By Egbogota Clara
Lagos – The Amir Ahmadiyya Jama’at Nigeria, Dr Mashhud Fashola, on Friday urged the country’s leaders to be upright with Nigerians for all to have sustainable peace, security and prosperity in the land.
Fashola in his Eid-ul-Fitr message in Lagos said that ethnicity, religious and cultural diversities were not the problems of the country.
He said that it was the leaders who amassed wealth belonging to the citizens.
“The real problem are our leaders that exploit our diversities in unbridled struggle to acquire power for perpetual political domination and wealth accumulation, resulting in severe political instability, crisis and insecurity.
“These are complemented by their inabilities to make significant progress in industrial development, eradication of poverty and improvement in the living standards of the generality of the people.
“Without the pursuit of justice, fair-play, and strict equality of all citizens under the rule of law, the country will not be able to sustain peace, security, political stability and socioeconomic progress.
“The way out for Nigeria is for all pious citizens and civil organisations to come together to defend the universal moral values of justice, equality, integrity, charity, harmony and unity without any discrimination,’’ he said.
According to him, this is what is enjoined in Qur’an 3:104 that “there should be among you a body of people who should invite to goodness, enjoin justice and equity and forbid evil.
He added: “This is a precondition for divine assistance for the nation.’’.
He also advised Nigerians to tow the path of righteousness for them to attain sustainable peace and prosperity.
“Our message to the citizens is that our collective efforts on the path of righteousness, fair-play, and respect for the rights of others will eventually result in desirable changes toward the sustenance of security, peace and prosperity.
“From spiritual point of view, the bosom of the pious becomes an abode of the Spirit of God Almighty.
” He will ensure one’s protection from all evils and calamities and provide guidance, and blissful life, provided one remains steadfast and unshaken in faith.
“The pious is expected by the Gracious Lord to be a model of moral excellence who should enjoin justice, equity, charity, and stand firm against fraud, falsehood, dishonesty, wickedness, uncleanliness and immorality at home, workplace and in the community,” he said.
Similarly, Prof. Ishaq Akintola, Director, Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) urged President Muhammadu Buhari to use the Eid-ul-fitri celebration to forgive the 54 soldiers imprisoned for refusing to fight Boko Haram insurgents with poor weapons.
“In the spirit of forgiveness and freedom which the middle and end of Ramadan stand for, we appeal to the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces to, in exercise of the prerogative of mercy, grant presidential pardon to the 54 soldiers.
“We call on the civil societies, particularly, the anti-corruption crusaders to speak out for the 54 soldiers.
“They were sentenced to life imprisonment ab initio before the sentence was commuted to 10 years’ imprisonment.
“MURIC sees the 54 soldiers as whistle-blowers, not criminals because they actually exposed the $2.1 billion arms fraud.
“It is a sad paradox that while other whistle-blowers are being rewarded, the 54 soldiers are languishing in jail. This is frustrating.
“We also remind state governors and state chief judges to use the occasion to visit prisons in their states with a view to setting free a large number of inmates particularly those awaiting trial,” ,’’ Akintola said in a statement.
He also urged Nigerian Muslims to use the occasion of the Eid-ul-fitri to pray fervently for President Muhammadu Buhari and the Nigerian nation.
“Our prayer points should include divine protection for PMB, triumph over all forces lined up against him and another four-year tenure of peace, prosperity and progress,” he said.