Buhari, Sultan caution clerics against hate-preaching
President Muhammadu Buhari and Sultan of Sokoto, Dr. Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, yesterday called on religious leaders, especially those of Islamic faith, to guard against preachings aimed at distorting the true concept and intentions of Islam as a religion of peace.
The two leaders spoke yesterday at the opening of the four-day international Islamic conference in Nigeria with the theme: “Security and stability in the face of contemporary challenges” jointly organised by the Jama’atul Izalatul Bid’ah Wa-Iqamatis Sunnah (JIBWIS) and Muslim World League (MWL) at the Yar’Adua Centre in Abuja.
The President, who was the Special Guest, described the theme and timing of the conference as apt, especially coming at a time when most of the countries in the world are grappling with one form of conflict or another.
He said he was particularly impressed by the objectives of the conference, which among others, were designed to promote national, regional and global co-operation against the spread of insurgency, correct the distortions about the concept of peace in Islamic ideology and philosophy; contribute to the global fight against terrorism because security is a shared responsibility and attract global attention to the plight of those most affected by the insurgency which is mostly concentrated in the North-East of Nigeria.
His words: “Our country Nigeria has suffered many years of official neglect and corruption leading to untold hardships to the common man. I wish to assure you that our government will do everything possible to safeguard lives and property and also to ensure even development across the country.
“The global economic challenges the world is grappling with today might well turn out to be a blessing for us in Nigeria, because it will stimulate the latent economic opportunities that we have left untapped for decades. Poverty breeds disaffection, which in turn leads to crime and lawlessness, including confrontation against the state.
The Sultan, who agreed with the President on the need for religious leaders to preach moderation and tolerance, raised several posers as regard the conduct and the global perception of Islam and its adherents.
For instance, he asked rhetorically why virtually all Islamic nations are in turmoil across the globe, why were the leaders tolerating such mindless killings going on, what were leaders doing about educating the critical segment of the societies such as the youths, because according to him, education was very important in addressing cases of extremism.
The monarch said that all the societies desirous of peace and stability, not the least Nigeria, must be governed by leadership that is of high moral character.
However, National Chairman of JIBWIS, Sheik Abdullahi Bala Lau in his welcome remark, said that it was the moderate contributions of his organisation in complementing the sincere efforts of the President in providing a god-fearing leadership for the country.
He, therefore, tasked the present administration to work relentlessly towards addressing the problems of the less-privileged in the society, especially the plight of the Internally Displaced Persons, (IDPs) affected by the Boko Haram insurgency in the North-East.
Also, Senate President Bukola Saraki in his brief remark said the legislative arm of government would work co-operatively with the Executive towards ensuring that Nigerians enjoy better lives through the government’s various pro-poor initiatives.
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