Only peace can sus­tain us – Sul­tan

Daily Trust - - JOBS & CAREER - By Umar Rayyan Sul­tan of Sokoto Al­haji Muham­mad Sa’ad Abubakar

Jama’atu Nas­ril Is­lam (JNI) cel­e­brated its 50th an­niver­sary last Sun­day in Kaduna with a call on the na­tion’s Mus­lims to em­brace the virtues of peace and unity.

JNI, mean­ing “the So­ci­ety for the Sup­port of Is­lam”, is an um­brella group for the Mus­lim com­mu­nity in Nigeria.

Speak­ing at the Golden Ju­bilee lec­ture ti­tled: “Nige­rian Mus­lims and the JNI: Strengths, achieve­ments, prospects and chal­lenges,” the Sul­tan of Sokoto Al­haji Muham­mad Sa’ad Abubakar, who made the call, said no­body can Is­lamise or Chris­tianise Nigeria, plead­ing with the ad­her­ents of both reli­gions to live in peace and har­mony for peace to reign in Nigeria.

He said: “It is in­deed ap­pro­pri­ate for us to com­mend JNI as it has be­come the um­brella that brings all Mus­lims to­gether on oc­ca­sions like this. Mus­lims are united in Nigeria and will con­tinue to be united In­sha Al­lah. And for those who think the only prob­lem of [Nige­rian] Mus­lims is unity, to­day we have proved them wrong be­cause we are united.

“We had a meet­ing with Mr. Pres­i­dent re­gard­ing the marginal­i­sa­tionof Mus­lims at the on­go­ing Na­tional Con­fer­ence. We felt wor­ried about it be­cause we don’t want it to be an­other jam­boree that will not bring mean­ing­ful de­vel­op­ment to the coun­try. As Mus­lims, we are for peace, who­ever is our leader, we will sup­port him and at the same time we won’t fail to tell him the truth.We will con­tinue to sup­port the govern­ment in its poli­cies, but when JNI crit­i­cises some of its poli­cies that does not mean JNI is fight­ing the govern­ment or any group, but that should be seen as a wake-up call for govern­ment and those in the po­si­tions of lead­er­ship to rise to their re­spon­si­bil­i­ties.

“In­se­cu­rity is the ma­jor prob­lem in Nigeria, es­pe­cially in North-east part. It’s a prob­lem in the mind of ev­ery Mus­lims and, there­fore, we won’t stop talk­ing about it un­til some­thing is done to ad­dress it. Ev­ery day, hun­dreds of lives are be­ing killed, par­tic­u­larly in the North-east. We are wor­ried about the num­ber of Chris­tians, Mus­lims, Fu­la­nis and in­no­cent people that are killed ev­ery time and, there­fore, we con­demn such cruel acts. I urge Chris­tians to part­ner with Mus­lims to find so­lu­tion to the se­cu­rity chal­lenges fac­ing the coun­try. We are not out to fight for re­li­gion or fight,any­body, we are out to prac­tice our re­li­gion as we are taught by the Qur’an andthe ha­dith. As Mus­lims, we should en­gage our­selves in good con­ducts that will bring non-Mus­lims closer to us in or­der to fos­ter mu­tual un­der­stand­ing and, thus, mu­tual love.

“Please, let Chris­tians un­der­stand that no­body can Is­lamise Nigeria. There are no plans by Mus­lims to con­vert non-Mus­lims to Is­lam just as no­body can Chris­tianise the Mus­lims or the coun­try as a whole. So, why are we fight­ing? Let us live to­gether as God has cre­ated us to be Mus­lims and Chris­tians.” The Sul­tan, who is also the Pres­i­dent Gen­eral of JNI, said that “Is­lam and Chris­tian­ity should not be seen as an ac­ci­dent of his­tory but as God’s de­sign which can­not be changed by any­one.”

In the paper he de­liv­ered at the oc­ca­sion, Pro­fes­sor Shehu Gal­adanci, a for­mer Nige­rian am­bas­sador to Saudi Ara­bia, said the JNI in its five decades of ex­is­tence has made ef­forts to­wards pro­mo­tion of good and the pro­hi­bi­tion of evil.

He, how­ever, re­gret­ted that: “Fund­ing is one of the big chal­lenges fac­ing JNI right from the time of its es­tab­lish­ment in 1964. The group has never de­pended on govern­ment funds but do­na­tions from phi­lan­thropists and or­gan­i­sa­tions from within and out­side the coun­try. If JNI is to ex­pand the scale of its ac­tiv­i­ties, it re­quires much more fund­ing and it, there­fore, has to con­sid­er­ably broaden and di­ver­sify its sources of fund­ing.”

In his good­will mes­sage, Vice Pres­i­dent Na­madi Sambo said the present ad­min­is­tra­tion has sup­ported JNI in its pro­grammes to tackle in­se­cu­rity and il­lit­er­acy through the es­tab­lish­ment of al­ma­ji­rai schools in many states in the North.

He as­sured JNI of the Federal Govern­ment’s com­mit­ment to­wards ad­dress­ing the con­stant clashes be­tween Fu­lani and farm­ers in some north­ern states.

Other per­son­al­i­ties that at­tended the func­tion in­cluded the Speaker House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Al­haji Aminu Waziri Tam­buwal, Kaduna State Gover­nor Al­haji Muk­tarRa­malanYero, Shehu of Borno Al­haji Abubakar Umar Ibn Gar­bai el-Kanemi, Emir of Zaz­zau Al­haji Shehu Idris and Emir of Gwandu Al­haji Bashir Iliyasu, among oth­ers.

The oc­ca­sion was brought to an end with the launch­ing of the JNI Golden Ju­bilee Almanac by Vice Pres­i­dent Sambo.

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