Muslims gathered at the Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos, to offer prayers for the nation, in an event organized by the Joint Muslim Forum.
Delivering a keynote address shortly after the prayers, Chief Imam of Lagos state, Dr. Abdurrahman Ahmad of Ansar-Ud-Deen Islamic Society of Nigeria and leader of the Forum called on God to intervene in the socio-political situation of the country, adding that Muslims are not terrorists as being misconstrued by some enemies of Islam.
“We feel a sense of duty to pray over the situation in our country. We all know there is no peace and security, we all know the anger and frustration of people in the country. There are questions to be answered and tongues are wagging. That is why we are here to call on Allah to intervene, to give us the means to attain lasting peace, to enable our leaders to do what is right and to be fair and just to the citizenry.
“We are on the verge of another election and acrimony is already manifesting, open letters here and there. It is only Allah that can intervene on behalf of the downtrodden and marginalised.
“This is also to show the world that we are Muslims, we are not terrorists, we are not arsonists. We have a duty to call on Allah, we are asking for peace, and praying to Allah for peace is our contribution towards attaining peace and tranquility.
“There is no group in the country that is economically marginalised than the Muslims. We pray to Allah to intervene.
“In spite of the fact that we’re the object of hate and calumny, we extend our hearts to others. We pray Allah to help touch the hearts of our leaders; to enable us to toe the path of peace. We pray Allah to help the politicians bury their inordinate ambition,” Ahmad said.
He also described as undemocratic, the call by certain groups that time was ripe for a Christian governor in the state, urging Lagosians to vote same come 2015. He said Lagosians had never voted along religious line in history.
Also speaking, Prof Ishaq Oloyede, Secretary-General, Nigeria Council for Islamic Affairs, NCIA called on Muslims to unite, especially those in leadership positions, in order to fight the scourge of unemployment, poverty, disease, hunger, ignorance, mis-governance, corruption, tribalism, among other vices in the society.
“For us as Muslims, I mean true practicing Muslims, we need to join hands to strive and provide exemplary leadership in various spheres of life and endeavours and ultimately for the nation. We must not stay-by and watch. We owe ourselves and Allah the responsibility to create an enabling environment for the unfettered worship of Allah and practice of Islam in a plural society like Nigeria without annihilating non-Muslims.
“We must live peacefully with our neighbours in an atmosphere of mutual respect for one another to jointly fight common problems such as unemployment, poverty, disease, hunger, ignorance, mis-governance, corruption, tribalism, moral decadence, drug abuse, insecurity, rape, religious intolerance, human right abuse, impunity, poor/non-existent infrastructure, victimisation, election rigging and so on. To do these, we must be involved,” the former Vice Chancellor of University of Ilorin Said.
Oloyede also called on Muslims in the State to join hands to address the peculiar issues affecting them which include hijab, new hijrah year holiday, coroner law, cremation of unclaimed corpses, unbalanced political appointment and absence of Sharia division in the judicial system.
Sheikh Ibrahim Garba Akinola, OON, the Chief Imam of Lagos state, Dr. Abdurrahman Ahmad of Ansar-Ud-Deen Islamic Society of Nigeria, Sheikh Abdullah Akinbode of Nasrullah-il-Fathi society of Nigeria, Sheikh Abdurrahman Adamgba of Qareeb Islamic Society, Sheikh Imran Abdul Majeed Eleha, Prof Ishaq Oloyede, Secretary-General, Nigeria Council for Islamic Affairs, NCIA, were among the prominent Muslims present at the event.