As 2019 general election draw nearer, the National Missioner of Ansar-Ud-Deen Society of Nigeria, Imam Abdulr-Rahman Ahmad has warned Nigerian politicians against any act that can cause disaffection among various ethnicities across the country.
He advised them to play the game of politics by the rules in order to ensure credible, fair and acceptable general elections in 2019.
Ahmad gave this warning while speaking with journalists during the opening of a one-day international conference on Islam in Yorubaland entitled “Islam in Yorubaland: Progress and Challenges”, which was held at the international conference centre, University of Ibadan.
At the event were Chairman, Board of Trustees, MUSWEN, Justice Bola Abdul Jabbar Ajibola (SAN); MUSWEN Executive Secretary, Professor Dawud Noibi; Director, Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), Professor Isiaq Akintola; former Director of Academic Planning University of Jos, Professor Muslih Yahya and President, Muslim Community of Lagos State, Professor Tajudeen Gbadamosi.
Others included former Commissioner, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), in charge of Oyo, Ogun and Ekiti states, Professor Lai Olurode; Professor Muibi Opeloye and Head of Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies University of Ibadan, Professor Kamil Oloso.
Ahmad while speaking at the conference organised by Muslim Ummah of South West Nigeria (MUSWEN), in commemoration of it’s 10th anniversary, urged politicians to “remember that, they can only become Presidents, Governors, House of Representatives members, House of Assemblies’ members when there is a country”.
He urged them to “play the game of politics according to the rule by doing things that will encourage “peace and stability in the country and not things that can lead to hatred or crises”.
While speaking as the keynote speaker of the event, Ahmad said, “Well, I don’t think there is any difference in attitude of politicians, politicians are politicians, elections are elections, but I just want politicians to think and consider the fact that they can only be Presidents, Governors, House of Representatives members, honourable members of the House of Assemblies if there is a country. They can only be Presidents, Governors when there is a country.
“Anything that may disrupt the peace of the country, anything that can cause crisis should be avoided.
“And of course, politicians, they should learn from the recent happenings in the country, because, people are more enlightened, people are more conscious and they should know that the people can no longer be taking for granted”.
The cleric while speaking further urged Islamic organisations to desist from giving awards to some people whom he said they don’t merit the awards.
According to him, “I was calling for a reappraisal, because it has become an all comers. We have many people who have been conferred Islamic awards and they have performed well, people like late Arisekola Alao, but today is free for all. We have some people who does not merit the awards they are parading, this is what I am calling the Islamic organisations to review to ensure that people who are conferred are the people who deserves it. This must be reviewed.
“I think beyond prospect, Islam has cone to stay in Yorubaland, for 700 years, we have made monumental achievements. The landmark achievement is there. Muslims have contributed to the Yorubaland, it was the Muslims that first wrote the history of the Yorubaland”.
MUSWEN President and Deputy President-General (South) Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Dr. Sakariyau Babalola in his welcome address said that the program would provide opportunity for Muslims in Yorubaland to examine their history, provide unbiased perspectives to the position of Islam in the region.
Babalola who doubles as the convener said “Though for geopolitical reason, MUSWEN’s scope of authority may seem to be confined to the South West region of Nigeria, the body does carry a moral obligation to serve as the face and voice of all Yoruba Muslims”.
One of the aims of the program according to him was to “Celebrate the contributions of Muslims to regional and national development and critically review the contemporary challenges facing the Ummah”.