Kafaru Tinubu Memorial Ramadan Lecture: Fashola Calls For Religious Harmony
• Enjoins anyone with useful information on the where about of Gawat to come forward
Jul 22, 2012 - Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), Sunday called on Muslims to co-habit in unity, love, patience and understanding with Nigerians of other faiths urging that these virtues must transcend the Ramadan period to guide their actions and behaviour towards their fellow men at all times.
Governor Fashola, who spoke at the 4th Alhaji Kafaru Oluwole Tinubu Memorial Ramadan Lecture at the LTV Blue Roof Multipurpose Hall, Agidingbi, also called for religious harmony among members of the two major faiths in the country – Islam and Christianity - saying even in the Middle East where the two religions originated, the people do not kill themselves over religious differences.
The Governor attributed the current wave of killings, especially in the Northern part of the country, to the antics of those he referred to as people who do not mean well noting that there is nowhere in the country where adherents of the two Faiths could not be found.
Emphasizing that there is no religious war in Nigeria, Governor Fashola declared, "The two Faiths, Islam and Christianity, come from the same source – the Middle East. The adherents there do not kill themselves over religious differences; they live in harmony. But bad people here want to cause religious disharmony. There is nowhere in this country where you will not find the two religions."
According to the Governor, those involved in the bloodletting in the Northern part of the country must desist from the crime as, according to him, they are portraying Islam in bad light.
Governor Fashola also called on Lagosians who may have any useful information that could lead to the where about of the missing Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) Channel 10 presenter of the popular Ramadan Programme "Edide E Ji Saari", Alhaji Razaq Gawat, to come forward in order to assist the security agencies in the effort to find him.
"I implore anyone who might be of help in locating him to call me or the Police" Governor Fashola pleaded adding, however, that the security agencies in the State are currently working hard to find the missing 50-year-old Gawat who is also the Chief Executive Officer of Gawat Communications.
The Governor prayed that the Almighty Allah would make it possible for Gawat to return in this Holy month of Ramadan adding, "We are doing our best and we are assuring you that very soon, our pains will turn to everlasting joy".
Extolling the virtues of Alhaji Kafaru Tinubu, Governor Fashola said the large turnout of people year on year for the Memorial Ramadan Lecture was an indication that the late legal luminary touched the lives of many and prayed that the Almighty Allah would make it possible for even more people to attend the event every year.
Governor Fashola also commended the lecturers at the occasion, Professor Fatima Abdul Kareem and Ustaz Mustapha Ade Bello, "for availing us with your knowledge and wisdom", and prayed that the Almighty Allah would increase their knowledge and wisdom in order to share with others.
He also commended members of the Tinubu Family for keeping the flag of their late Patriarch flying through the institution and sustenance of the annual lecture saying that there could be no greater honour to the memory of the great philanthropist. The Governor, particularly, commended the Matriarch of the Family, Alhaja Bintu-Fatima Tinubu for her resilience and courage in keeping the family intact.
Speaking on behalf of the Tinubu Family, Mr. Deji Tinubu, thanked the guests at the lecture expressing satisfaction that the yearly increase in attendance was a testimony that their father touched so many lives in his lifetime.
Earlier, in his opening remarks, Chairman of the occasion and Governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun enjoined Nigerians to imbibe the virtues of peace, tolerance and harmony saying with such virtues Nigeria would be a great nation.
Describing Islam as a religion of peace, Governor Amosun noted that those portraying the Faith as a religion of violence were incurring the wrath of Allah. He enjoined all Nigerians to rededicate themselves to the promotion of peace and harmonious co-existence especially in this Holy month of Ramadan.
In his lecture titled, "Islam and Peaceful Co-existence", Ustaz Mustapha Ade Bello, said the Islamic Religion, as propagated by the Holy Prophet Mohammed, has Peace as its main theme pointing out that the Prophet made it emphatically clear that there should be peace among men.
"One of the concerns of true Muslims today is that Islam, a religion of peace, has been tagged and associated with violence", Ustaz Bello lamented adding, "It is a corrosion of the values that bind us together as a nation".
He reiterated that those perpetrating evil in the name of Islam could not claim to support such evil with the religious teachings of Islam adding that any kind of murder and bloodletting was abhorrent before the Almighty Allah.
The Guest lecturer who attributed the incessant murder, bloodletting and other violent crimes in the country to poverty, said the concentration of the bloodletting in the North of the country, where there is a predominance of Muslims, further lays credence to the fact that poverty is at the root of such crimes.
Bello accused the ruling class of being responsible for the various violent crimes being committed across the country pointing out that in a nation where 70 percent of the population is living below $1 a day, the ruling class is continually flaunting their wealth before the predominant poor.
"Government must tackle poverty holistically. It must be tackled in its entirety. What we need is education, re-orientation and empowerment of the youths across the country", the Guest lecturer said suggesting that religious education should be made compulsory in the country
And in her lecture titled, "When a Muslim Dies", Professor Fatimah Abdul Kareem spoke extensively on the maintenance of the physical body through both physical and spiritual exercises pointing out that as a result of ignorance; the life expectancy of the people has dropped to 50 and below years.
She recommended that people should exercise themselves for a minimum of three hours every week adding that they should also maintain healthy habits such as eating good and nutritious foods, not smoking or drinking alcohol and going for regular medical checkups.
According to Professor Kareem, all the money used in performing elaborate funeral ceremonies for the dead could be deployed to take care of the living adding that people should also endeavour to protect themselves and their families from preventable diseases such as Malaria, Diabetes and Hypertension.
Also present at the occasion were the Deputy Governor, Hon. (Mrs.) Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, former Governor of Lagos State and National Leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Right Hon. Adeyemi Ikuforiji, Honourable Justice Olorunimbe who was Father of the Day, prominent Islamic Scholars, Dr, Abdul Lateef Adetona of the Department of Religious Knowledge, Lagos State University, Ojo, who was the moderator and other top government functionaries.