The Lagos State Government has urged residents to embrace religious tolerance and hard work to achieve better.
The state Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu made the appeal on Saturday at the closing of the 34th National Quranic Recitation Competition, organised by the Centre for Islamic Studies, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, in collaboration with Muslim Community of Lagos State.
The event held at the University of Lagos.
The governor, who was represented by his Deputy, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, said that it was only in an atmosphere of cordiality, tolerance and peace that policies and programmes could be successfully implemented.
“Qur’an teaches peace. In the face of provocation, it preaches
love; so hate is alien in our tradition,” he said.
According to him, thousands of the citizens profess faith but many are not adherents of the morals of their religions.
“We must put the past behind us and strive for a greater tomorrow.
“As a government, it is cardinal to embrace religious tolerance. We
will pursue it in every nook and cranny of the state,” he said.
According to him, Islam is a religion of peace.
“Therefore, we must preach and practise peaceful coexistence with our brothers and sisters of other religious persuasions.
“With a peaceful society, we are able to practice our religion and adhere to the teaching of the Prophet (SAW) and abide with the dictates of the Almighty Allah.
“The point to make here is that we must pursue the high end of what our faith demands from us: brotherhood of all men,” he said.
He advised the residents live a godly life.
“Let us continue to pray for our nation, our leaders, our soldiers and
the many in positions of authority, to do the very best they can to build a great nation,” Sanwo-olu said
In a goodwill message, Gov. Muhammadu Yahaya of Gombe said that the competition would promote good values among children and youths.
The governor, who was represented by the Gombe Commissioner for Education, Dr Abu Dairu, said that the competition would also boost interest in learning.
“It will enhance the zeal for fundamental and spiritual benefits.
“We are committed to the promotion of the competition because of the mental and spiritual benefits,” he said.
The President, Muslim Community of Lagos State, Prof. Tajudeen Gbadamosi, said that the competition brought together young Muslim men and women from all over the country who memorised all or parts of the Qu’ran.
Gbadamosi said that the competition emphasised the unity of the country and of the Ummah.
He said that it also promoted technical excellence of the recitation of the Qu’ran, adding that the recitation brought immense reward to the society.
“The competition had been a celebration of the bond of faith and the bond of country.
“The significance of these bonds cannot be over-emphasised, especially at a time like this when internal forces threaten to divide our beloved country.
“What this competition should leave in us all is that we should imbibe the teachings of the Qu’ran.
“We should pay as much attention to the laws of the Qu’ran as we have paid to its letters.
“I hope we shall continue to cherish the ties that bind us,” he said.
The guest speaker, Prof. Murtala Bidmos, said that apart from reciting the Qu’ran, Muslims must work with the Quran and imbibe its teachings.
“Nigerians must work together in unity in order to build a greater nation,” Bidmos said.
He urged governments to end poverty and deficit in education.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that two winners – one from the male category and another from the female category – emerged from the competition.
They are Mr Umar Kabiru from Kaduna State and Miss Daiya’atu Abdulkadir from Kano State.