The Lagos State government has praised the Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN), Lagos State Area Unit, for its contributions to the development of the state and ensuring peaceful co-existence with other religious groups.
The deputy governor, Dr Idiat Adebule, gave the commendation during MSSN’s annual conference held in Badagry.
Adebule appreciated the Amir, Saheed Ashafa and the entire members of the MSSN for sustaining the yearly event where topical issues are discussed.
“It is heart-warming to note that you have continued to use this platform to educate our Muslim brothers and sisters in living according to the tenets of Islam, as expressed in the Qur’an and the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad,” she said.
The deputy governor described the theme of the conference, “Peaceful Co-Existence: The Education Agenda,” as apt and timely.
“Islam, as we all know, is a religion of peace and as Muslim faithful, we are enjoined to ensure peaceful coexistence. Therefore, building a culture of peace and learning to live together is the responsibility of everyone, and education is the potent vehicle to achieve this. In other words, a culture of peace must be inculcated into the life of our children and the youth right from the early stage of their education to the tertiary levels.
“The importance of education for peace is to develop caring and non-aggressive individuals who relate peacefully with others, promote welfare and take action to prevent violence in their communities.
“Economic and social development is also linked to peace, and this cannot be achieved in a society where there is violence and social instability. When people are educated on the importance of resolving conflicts in a peaceful way without resorting to violence with its devastating effects on the social, economic, education and politics, then there will be rapid development in the nation.
“This explains why in Lagos State, our educational system provides for a free and equitable access to basic education. We continue to focus on an inclusive education policy that seeks to provide comprehensive, holistic and total education to all our citizens, irrespective of creed, tribe or religion, to enhance unity and peaceful coexistence,” Dr Adebule said.
She reminded religious leaders of the need to continue to use religion as a tool to promote peaceful co-existence, tolerance and good neighbourliness.
“Our state has the enviable record of being a place where adherents of all faiths coexist peacefully without any rancour. Our government will continue to promote this through policies and programmes that will make life better and brighter for all our citizens,” she said.
The guest speaker, Dr Zafaran Adeniyi, described education as the “currency in the city of knowledge.”
Adeniyi, the director of Vanguard Academy, Ijebu, Ogun State, criticised federal and state governments for not making education attractive like entertainment, sports and politics.
“Entertainment doesn’t build countries. It is only education that can bring up positive individuals, not politics or comedy. A situation whereby best graduating students in our higher institutions are rewarded with token and people winning beauty pageants or in the entertainment industry are highly rewarded is appalling,” he said.
According to him, corruption is a threat to peaceful co-existence.
“Some people enrich themselves beyond their needs while many are living below poverty level. This naturally brings crisis in the society. Many would ask for war because they have been pushed to the wall. The rich cannot sleep with their eyes closed due to insecurity; the poor cannot sleep because of hunger. The rich must assist the poor to ensure peaceful society,” he said.
He, however, urged government to always fear God in their dealings with the governed.
“Check the beginning of our constitution, it is about God. Nigeria is not a secular nation, secularism means godless society,” he said.
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