The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, has called on Nigerians to continue to live in harmony and maintain peaceful coexistence among themselves.
He said Nigerians are one irrespective of religious and ethnic differences.
Sultan made the plea when he visited a retired Justice of the Supreme Court, who was also the pioneer President of Muslim Ummah South-west Nigeria (MUSWEN), Justice Sheu Tijani Bolarinwa Babalakin, in Gbongan, Osun State.
He said: “There is need for people of this country to live in peace. As Nigerians, we are all one, and we should all continue to live as one.
“We need to stay together and work for the sake of humanity.”
He said Justice Babalakin has contributed his own quota to the development of Islam and jurisprudence in Nigeria.
“We give thanks to Almighty Allah for making today a reality. This visit has been in the pipeline for so long but man proposes, God disposes!
“Justice Babalakin has paid his dues and contributed his own quota to the development of Islam, justice and Nigeria at large.
“Babalakin is a true religious leader and the pioneer president of MUSWEN. We are in the South-western part of the country to celebrate 10 years anniversary of MUSWEN, and deemed it necessary to pay Justice Babalakin a visit as the pioneer president,” he said.
He prayed to God to give Justice Babalakin sound and everlasting health.
Welcoming the Sultan, Justice Babalakin appreciated the President of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs for the support he gave him when he was the president of MUSWEN.
He said: “It is my great pleasure to welcome you to my home in Gbongan Osun State. I regard it as a great privilege that you considered me worthy of a private visit. I pray fervently that the Almighty Allah will continue to guide you in the discharge of your onerous responsibilities.
“I want to specifically thank you for the great efforts you have made in uniting the Muslim community in Nigeria. Your leadership in this area has been remarkable and must be appreciated.
“I am particularly happy that you managed to resolve an issue that had divided the Ummah for a long time which was irregular celebration of Eid-el-Fitr. From the time immemorial, we have been celebrating this festival on different dates.
“Since you came to the throne, we have been celebrating this event on the same day. This has enhanced the unity among the Muslim community.
“I also want to thank you specifically for the support you gave me throughout my tenure as the President of MUSWEN. Your support added to the impetus of the society and was a great encouragement to us all. I am also informed that you have continued to provide this support to my successor.”
On his part, the Chairman of The Resort Group, Dr. Wale Babalakin (SAN), said the visit of Sultan was a great honour to the family.
“We are proud of your visit. We knew the Sultan came because of the integrity of our father. Our father does not believe in acquiring treasures, he believes that the most important thing is character,” he stated.