By Okunade Adekunle
…Says LASG lacks respect for rule of law
…Holds LQC Grand Finale on Sunday
The Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN), Lagos State Area Unit has urged the Federal Government to increase the amount allocated to education in the 2018 budget.
The Amir (president) of the MSSN in Lagos State, Dr Saheed Ashafa, said this at a press conference ahead of the 15th biennial Lagos Qur’an competition expected to hold on Sunday, May 27, 2018 at the University of Lagos Main Auditorium.
The competition, which attracted interest from over 250 participants would see 54 reciters competing in the Grand Finale and 18 emerging as winners.
The competition is held in honour of our late father, Alhaji (Dr) AbdulLateef Adegbite, the pioneer President of the MSSN, died nearly 6 years ago.
Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun, Lagos State Deputy Governor Dr Idiat Adebule, Chief Executive Officer of Bua Group Alhaji AbdusSamad Rabiu will lead others to the Lagos Quran Competition.
Ashafa said the Chief Executive Officer of Basmallah Institute for Teaching Qur’an and Islam in Ireland, United Kingdom, Ustadh Harun Thanni, will speak on the theme – Hope for the hopeless.
Ashafa, who emphasised that Nigeria needed to invest more in education, expressed mixed reaction over moves by the FG to stop payment of tuition fee in government-owned higher institutions.
He said, “While we expect the Buhari-led government to invest more on education in future budgets, we want to appeal to relevant bodies to release the allocated funds, while earmarked projects should be executed without delay. What we have heard is that, most times, the little funds allocated for education are not released, which is why some projects are either not implemented at all or not completed.
“Let me also use this opportunity to thank this administration for taking a bold step towards investigating and stopping the Federal institutions who still charge tuition fees from students. That move was the right thing to do, but government should ensure it does not affect infrastructural development.”
He frowned at the continuous punishment harassment of Muslim students wearing hijab, alleging that the Lagos State Government officials were committing contempt of court.
He said, “As at today, we have a substantive Appeal Court ruling which allows our students to use the Hijab on their school uniforms freely without being victimised. It was a unanimous judgement by a five-man judicial panel. The students have the constitutional right to exercise their fundamental human rights, but this government, which claims to promote religious tolerance, ignores the court ruling.
“It is unfortunate that this government doesn’t have respect for the rule of law. Hence, we call on Governor Ambode to respect the law and caution his officials from molesting our members who wear the Hijab. If the government fails to caution these officials, legal action will be taken against them, particularly for contempt of court.”
Speaking on behalf of the family of the honouree, Bashorun Ladi Adegbite commended the organisers for hosting the programme in the name of his father.
He explained that the theme of the competition – “Hope for the Hopeless” – matched the personality of his late father, Dr Lateef Adegbite.
He said, “Lateef Adegbite was a legend of his time who did his best to promote the positive in all facets of his life as a youth leader, as a teacher, a lawyer, a traditional leader and for the most part as a Muslim.
“He remains today my hero as he is to very many children, he mentored and influenced so many people, a habit that came to him naturally.”
I thank the MSSN Lagos for this honour bestowed on our father which our family supports. I am particularly excited by this edition’s theme: “Hope for the Hopeless”, which clearly expresses the essence of the life of Late Dr Abdul Lateef Oladimeji Adegbite.”
By Okunade Adekunle