President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday urged religious, community and political leaders to mobilise their followers against corruption and other crimes.
Buhari made the call at International Islamic Conference on Peace and Nation Building organised by Jama’atul Izalatil Bid’ah Wa’Iqamatis Sunnah (JIBWIS), in conjunction with the Muslim World League, Makkah, Saudi Arabia, at Yar’Adua Centre, Abuja.
He stated that the call had become imperative in view of the fact that Nigeria had suffered many years of official neglect and corruption leading to the common man’s untold hardship.
He assured that his administration would do everything possible to safeguard lives and property of all citizens and also to ensure even development across the country.
The President urged the leaders to intensify efforts to send out the real teachings of their religion to counter the diabolical ideology that motivates the insurgent elements.
He also called on them to encourage their followers “to be more tolerant of each other and recognise the rights of others as they want others to recognise their rights to worship and live freely.’’
According to him, Islam does not permit lawlessness and it frowns at extremism even in normal acts of worship.
He said the emergence of any group advocating the contrary was, therefore, irreligious and unacceptable.
“Religious leaders must intensify their efforts to send out the real teachings of their religion in order to counter the diabolical ideology that motivates the insurgent elements.
“I call on all religious, community and political leaders to mobilise their followers against corruption and crimes.
“They should also encourage them to be more tolerant of each other; and recognise the rights of others as they want others to recognise their rights to worship and live freely.’’
The President maintained that leaders at all levels must work hard to uplift the quality of life of their followers.
He said that this had become necessary because “poverty breeds disaffection which in turn leads to crime and lawlessness, including confrontation against the State.
“To checkmate this, we must work hard to lift our economy, engage our youths and rebuild infrastructure.
“We can only achieve these with full cooperation of all Nigerians and under a stable polity. We are determined to do this and we shall not be deterred.’’
The president described the theme and timing of the conference as most apt, coming at a time when most of the world was grappling with one form of violent conflict or another.
He expressed delight over the objectives of the conference, which he said included the promotion of national, regional and global cooperation against the spread of insurgency and to correct the distortions about the concept of peace in Islamic ideology and philosophy.
He noted that the conference was to attract global attention to the plight of those most affected by the insurgency.
They include Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), orphaned children, widows and the elderly who had been rendered homeless and helpless by insurgents.
The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Abubakar Sa’ad, urged Nigerians, irrespective of their religious or political affiliations, to continue to pray for the success of the President Buhari led administration.
He stated that JIBWIS would also continue to align itself with the objectives of the Federal Government to fight corruption to standstill.
He also advocated social justice and equality to ensure peace and stability in the society.
According to him, it is always the inability of the society to achieve fairness and social justice that culminates into religious intolerance and extremism.
He stated that the present administration needed the prayers of members of all faith, especially Christians and Muslims, to succeed in its efforts to transform the society.
Chairman of JIBWIS, Sheik Abdullahi Bala Lau, challenged those leadership to be just always and fair in dealing with their followers to achieve peace and stability in the country.
The Executive Secretary of the World Muslim League, Makkah, Saudi Arabia, Dr Abdullahi bin Abdulmohsin Al-Turki, delivered a key note address at the event which attracted participants from across the World. (NAN)