By Brave Dickson
The Rivers State Central Mosque in Port Harcourt through one of its leaders has dismissed insinuations of conflict between Muslims and Christians in the state.
Debunking this as part of his Sallah message while fielding questions from journalists, the State Islamic Leader and Vice President General, Rivers State Council For Islamic Affairs, Alhaji Nasir Awhelebe Uhor maintained that the relationship between Muslims and Christians remains cordial.
The State Islamic leader also described this year’s Eid-il-Kabir celebration as historic sacrifice and enjoined all Muslims to make the most out of it by swiftly adhering to the commandments of Allah.
Alhaji Uhor said: “We are celebrating the historic sacrifice of Prophet Abraham when Allah ordered him to sacrifice is only son Prophet Ishmael and he and his son obeyed without hesitation. But because Allah did not want him to sacrifice his son so He provided a ram for the sacrifice. So, it is that ransom that we are still celebrating today.
“There is no disconnect or conflict between Christians and Muslims. I fraternize with the state chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria now and then. We both invite each other to our occasions.
“Though, there are some irredentists religious leaders who preach what their Creator didn’t tell them. It is even said in the Bible that
:’In vain do they worship me. Teaching for doctrine, the commandments of men.’ You will be misleading people when you leave the doctrines of Allah to teach the commandments of men.
“My message is that anybody who realises that it is possible for him not to see another Sallah, will be sober enough to make the most of this Sallah. We should be quick to do whatever Allah enjoins us to do in order to get the blessings of this Sallah. In fact, if Muslims adhere to the Quran and Allah’s prophets, they will always be needed in positions of authority and people will enjoy our leadership.
“Another crucial issue is the family and that is why I emphasize on the unity of the family and its wellbeing.
So. we should always take care of our children and have the number of children we will not only feed but also educate. When our children are well fed and educated, you will not find them out there on the street to be used for crimes against society. So, we should really invest in family management, healthcare and education.”
In his message, the Chief Imam, Rivers State Central Mosque, Port Harcourt, Malik Yahya urged religious leaders to be proactive in governance which he viewed as the panacea for a better society.
The Imam said: “Our religious leaders are over allowing politicians to dictate for them. Religious leaders should therefore be part and parcel of government. They should also be policy makers so they can contribute their quota because the masses are nearer to them than politicians.
“When we get genuine God’s people in political offices, things will begin to go well. I urge religious leaders to keep educating the masses. We also need to understand each other in order to build this country.
“I can tell you that Nigerians do not need too much from their leaders in government. If government can provide steady power supply, clean water, good hospitals and roads, these things will be sufficient for Nigerians to thrive in this country.
“As I religious leader, I am concerned about violence in this country because my religion has directed me to always value human lives. That is why the Quran says: ‘Who ever kills a person is like had killed the entire mankind. And if you save a soul, is like you have saved the entire mankind’.
“I therefore urge politicians who have won elections to collaborate with their opponents, bring everybody together in order to move the country forward. We should learn to play politics with dignity so as to secure the help of Almighty Allah.”