THE Coordinator of the National Council of Muslim Youth Organisations (NACOMYO) in Oyo State, Alhaji Dawood Afolabi, has underscored the need for Nigerians to turn to Allah for relief and an end to the current economic downturn in the country.
Afolabi stated this on Sunday in Ibadan at the 1438 Hijrah grand rally, organised by NACOMYO.
At the event, attended by the state governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi and a host of other Muslim personalities from across the state, Afolabi also called for prayers for the cessation of wars in Islamic nations of the world.
He described the theme of the event, “Recession or Depression: Islam Holds the Hope,” as timely.
“At a time like this when the nation is faced with economic recession, and the Islamic nations have been turned to theatres of war, we need to resort to prayers like the Holy Prophet did for Saudi-Arabia.’’
On the issue of hijab, he advised antagonists of the mode of Islamic dressing to back down as it is only meant for the Muslims and is guaranteed by the constitution of the country.
“Elsewhere, in the developed world, Muslims are granted their fundamental rights and Nigeria and, indeed, the South-West cannot be an exception,” he said.
He, however, expressed joy that many important non-Muslims were embracing Islam on a daily basis.
“Simon Collis, the British Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, has accepted Islam and performed hajj this year with his wife.
“I appeal to those who are still sitting on the fence to get on the Noah’s Ark of the time – Islam,’’ he said.
Afolabi said as the state government’s position on the report of the committee on education reform was being awaited, there was the need for Muslims to brace up for public/private partnership in the management of schools.
“The era of complacency is gone. We should be fully involved in the intellectual empowerment of the leaders of the ummah,” he added.
He commended the Aare Musulumi of Yorubaland, Alhaji Dawud Akinola; the senator for Oyo North District, Dr Fatai Buhari; the immediate past Executive Secretary, National Commission for Nomadic Education, Professor Rashid Aderinoye; the senator for Oyo South District, Rilwan Akanbi and other individuals for their contributions to the progress of NACOMYO.
Earlier, Afolabi appealed to Governor Ajimobi to declare the first day of Muharram as public holiday in the state, a request which the governor promptly granted by declaring the next day, Monday, 3 October, a public holiday to mark the Islamic New Year.
The event featured match past by Islamic schools across the state.
It was attended by the Minister of Communications, Mr Adebayo Shittu; Secretary to the Oyo State Government, Alhaji Ismael Alli; Senator Adesoji Akanbi and a former deputy governor of the state, Alhaji Hazeem Gbolarumi.
Others at the event are chairman, Muslim Community of Oyo State, Alhaji Kunle Sanni; Professor Kamil Oloso; the Iya Adini of Yorubaland, Alhaja Sekinat Adekola; Alhaja Segilola Badmus and a host of other dignitaries.