COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF THE SECOND GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE MUSLIM UMMAH OF SOUTHWEST NIGERIA (MUSWEN) HELD AT THE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE CENTRE, UNIVERSITY OF IBADAN ON AL-AHD, RAJAB 17, 1437 (SUNDAY APRIL 24, 2016).
The second General Assembly of the Muslim Ummah of Southwest Nigeria was held at the International Conference Centre, University of Ibadan, under the Chairmanship of MUSWEN’s President, His Excellency, Alhaji (Dr.) Sakariyau Olayiwola Babalola, OFR.
MUSWEN as the umbrella body for all State Muslim Councils/ Communities and Organizations in the Southwest of Nigeria welcomed the over 350 delegates and invited dignitaries who attended its second General Assembly. The MUSWEN was established in 2008 to facilitate the unity of the Muslims in the South West of Nigeria as well as to solidify the brotherhood of the Ummah in the entire country.
The General Assembly was well attended by eminent Muslim men and women leaders from the six states of the Southwest Region.
Given the current economic, political and religious situations in Nigeria today, MUSWEN, through an appraisal at its second General Assembly observed as follows:
1. That Nigeria today is going through a very difficult time as people are being forced to make hard choices while confronted with insecurity, corruption and unpredictable socio-economic climate that plague the nation.
2. That the sad development arising from the dastardly act of insurgency leading to the abduction of over 200 school girls in Chibok, Borno State, is not only embarrassing but also unfortunate for a nation like Nigeria.
3. That in such a situation, all Nigerians, irrespective of their ethnic and religious backgrounds, should come together to rally round the present government especially President Muhammad Buhari in solving the multifarious problems staring the Nigerian people on the face.
4. That it is gratifying however, that the Federal Government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari is making frantic efforts to get Nigeria out of the woods as we acknowledge that the current ongoing fight against corruption could not have come at a better time; and that the MUSWEN is greatly in support of the efforts even as we pray for its success.
5. That the overwhelming poverty within the Ummah betrays the preponderance of the meaningful Muslim population in Nigeria which forms a great workforce that should help to stabilize the economic and political harmony of South West region in particular and Nigeria in general.
6. That Nigerian Muslims are incessantly confronted by two major problems: One is poverty. The other is ignorance. Whereas a solution to one of these two problems can automatically pave way for the solution to the other. However, no serious attention seems to have been paid to such solution for a long time.
7. That MUSWEN acknowledges the harmonious activities of the indefatigable President-General of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs and Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar CFR, mni and urges all Muslim Organizations in the South West to cooperate with him in his efforts to pilot the affairs of Nigerian Muslim Ummah.
8. That the political situation in the country today, when combined with the well known insecurity has become so dangerous that only constant prayer can rescue it. MUSWEN therefore calls for such prayers from all and sundry.
9. That some religious leaders in the country who are supposed to use their good offices to douse any religious tension as ordained by our various faiths refuse to live above board by clandestinely fuelling unnecessary antagonism and mutual suspicion through their inflammatory utterances to the detriment of peace and tranquility.
10. That Nigerian youths today especially those of the Southwest, majority of who possess qualitative education credentials are unfortunately jobless’
Consequent upon the aforementioned observations MUSWEN’s General Assembly, resolves as follows:
1. That the Muslim Ummah of Southwest Nigeria totally condemned the bloody and destructive activities of Boko Haram insurgents who are masquerading under the garb of Islam to perpetrate unprecedented atrocities in some parts of the country, insisting that Islam stands for peace in all ramifications. MUSWEN described such atrocities as grossly antithetical to the tenets of Islam and calls the renegades to surrender.
2. That the federal government should quickly devise a means not only of addressing the fundamental causes of insecurity in the land but also in rescuing the Chibok girls criminally abducted by Boko Haram insurgents and thereby bringing relief to the distressed parents of those children as well as all the internally displaced people in the Northeast region.
3. That Muslim Ummah of South West Nigeria (MUSWEN) decides to establish Muslim Elders’ Forum for the southwest to address some socio-economic and political issues affecting Muslims in the region, which were often overlooked by an existing Yoruba Elders’ Council and similar bodies.
4. That in view of the current dwindling income from Nigeria’s mono economic standing represented by petroleum, existing agricultural policies should be quickly implemented by the federal and State governments to engage millions of Nigerian youth as a way of curbing unnecessary restiveness among those youths.
5 The General Assembly also resolved that the MUSWEN’s Zakat Committee should be strengthened so as to assist more indigent Muslims and solve some social problems confronting the Muslims.
6. That in its deliberations, the General Assembly of MUSWEN remembered and prayed for the souls of Muslim leaders who have departed this world including Professor Aliu Babatunde Fafunwa (the first President of MUSWEN), Alhaji Abdul Azeez Arisekola Alao (the Aare Musulumi of Yoruba land and Deputy President-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) and Sheikh Mustapah Ajisafe, the President of the League of Imams and Alfas in the Southwest region as well as a host of other demised prominent Muslim leaders.
Alh. (Dr.) S.O Babalola OON, Dsc
Prof. D. O. S. Noibi OBE, FIAC, FISN