By Olakiitan Victor in Ado Ekiti
The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, has made strong case for minorities in Nigeria, advocating a better treatment for them for the country to have a just, equitable and peaceful society.
Abubakar , also urged the Muslims in Nigeria to continue to live in unity, saying “the strength of any group of human beings anywhere in the world is unity and not disunity.”
He said government at all levels must desist from hiding the context of minorities in terms of religion or ethnicity to cheat others, saying this cannot bring a stable and conducive political environment in our country.
The monarch , who doubles as the President-General of the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) made the call at the weekend at the fundraising and foundation laying ceremony of the mosque in the palace of the Attah of Ayede Ekiti, Oba Mumini Adebayo Orisagbemi.
The ceremony was witnessed by dignitaries including Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Senator Babafemi Ojudu; Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi who was represented, House of Representatives member representing Oye/Ikole Federal Constituency, Kehinde Agboola; President, League of Imams and Alfas in South-west, Edo and Delta States, Sheikh Jamiu Kewulere Bello and many traditional rulers.
The Sultan who was represented by NSCIA Deputy President, Alhaji Sakariyau Babalola, said the event was significant because “this is the first time a Muslim Oba is on the throne and on ground in this city of Muslim minority to receive and play host to the leader of the Nigerian Muslim Ummah.”
Alhaji Babalola made a personal donation of Two Million Naira in support of the project.
While congratulating the Attah and the people of Ayede for the historic event, Alhaji Abubakar urged them to cooperate with the Oba in ensuring that peace and harmony reign in the town.
The spiritual head of Muslims in Nigeria enjoined Muslims in Ayede to remain good ambassadors of Islam and act as patriotic members of the community adding that they have a responsibility to take their community and Ekiti State in Nigeria to greater heights.
The Sultan said: “Since the inception of Islam, Muslims have always lived as minorities in any new environment they found themselves. It is only after they might have settled down and established themselves that, by the leave of Allah, their display of unity and positive contributions to the development of their community, they become the majority.
“At the initial stage of Islam, when Prophet Muhammad and his companions were forced to migrate from Makkah to Madinah for safety from persecution of the pagan majority in Makkah, they were in the minority.
“They were also in the minority when they established the world’s first Islamic democratic government headed by the Prophet in the city of Madinah.
“And if we look critically at the world today, we shall discover that the most active Muslim population is in the West where Muslims are in the minority. This further confirms that people in the minority are more active because they enjoy unity and cooperation in the face of threat.”