Ekiti Muslims on Sunday converged for Pre-Ramadan Lecture.
The lecture which was at the instance of the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Ekiti State Chapter took place at the Fajuyi Pavilion in Ado Ekiti
In attendance were prominent muslims from the length and breadth of the state as well as guests from other parts of the country.
The guest lecturer, sheikh Sufiyullahi Kamaldeen from Ilorin, Kwara state urged muslims to stay united and focused in their quest to gain the deserved attention and respect from every government.
He noted that unity of purpose was sacrosanct to remain relevant in the scheme of things in the society.
The guest lecturer said islam as a religion does not forbid adherents from participating in politics stressing that the deeds and misdeeds of muslims who go into politics would determine where they end their journey whether hell or paradise.
The scholar said abstinence from politics would only make muslims and islam suffer set backs and marginalization with references to the life of prophet Muhammad whom he said adopted political measures to entrench islam while in Medina even though he was from Mecca.
Sheikh Kamaldeen encouraged muslims to play active roles in politics even before the emergence of a new government as political gladiators and leaders often observe and reward proactive stalwarts.
In his remarks, the Ekiti State President of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Alhaji (Dr) Hammed Afolabi Bakare, FCA said the theme of the Pre-Ramadan Lecture was deliberate owing to the current situation in the State.
He urged muslims to shun divisive tendencies saying only unity could help them actualize their vision politically.
Alhaji Bakare who called for fair treatment of muslims in Ekiti state frowned at the marginalization of muslims by all political parties gearing up for the forthcoming governorship election in the state urging them to retrace their steps to pacify and win the hearts of muslims.
He noted that its only Ekiti state that does not consider muslims in either the governorship or deputy governorship candidate unlike in other states in south west and the north where christians and muslims contest elections on the platforms of virtually all political parties.
Alhaji Bakare said it’s long over due for another deputy governor in Ekiti state having had just one since the creation of the state.
Similarly, the immediate past President of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Alhaji (Barr) Yakubu Oladoro Sanni described the treatment of muslims by the political class as pure marginalization which he said was unacceptable.
The former Permanent Secretary, who frowned at the refusal of all political parties in Ekiti State to adopt muslims as their deputy governorship candidates despite frantic efforts made by religious leaders in islam, informed the gathering that adherents of Islam would massively support any candidate who show readiness to appoint at least four commissioners in his cabinet rather than the current situation where only one muslim Commissioner occupies cabinet rank in the state.
He urged muslims to be united in their support for all muslim political office seekers during the next political dispensation adding that islam would benefit more if more muslims occupy political offices either elective or on appointment.
Former deputy governor in the state, Dr Sikiru Tai Lawal who was the chairman of the occasion gave kudos to the brians behind the program saying there are qualified and competent muslims in all the existing political parties that could be chosen as either governorship or deputy governorship candidates.
He said the onus lies on muslims to see themselves as stakeholders in the affairs of the state and country at large urging them to prepare adequately enough to fight for their right as soon as the next governor emerges in the state.
Dr Lawal being the only Muslim deputy governor in Ekiti state thus far urged muslims to be steadfast, bold and courageous in their demands for appreciable quota in politics.
The Ekiti state governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi was represented by the Special Assistant on Economic Matters, Alhaji Suleiman Afolabi Ogunlayi who said the governor was unavoidably absent due to the forthcoming national convention of the APC.
Alhaji Ogunlayi while delivering the message of the governor said all the submissions at the Pre-Ramadan Lecture would get to the table of his principal.
The governor thanked muslims in the state for their peaceful conduct and coexistence with adherents of other faiths which he said had culminated in the harmony being enjoyed in the state.
The governor’s aide said the timing of the Pre-Ramadan Lecture was apt as it took place the day of the official opening of political campaigns ahead of the gubernatorial poll.
Alhaji Ogunlayi urged muslims to avoid all forms of character assassination before and during campaigns .
The goodwill message was delivered by the Awiye Adinni, Alhaji Ahmed Olowoyo who represented the President League of Imams and Alfas in yoruba Land, Edo and Delta states who is also the chief Imam of Ado Ekiti Central Mosque.
He harped on unity among muslims urging them to see themselves as one without denominations.
The 2022 Pre-Ramadan Lecture was well attended by Muslim organizations from the nooks and crannies of the state including the Federation of Muslim Women Association of Nigeria (FOMWAN) headed by Alhaja Mariam Akingbade.