By Bode Akinbode, Ibadan
The Secretary-General, Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Oyo State chapter, Shaikh Salaudeen Busairi, has urged religious leaders in the State not to destroy the existing peace in the State because of their selfish gains.
Shaikh Salaudeen stated this during a courtesy visit paid by the Council to the Special Assistant to Governor Seyi Makinde on Islamic Affairs, Imam Abdul Rasheed Abdul-Azeez in Ibadan, the State capital.
He said that Governor Makinde has never been found wanting in maintaining a good relationship with Muslims, even though he is a Christian.
He added that the governor’s cordial relationship with Muslims has shown clearly in the areas of education, employment and other social amenities in the State.
“Particularly, the recent employment drive in the education sector, in which thousands of our Muslim brothers and sisters were employed, comes to mind.
“This feat is more than any Government has recorded in the last 10 years.
“It is also on record that Governor Makinde appointed a Special Assistant on Islamic Affairs, which is a testimony to the fact that Governor has and wants to continue to have a cordial relationship with Muslims.
“We should not allow any ulterior sentiment to becloud us from recognising the good deed done by anybody, that is what we call truth and fairness in Islam. We should not allow religious sentiment to separate us as religion leaders,” Salaudeen said.
He also pointed out that Governor Makinde had been balancing his leadership with fairness among all the religions and that the people of the State can always rely on his leadership prowess.
He added that there should be mutual cooperation among all religions in the State, even as he appealed to some Elders who he said always hide under the canopy of religion to fan embers of discord among Muslims to have a re-think.
He equally admonished youths in the State, wherever they find themselves, to shun any leader calling for war, saying that, “whenever they kindle fire of war, Allah shall always extinguish it.”
He added further that people must be aware that there are some political failures hiding under the banner of religion to cause chaos in society.
He commended Governor Makinde for declaring Public Holiday on (Hijirah) an Islamic calendar year and for celebrating the Maolud Nabiy in the State.
He added: “We should equally be grateful to Governor Seyi Makinde for appointing a Special Assistant on Islamic Affairs, which is unprecedented in Oyo State, Shaik Salaudeen added.
He also appreciated the present administration in the State for allowing student of various secondary schools to practise their religions without any harassment or intimidation.
In his remarks, the Special Assistant to Governor Makinde on Islamic Affairs, Imam Abdul-Azeez solicited the support of all religious leaders to join hands in moving the state forward.