The Muslim Ummah of South West Nigeria ((MUSWEN), the umbrella body of Muslims in the six Southwest states in the country have on Friday warned leaders of both Christian and Islamic religions to be mindful of their utterances as the 2019 general elections continue to draw nearer.
The body while warning both religious and political leaders to be conscious of the kind of statements they make prior and during the general elections however urged leaders of various segments of the society to preach peace, not to spread falsehood or promote hatred.
The organisation while calling on all and sundry to continue to live in peace with one another, added that there is no other time for leaders; be it religious, political or ethnic to be mindful of their utterances than now, when the elections are drawing nearer.
MUSWEN Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer, Professor Daud Noibi while addressing journalists at a special press conference heralding the 10th anniversary of the organisation in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital, urged Muslim aspirants to distinguish themselves as men and women of unblemished character and be ready to serve the nation and shun all forms of corruption.
Noibi who flanked with MUSWEN President, Dr. Sakariyau Babalola, Chairman of Muslim Community in Oyo state, Alhaji Kunle Sanni, Alhaji Y. K. O. Kareem and the Iya Adini of Yorubaland, Alhaja Sekinah Adekola while declaring that the organisation has witnessed a deliberate attempt being made by some people to create dichotomy among Nigerians along ethnic and religious lines, advised Nigerian Christians and Muslims not to succumb to fear-mongering, intimidation, falsehood and hate speeches but live in peace with one another.
Noibi said, “Leaders in various segments of the society are to preach and demonstrate peace; they are not to spread falsehood or promote hatred as, disappointingly, some Christian elders have done. Indeed, there is no more appropriate time for leaders to be mindful of their utterances than this trying period in our nation’s history.
“We have witnessed a deliberate attempt being made by some Christian leaders to openly create dichotomy among Nigerian people along ethnic and religious lines. We are worried about the possible effects of this dangerous politicisation of religion and ethnicity by such elders in a plural society like Nigeria. As Muslims, we believe that our plurality as a nation is the product of divine wisdom and that nothing can change this.
“Similarly, while some Christian elders hide under the guise of religion to pursue narrow ethnic and political agenda, some pan-Yoruba socio-politocal groups hide under the guise of ethnicity to pursue their anti-Muslim agenda”.
Noibi then appeal to Nigerians regardless of religion to continue and live in peace before and after elections.
He said, “While MUSWEN remains committed to peaceful co-existence among the diverse people of Nigeria and to the sanctity of the 1999 constitution as amended, we hereby appeal to the peace-loving people of Nigeria, especially Muslims and Christians, not to succumb to fear-mongering, intimidation, falsehood and hate speeches. Rather, we should remain at peace with one another despite our religious and ethnic differences, and as law-abiding citizens.
“In the same vein, all Muslim candidates must ensure that they distinguish themselves as men and women of unblemished character and attestable competence. They must be ready to serve the nation in whatever capacity conscientiously and responsibly. They must be legacy-driven and work for the good of all. They must shun corruption and all acts that have hindered the nation’s progress. Above all, they must ready to serve as good ambassadors of Islam being fully conscious of their ultimate accountability before Allah on judgement day.
“All Muslims of voting age must see it as a duty for them to register to vote during the forthcoming elections and to that end collect their PVCs”.