‘Why peaceful conduct of election is desirable’

Erelu of Lagos Abiola Dosunmu (left); ex-Deputy Governor Alhaja Sinatu Ojikutu; Ambassador Nimota Akanbi; Olori Muhibat Oyefusi; Lagos State Deputy Governor, Dr. Idiat Adebule; Fatima Charity Foundation (FCF) President Chief Bintu-Fatima Tinubu ; Justice Ishola Olorunnimbe; Baba Adinni of Lagos Sheikh AbdulAfeez Abou; Chief Imam of Lagos Sheikh Sulaimon Abou-Nolla; General Overseer and Pastor of the Trinity Church Pastor Ituah Ighodalo, representative of Oba Rilwan Akiolu and Managing Director, Istabaraqim Nigeria Limited, Alhaji Rafiu Ebiti during the yearly prayer for the nation organized by Fatima Charity Foundation (FCF) in Lagos.

The Fatima Charity Foundation (FCF) has stressed the need for fervent prayers for a peaceful conduct of the general elections, urging Lagosians to avoid hate speeches and any act that could lead to violence.

Lagos State Deputy Governor Dr. Idiat Adebule, who was a special guest at the special prayer for the nation organised by the Fatima Charity Foundation (FCF) in Lagos, said the regulations of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) are enough to make the process peaceful, if only Nigerians abide by them.

She commended the foundation for introducing interdenominational groups into the annual programme, adding that bringing Christians and Muslims together under one roof, would promote peace and understanding among the faiths.“We are trying to create harmonious relationship between religious groups by promoting the Nigeria Inter-Religious Council (NIREC) at state and local government levels. If only we can keep to things that bind us together and refrain from those that divide us, it will be good for our nation,” she said.

FCF President Chief Bintu-Fatima Tinubu, said the yearly event was conceived due to many challenges facing the nation and finding solutions by seeking God’s help for guidance, protection and attainment of possible results.“Your presence here today (yesterday) underscores your desire to see a greater and better Nigeria we all clamoured for. And in retrospect, good leadership and good governance form an integral part of every great nation. Nevertheless our common philosophy is to see Nigeria develop, prosper and re-affirm itself as the pride and giant of Africa,” she said.

Tinubu, who is also the Iyalode of Lagos said: “The politics we practice must not be a do or die affair. We must all be conscious of the word of God in the Holy Quran which says: Allah is the owner of sovereignty. He gives sovereignty to whom He will and withdraw sovereignty from whom He will; He exalts whom He will and He abases whom He will. In His Hand is all good, He is able to do all things.

“We must bear in mind that in any contest, there are winners and losers and always opportunities to give it another try. Therefore the collective goal should be to deliver a sustainable democracy that has the people and the country as its focal point.“This platform seeks to demonstrate that peaceful co-existence is the hallmark despite our faith, race, religion, social status or political affiliations,” she said.

The Deputy President-General of Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) Alhaji Sakariyahu Babalola, who chaired the occasion, said there is no substitute for peace.Represented by the Managing Director, Istabaraqim Nigeria Limited, Alhaji Rafiu Ebiti, he urged Nigerians, politicians in particular not to take peace for granted.“Our politicians must know that somebody will win, somebody will lose. If you miss something you strive for, it is a good thing for you,” he said.

The guest speakers, Pastor Ituah Ighodalo, the General Overseer and Pastor of the Trinity Church and Sheikh AbdurRahman Ahmad, Chief Missioner of Ansar- ud -Deen Society of Nigeria (Worldwide) called on Nigerians to hold their leaders accountable.Pastor Ighodalo lamented that Nigerians have not enjoy dividends of democracy in the last 20 years.

He urged electorate to ensure right people are elected into offices. He described cross carpeting among politicians, ideological differences, bias media, poor management of resources, fraudulent election, and change of policies among others as the bane of the democratic system in the country.Sheikh Ahmad also lamented that electorate don’t have a say in people throwing up by political parties to vie for offices.

“An unfortunately our votes do not count. We can to a large extent predict who will win election in Lagos State today,” he said.Democracy, he said, should achieve five things namely security of lives and property, prosperity, equality, justice and liberty.All the aforementioned, he said, are eluding Nigerians.

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