We need to support Religious institutions to promote unity – Oshiomhole

We need to support Religious institutions to promote unity – Oshiomhole

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Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State says the promotion of the religious knowledge by government in government schools is an absolute necessity.

Speaking while receiving the leadership of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs at the Government House, Benin City, Friday, Governor Oshiomhole said, “The role of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs in the affairs of our nation is huge. And as we see various attempts to distort the actual revelations of Almighty Allah through Prophet Mohammed, we realize that  we need to support institutions that are committed to promoting enlightenment, awareness and spreading the true revelations that are contained in the holy Koran. And so, every government of all colours, irrespective of political persuasions must recognize this institution as the most potent pillar of building unity and understanding across the country.

“So, in Edo State, we have no difficulty whatsoever providing any support that is within our means to various Islamic courses. Let me say we are very honoured, and I want to thank you, through you to the leadership, His Eminence, the Sultan of Sokoto and the entire leadership of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs for your decision to convocate the general assembly of the council here in Edo State between 13th and 14th of next month.

“Schools across the State should have Arabic teachers. And so, I have already agreed with the council that we will employ some people. I have asked and they have responded by supplying the curriculum vitae just to convince ourselves, because some people may understand Arabic, they may not be able to teach. Teaching requires some skills. So, that has been done. We will try and bring these people into formal employment with effect from 1st of May. So, I want to have these teachers employed complete with employment letters and posted to various schools, and the Ministry of Education will liaise with the Supreme Council in Edo State on the posting of those teachers, so that preferably, they are posted to where they will feel at home  and will have no reason not to go to work, and they will be paid like any other teacher in the State, and over time, this will become a natural thing to do.

“I agree with you absolutely that in the past, this was the case. In all of the areas that Nigeria has deviated from those good things of the past, today we are paying the price for it. When we refuse to teach people, we can’t blame those who decide to teach them what they prefer to teach them. So, Nigeria has seen the danger of not paying sufficient formal attention to the formal training particularly in the two main religions. We have seen the danger and we are paying for it. So, we have to now address the future by dealing with it. Edo would like to play this part, and at the Governors’ Forum too, I will also raise this with my colleagues, particularly governors in the South: South-South and South-East, because there is no state in Nigeria where you don’t have Muslims. There is none. You may have them more or less, just like there is  no state where you don’t have Christians.

“So, if everybody must understand the teachings of the holy Koran and of the Bible, then the promotion of the religious knowledge by government in government schools is an absolute necessity. So, we will play our part.

Speaking earlier, the Secretary General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Prof. Is-haq Oloyede said, “The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs is the apex Islamic organization coordinating Islamic affairs in Nigeria under the leadership of his eminence the Sultan of Sokoto. I convey the felicitation of his eminence, the President General of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, the Sultan of Sokoto to you on this visit. We immensely thank you for the audience and pray that God will continue to be with you.

“It is with utmost respect and admiration that the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs has been following Your Excellency’s involvement in public life of our dear country. This involvement of yours has been multi-dimensional, dynamic and complex. The ever shifting and divergent roles Allah has assigned you at various times have been strategic to and impactful on national development. Despite the changing roles Allah has asked you to play and which you have been playing, one thing that has remained constant with your esteemed personality, and that is, you have remained consistent all the years as an advocate for the right of the under-represented and victims of the social inequality in our society.

“In all the roles you have played, it is noteworthy that Your Excellency has not only reached the apex, at times dramatically, you have also given a good account of yourself as a quintessential manager of human and material resources.

“We will be failing in our responsibility as Muslims if we do not use this golden opportunity to remind Your Excellency of the need to put in place some affirmative action towards equitable treatment of the numerous groups and interests in the State. We urge you to assist us as Muslims with the provision of qualified teachers of Islamic Studies in public schools as the situation was in the past even in this state when we were under the old Western Region. Even during Mid-West, Islamic studies was one the subjects being given attention to.

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