By Taofeek LAWAL, Abuja
The Speaker, House of Representatives, Rt Hon Femi Gbajabiamila, has assured that the National Assembly will continue to roll out laws that will see to the peaceful coexistence among Nigerians as well promoting good governance.
Gbajabiamila stated this on Tuesday at a 2-day stakeholders’ national conference with the theme, “The role of Arabic and Islamic Studies in Advancing Peace and Harmony in Nigeria” organised by the National Board for Arabic and Islamic Studies (NBAIS) at the National Mosque, Abuja.
According to the Speaker who was represented by his chief of staff, Rt Hon Sanusi Garba Rikiji, the conference is timely as religious extremism which has become rampant among the youth and has led to violence will be addressed and give better understanding on the role of Arabic and Islamic Education in advancing peace and Harmony in Nigeria.
The Speaker said as a regulator and developer of curriculum for Arabic and Islamic Institutions in Nigeria, NBAIS has a vital role to play in inculcating the spirit of trust, tolerance, patience and religious cautiousness to our teeming youths and students for peace and harmony in a multi-ethnic and multi-religious country like Nigeria.
“I want to assure you that the House of Representatives and indeed the National Assembly will continue to provide legislative frameworks that will promote good governance, peace and harmony in Nigeria. There is no doubt that the current realities in Nigeria call for better understanding among ourselves especially among young people of school age and beyond regardless of ethnic or religious inclinations. Conferences like this are important and should continue to be encouraged and hold regularly. I want to assure that government will continue to partner with organisations and individuals in advancing good governance, peace and harmony in the country and I hope that other organisations and individuals will support this laudable effort,” the Speaker said.
In his paper presentation at the conference, Professor Afis Oladosu of the Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies, University of Ibadan, said a Muslim who understands his religion and the teachings of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW), will not promote or engage in violence which will disrupt the peace of the society. Speaking on the paper titled, ‘Arabic and Islamic Knowledge Systems and the Serach for Peace and Harmony in Nigeria’, Oladosu said education should aim at the balanced growth of the total personality of a man through the training of man’s spirit, intellect, rational feelings and bodily senses. He said the Arab-Islamic knowledge is that education that would promote, enhance and sustain peace and which must satisfy at least four basic tests of practicality, universality, historicity and comprehensiveness. Oladosu said the most hated person in the sight of Allah is the most quarrelsome person while adding that a true believer is he from whom people’s lives and wealth are safe. He said, “Peace and harmony would be guaranteed when basic necessities of life are provided for the masses, when the citizens become responsible and responsive to their obligations to themselves and their families, when we stop playing politics with our faiths and we stop conflating the criminal with his tribe.”
Other notable Arabic and Islamic scholars who delivered papers at the conference are Professors Salisu Shehu and Bashiru Galadanchi and Dr Muhammad Sani Idris whose papers also focused on peace and unity in Nigeria.