As the country is faced with several security challenges on many fronts and dimensions, the National Orientation Agency (NOA) Lagos state Directorate, in the context of the ongoing sensitization programme which borders on building a people of peace, held a one day sensitization programme with Muslim clerics and Imams at the Lagos Central Mosque (LCM) on Nnamdi Azikiwe Street, Idumota, Lagos Island, Lagos State on Thursday the 23rd of December, 2021.Addressing the Islamic clerics on the purpose of the visit, the Director, National Orientation Agency (NOA) Lagos Directorate, Mr. Waheed Ishola said that it all has to do with PEACE. The need to build a people of peace.
He tasked Religious Leaders on five (5) key points namely:
1. Stop Hate Sermons/Speeches
2. Promote Good Values
3. Promote the Fear of God/Allah Dictum
4. Promote Dialogue and Cooperation amongst the faithful and believers
5. Avoid mixing Religion with Politics
He pleaded with all Imams to be good ambassadors of peaceful co-existence in our society.In his response, His Eminence, Alhaji Sikiru Alabi Macfoy (FCA), Bashorun Musulummi of Lagos and the Vice Executive Chairman, Lagos Central Mosque who represented the Executive Chairman, thanked and commended the Agency for bring the sensitization programme on peace to their home.
He equally blamed the Agency for not being seen like the MAMSER of old. However, he noted that since 1775 that Islam arrived Lagos, they have never derailed from the pursuance of peace and love which is a tradition laid down by their forebearers.
He promised to continuously advise, encourage and make sure that their members preach sermons of peace, love and understanding to their followers and believers. He made an appeal through the Agency that the government should as a matter of urgency call together all Imams in their various states to gather and have a serious and practical prayer of peace for the country, not the usual social jamborees.
Thereafter, His Eminence, Sheikh Tijanni Olubodun Gbajabiamila, the Olori Ratibi of Lagos led the group in a prayer of peace for the Agency, Lagos State and Nigeria as a nation.High point of the visit was the presentation of the Nigerian National Flag which was donated by Access Bank Plc to the CAN Chairman by the NOA Director.
The Director, Mr. Waheed Ishola used the occasion to explain that the flag (Green White Green) symbolizes peace and unity which the government expects Religious Leaders to constantly preach to their people, believers and followers alike.Others in attendance were: Sheikh Mujitaba Giwa, Alfa Agba of Lagos and Imam Affininh Ibraheem, Olori Omokewu of Lagos amongst others.
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