•As MUSWEN launches book on ‘Islam in Yorubaland’
By Ishola Balogun
Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, Sultan of Sokoto and President-General, Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) Alhaji Muhammed Sa’ad Abubakar including other eminent personalities have urged Nigerians to shun divisive moves by some ill-informed persons to plunge Nigeria into chaos through call for secession.
The leaders opined that more needed to be done in teaching younger Nigerians about the nation’s history.
They spoke during the launch of a book entitled ‘Islam in Yorubaland: History, Education and Culture’, by Muslim Ummah of South West Nigeria (MUSWEN), held at Radisson Hotel, Ikeja GRA, Lagos, Wednesday.
Osinbajo who was represented by the Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Senator Babafemi Ojudu, said it was saddening that those who are ill-informed have taken the mantle of demanding separation and promoting issues capable of pitching Nigerians against one another in a bid to achieving their agenda.
He argued that though the country was facing challenges and that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration was exploring different options to bring about lasting solutions, it was important Nigerians support the government by shunning divisive rhetoric and their promoters.
The Vice President urged religious and traditional leaders to continue to support the government in amplifying the message of peace and religious tolerance across the country.
Other speakers at the event included Sultan of Sokoto and President-General, Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) Alhaji Muhammed Sa’ad Abubakar; Ooni of Ife, HRM, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, and All Progressives Congress (APC) National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. The speakers attributed rising agitations and disenchantment over government policies and actions across the country to illiteracy and misinformation.
Sultan calls for religious tolerance, Nigeria’s unity
Sultan Abubakar noted that aside from history, religious leaders and scholars across Nigeria must rise up in feeding their followers with truth and the true meaning of the faith they profess.
He canvassed religious tolerance, saying it can foster harmony across the country.
The revered monarch said it had become imperative for stakeholders to rise up and devise policies that would bring to the barest minimum the issue of misinformation across the country, particularly those hinged on religious differences.
He regretted that issues of national importance are being left in the hands of ignorant and illiterate citizens who are bent on setting the country up in flames through negative narratives.
Sultan Abubakar said people calling for secession at the time Nigeria is seeking to fix all security apparatus are not informed and they need to be more informed so as to take good decision.
Tinubu calls for unity amid insecurity
National Leader of All Progressive Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu called for unity among Nigerians amid daunting insecurity challenges.
He urged Nigerians to support the Federal government’s efforts at quelling insurgents and banditry.
Represented by the former Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Dr Idiat Adebule, Tinubu urged Nigerians to be wary of actions capable of plundering the country into ethno-religious crisis.
Asiwaju Tinubu appreciated the role of MUSWEN in promoting peace and harmonious relationship amongst the Muslim Ummah in South West Nigeria.
He further encouraged the umbrella body to continue to use the platform to promote peaceful co-existence and good neighborliness in the face of insecurity across the country presently.
Let’s live together despite ethnic, religious differences — Ooni of Ife
HRM, Oba Ogunwusi called for harmonious relationships among all tribes in Nigeria irrespective of their religious background. He implored other regions to learn from religious harmony in Southwest.
According to him, “hardly can there be a family in Yorubaland without having Muslims and Christians among members of the family, yet, you rarely find religious acrimony in the Southwest.”
A dream come true — MUSWEN President-General
Earlier, welcoming the guests, MUSWEN President-General, Alhaji Rasaki Oladejo, described the book presentation as historic for Muslims in Southwest.
According to him, it was a realisation of a dream to set the historical records of Islam in Yorubaland straight.
“What makes the difference in today’s presentation is the calling of the spade by it’s real name… for centuries, Muslims in Nigeria’s Southwest have had to accept their spiritual plight as a fait accompli when the concept and conditions for practising their religion had to be dictated to them by their counterparts in other religious,” he said.
The book was presented by former Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Jubrila Ayinla, while the Provost, Federal College of Education Iwo, Prof. Rafiu Adebayo reviewed the book.
Also in attendance were Oluwo of Iwo Oba Abdul-Rasheed Akanbi, Oniru of Iruland Oba Wasiu Gbolahan Lawal, Ogun State Deputy Governor Mrs Noimot Salako-Oyedele, and Founder of Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) as well as Founder and Chairman of the FATE Foundation, Alhaji Tajudeen Fola Adeola, who chaired the event.