Eti-Osa, Alhaji Abdul-Yekeen Bakare also condemned the sect’s demand that President Jonathan should become a Muslim saying that it is balderdash.
“It is rubbish. Every one has the right to practice any religion of his choice. Islam says there is no compulsion in religion and nobody should be forced to accept Islam. The prophet thought us to preach to people with wisdom and not by coercing them to accept Islam.”
Alhaji Bakare who noted that the sect does not in any way represent Islam or Muslims in the country urged all Muslims to be security conscious in their environment while also urging the security agents to do more in unraveling the whereabouts of Alhaji Gawat.
In the same vein, the Amirah of Federation of Muslim Women Association of Nigeria, FOMWAN, Eti-Osa branch, Alhaja Mulikat Abeni sCalfos said the group will continue to hold prayers for the safe return of the ace presenter.