NEWS DIGEST – Gov. Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State has challenged apex voluntary religious propagation  groups to properly harness their potentials for behavioral change in Nigerian communities.

Tambuwal made the call at  the 2019 General Assembly of Da’awa Coordination Council of Nigeria (DCCN) meeting on Sunday in Sokoto.

He described the gathering as a very veritable platform to addressing divergent views on  Islam by  Muslim communities (Ummahs).

“You have alot to do for us in this country especially for our youths who most recently have no good understanding of Islam.

“Islam teaches virtues practices worthy of emulation to the world, those having misconceptions about the religion should be engaged to have good understandings,” tambuwal said.

The Sultan of Sokoto and President General Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA)  Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, enjoined Nigerians to always ponder on thier actions.

Abubakar regretted the political happenings especially associated with religious groups and expressed fears over the future of Nigeria’s election looking at what transpired before, during and after the 2019 general elections.

He said the concluded elections witnessed very disturbing trends where even religious leaders were accused of openly pitching tent with candidates as they were expected to be neutral.

“I want you to go back to your communities and use your influence to preach on the need for peace and mutual understanding and tolerance.

“I made it a habit in the past years to bring high ranking personalities to our midst and challenge them on addressing political, security and economic challenges.

“I have been an observer of elections over the years and have never declared support for any candiate.

“As a religious leader, I have never asked Imams or Muslim preachers to preach against anybody or in support of any as well.

“We religious leaders have to be careful of what we tell our followers because most of them are not educated and will take whatever you say as true.

“It is worrisome how our people are  divided because of political differences,  noting that at present , brothers no longer talk to each other, Friends are now divided in a very terrible way because  of politics.

‘ Neighbours now hate each other because they belong to different political parties .

“We should ask ourselves why has things changed that way? Is it because of the greed of our religious leaders who collect favours to preach their support for a particular candidate?

“Let’s try to discourage that, because the Islamic religion preaches love for all.

“Let us work towards peace and having a society where everybody is free to exist in peace, let us  start working on our challenges from now by trying to collectively struggle for good,”  the sultan said. said.

In his remark, the Chairman,  Sokoto Zakkat and Endowment Committee, and President of Da ‘awa Coordination Council of Nigeria (DCCN) Alhaji Lawal Maidoki, said the meeting was a stock taking one and to also work on the future.

Prof. Salihu Mikalilu, who delivered a lecture on the “Challenges Confronting the Muslim Ummah in Nigeria, said peaceful coexistence was central to development in any country.

Mikailu admonished Nigerians to see the country’s diversity as a source of strength as Islam taught  us that such diversity should be our strength.

“Islam guarantees all forms of rights including rights to life, Qur’an forbids killing of human beings under whatever guise except if such pronoucement are backed by law.

“Those who commit crimes and religious viloence in whatever manner should not go unpunished, by the time they are spared, it will get to a point that anarchy will become the other of the day,” he said.

He emphasised the Importance of peace as it facilitated socio-economic activities, poverty, and that  ignorance led to unemployment and other wrong doings.

“Nigeria is a multi religious society and we have to appreciate that the diversity in itself is not the problem but should be seen as an  advantage for progress,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Prof. Muktar Bunza, also delivered a paper entitled:” Trust and Responsibility as Tools for Sustainable Development.”

Also, Dr Ibrahim Khalil from Kano and Dr Mansur Ibrahim-Sokoto delivered lectures on the Importance of Trust in the Society and Contribution of Usman Danfodio works towards nation building. (NAN)

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