Vice President Arc Mohammed Namadi Sambo has urged Muslim scholars to continually preach violence free and peaceful conduct during and after the forthcoming general elections.
The Vice President made the appeal at a Sensitization and Town Hall meeting organized for Muslim preachers, Imams and Islamiya school teachers from across the North-west zone by the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Islamic Affairs in collaboration with Coalition of Islamic Organization of Nigeria, which held on Sunday at the Umar Yar’ Adua Hall, Murtala Square, Kaduna.
Arc Sambo who noted the important role Muslim scholars play in shaping the moral values of the Muslim Ummah, said it had “become incumbent upon our Ulamas to imbibe the fear of the Almighty among the faithfuls and to continuously lead the Ummah as exemplified by teachings of the Prophet SAW.”
He also tasked them to “imbibe the right kind of training, education and proper upbringing of our children as well as continuous preaching and sensitization on the importance of peace and peaceful coexistence amongst us as well as respect for the law and authority of the State. “
Vice President Sambo emphasized that Islam is peace and abhors violence in all its ramifications, lamenting the post election violence of 2011 in some parts of the country, where the youth were the main perpetrators. He therefore emphasized that this placed a moral burden on parents, teachers and Ulamas to ensure that such needless incidences were prevented in the future, adding that violence of any form was never a means of expressing grievances.
Stressing that President Jonathan was a peaceful and peace loving man, who had repeatedly said his reelection was not worth the blood of any Nigerian, he maintained that it was the wish of the Almighty that Nigeria was composed of people of different faith, urging the need for the citizenry to respect their leaders and the beliefs of others.
The Vice President appealed to the Ulamas to continue to assist government with prayers and positive counseling and not making inciting statements and comments capable of breaching the peace, pledging that government was resolute in delivering free, fair and credible elections.
“It should be noted that, by the teachings of our faith, we shall account for our deeds in the hereafter. I therefore admonish you to live by example always and do good for the development of our dear country and humanity,” he stated.
In his speech Governor Mukhtar Ramalan Yero of Kaduna State called on the people to be fair and just to their leaders and always pray for their success, while also calling on the people to desist from spreading rumors capable of causing disaffection among the people.
He also used the occasion to appeal to the Ulamas to guard their statements and caution the Ummah against violence, adding that government was doing everything to ensure peace and tranquility prevailed at all times.
Different speakers at the event from the Minister of Education, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau, the Emir of Birnin Gwari, Alhaji Zubair JIbril Maigwari, and the representative of the Sultan of Sokoto, Mallam Maccido Baban Makaranta, Sokoto, as well as Sheikh Musa Assadussunah, among others, urged the people to be respecters of their leaders.
Similarly, they enjoined the leaders to be honest and just in the discharge of their duties and responsibilities to the people. They also called for violence free elections and peaceful and harmonious coexistence among the people, saying without peace there would be no meaningful development.
The convener of the event, the SSA to the President on Islamic Affairs, Barrister Tahir Umar Tahir, said the one day sensitization and mobilization seminar with the theme, “Towards a violence free 2015 general elections in Nigeria: The role of religious leaders/parents,” had 3000 participants drawn from the seven states of the North-west zone of the country, disclosing that the same meeting had earlier been held in other zones of the country.
He stated that the essence of the seminar was to sensitize and mobilize the participants towards the need to preach peace and violence free general elections among the people.
The SSA disclosed that the event was organized in collaboration with 20 Islamic organizations, which he said would be meeting quarterly to fashion out ways to preach peace and peaceful coexistence among the populace.
FOR: UMAR SANI (SSA ON MEDIA AND PUBLICITY TO THE VICE PRESIDENT)