The International Islamic Conference on Peace and Nation Building with the theme “Security and stability in the face of contemporary challenges”, which was jointly put together by the Jama’atul Izalatul Bid’ah Wa-Iqamatis Sunnah (JIBWIS) and Muslim World League (MWL), kicked off yesterday at the Yar’Adua Centre in Abuja.
Speaking at the opening of the four-day conference hosted by Nigeria, President Buhari noted that: “Poverty breeds disaffection, which in turn leads to crime and lawlessness including confrontation against the state. To checkmate this, we must work hard to lift our economy, engage our youth and rebuild infrastructure. We can only achieve these with full cooperation of all Nigerians and under a stable polity. We are determined to do this and we shall not be deterred.”
Buhari also expressed hope that the present economic situation of the country will turn out to be a source of blessing to the nation as he said it will resurrect dormant economic opportunities which has remained unused for years.
The President who was the Special Guest at the occasion, described both the theme and timing of the conference as appropriate, particularly as it comes at a time when many of the countries in the world are dealing with one form of conflict or another.
Buhari disclosed that he was especially fascinated by the objectives of the conference which includes promoting national, regional and global cooperation against the spread of insurgency, correcting distortions about the concept of peace in Islamic ideology and philosophy, contributing to the global fight against terrorism and attracting global attention to the plight of those most affected by the insurgency mostly concentrated in the North-east Nigeria. His words:
“Our country Nigeria has suffered many years of official neglect and corruption leading to untold hardships to the common man. I wish to assure you that our government will do everything possible to safeguard lives and property and also to ensure even development across the country.
“The global economic challenges the world is grappling with today might well turn out to be a blessing for us in Nigeria, because it will stimulate the latent economic opportunities that we have left untapped for decades. Poverty breeds disaffection, which in turn leads to crime and lawlessness, including confrontation against the state.”
The president made it point-blank that Islam frowns at lawlessness and does not allow extremism even in normal acts of worship. He said:
“No religion approves of such heinous crimes against humanity; definitely not Islam nor Christianity, the two to which most Nigerians belong. This is a tragedy which all normal people must rise up against. Islam does not permit lawlessness. It frowns at extremism even in normal acts of worship. The emergence of any group advocating the contrary is therefore irreligious and unacceptable.”
Also speaking at the conference was the Sultan of Sokoto, Dr. Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, who supported the president on the need for leaders of different religious groups to adopt moderation and tolerance as they practice their faith, avoiding preaching messages aimed at distorting the true concept and intentions of Islam as a religion of peace.
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The Sultan further stated that any society which longs for peace and stability, must be governed by leadership that is of high moral character.
See pictures below: