Muslims task Lagos politicians on violence-free elections
POLITICAL parties have been urged to eschew violence and adopt peaceful electioneering campaigns as well as ensuring that the conduct of the forthcoming general elections is fair, free and credible.
Specifically, the gubernatorial candidates of political parties in Lagos State were on Sunday summoned before the entire Muslim Ummah to assure the electorates of peaceful conducts and their commitments to improve the socio-economic life of the masses when voted into power.
The programme, aimed at praying for peaceful elections had in attendance the All Progressive Congress (APC) Governorship candidate, Akinwunmi Ambode and his deputy, Alhaja Idayat Oluranti Adebule; Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) deputy governorship candidate, Alhaja Safurat Abdulkareem; and the National Conscience Party (NCP) Governorship candidate- Ayodele Akele.
All the candidates gave their words for a greater Lagos and promised to work diligently to improve the lots of the masses when voted into power.
The prayer, organised by the Joint Muslim Forum under the auspice of Muslim Community of Lagos State, was to seek Allah’s intervention in the forthcoming elections, as well as intimating the contestants with the expectations of Muslim community.
Chairman, Board of Trustees, Muslim Community of Lagos State, Senator Habeeb Fashinro, who spoke at the function recalled series of violence trailing electioneering campaigns in some parts of the country and therefore urged politicians to embrace peace.
He said: “We believe that Nigerian Muslims are vital stakeholders in the Nigerian project. Muslims are in the majority in this country and anything that happens in Nigeria will affect more Muslims than any other group.”
He however described the prayer session as part of their civic duty and mark of patriotism.
The Executive Secretary, Muslim Ummah of South West Nigeria (MUSWEN), Prof. Dawud Noibi urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to use all visible platforms to discourage confrontations and step up the civic education on electioneering matters.
“INEC must work with the political parties to educate their members on what not to do. The security agencies must know that we have only one country. They must be above board and be seen to be above board and act as such. Their neutrality is key,” he said.
Noibi also enjoined the contestants to eschew violence, bitterness and hatred.
The President, Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), Prof. Ishaq Lakin Akintola, said Muslims have not had it good for sometimes, hence the need to roll out the concerns and agitations of Muslims to the candidates.
Some of the issues raised included the use of Hijab by female Muslim students, new Hijrah year holiday, coroner law, cremation of unclaimed corpses, un-balanced political appointments, absence of Sharia division in the judicial system, unemployment of teachers to teach Arabic and Islamic studies in public schools among others.