Ogun Special Iftar: Abiodun preaches peace, unity as Cleric charges FG on regulation of access to misinformation on internet - NIGERIAN NEWSORBIT


Sunday, May 9, 2021

Ogun Special Iftar: Abiodun preaches peace, unity as Cleric charges FG on regulation of access to misinformation on internet

Our Correspondent

The governor of Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun has urged Nigerians irrespective of their religious persuasion to always engage only in acts that promote security, peace and unity of the country.

Gov Dapo Abiodun made this call over the weekend at the 2021 Special Ramadan Iftar programme with the theme "Threats to National Security and Unity: Religion as a Panacea or Problem" organised by the State government and held at the Arcade Ground of the Governor's Office, Oke Mosan, Abeokuta.

While describing the theme of the Iftar programme as apt and instructive, especially when considering recent challenges to security and unity not only in Nigeria, but around the world, Gov Abiodun said since neither of the two major religions in the country supports banditry, insurgency, kidnapping or rebellion against the State, every Nigerian must work towards efforts that bind the nation together and promote peaceful coexistence.

He further noted that "the leaders and followers; government and people, have the responsibility towards the security and unity of our nation. Otherwise, our actions and inactions without responsibility towards one another become threat to national security and unity".

Gov Abiodun disclosed that the programme was in appreciation of the fervent prayers, solidarity and support his government has enjoyed from the Muslim community in the last two years. 

The governor also highlighted efforts by his administration to rejig the security architecture of the state with the restructuring of Security Trust Fund to make it private sector driven, donation of patrol vehicles and motorcycles fitted with sophisticated communication gadgets to security agencies as well as many other employment opportunities such as CBN backed Anchor Borrowers programme created to gainfully employed the youths.

Abiodun said just as he had promised on assumption of office, his government had not only been equitable in the distribution of projects across the state, it has also make it a duty to complete some of the abandoned projects by his predecessor, Sen Ibikunle Amosun saying that he could not sit by and allowed projects done with the common wealth of Ogun citizens rot away.

The governor, however, enjoined the Muslim faithful to take full advantage of the Holy Month, particularly the last ten days, to harvest the bountiful divine benevolence, seek forgiveness and pray for security and unity of the country. 

Meanwhile, an Islamic cleric and Judge of the Shari'ah Court of Appeal, Kwara State, Abdur Raheem Ahmad Sayi, at the weekend, called on the Federal Government to devise a technology to regulate access to deluge of misguided information on the internet, particularly those capable of fuelling security and religious crises in the country.

The cleric, who observed that the unfettered access by Nigerians, especially the youth, to the loads of "misinformation" on the cyber space has contributed immensely to the present security challenges in the country, warned that failure by the government to do the needful might spell doom for the unity of Nigeria.

Justice Sayi made this call in his lecture at the 2021 Ogun Special Ramadan Iftar lecture
with the theme "Threats to National Security and Unity: Religion as a Panacea or Problem".

According to the cleric, internet could be educative, entertaining and informative, but promoters of hate and disunity in the country had used it to spread messages of discord and fake news among Nigerians, hence government must find ways to curb the menace before it is too late.

He noted that the country is sitting on a keg of gunpowder, if no efforts are made to check the social malaise, saying "what Nigeria is currently witnessing in terms of insecurity will be a negligible fraction of chaos that will come.

The judge, however, urged leaders of Islam and Christianity in the country to desist from preaching about prosperity alone, but inculcate the core values, tenets and teachings of love and unity of mankind, in the minds of their adherents.

He further charged the religious leaders to use religion as instrument to foster unity and oneness, rather than to promote discrimination, hate and disharmony.

He also urged media practitioners in the country to continue to play a pivotal role in reversing the trend of insecurity, by imbibing and practising responsible journalism, which according to him will go a long way in preserving societal peace and unity of Nigeria.


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