By Sadiq Umar, (from Akure)
Muslims in the Southwest region of Nigeria on Wednesday urged support for President Goodluck Jonathan and Vice President Namadi Sambo for another term of 4 years in office, declaring that their government has done well and deserve a renewed mandate.
Rising from its interactive session with the Vice President in Akure, Ondo state Capital, the Southwest Muslims at the well attended session said “ as Muslims of the Southwest, our scorecard of the Jonathan/Sambo administration is far above average, we therefore posit that the administration has done well and deserve to be given a 2nd term in office.”
The Muslims leaders maintained that they have the right to dialogue “ with any person, group or entity, particularly those who seek our support in the bid to rule over our dear country”stressed further that the implementation of the just concluded constitutional conference is sine-qua-non to the overall emancipation of the people of Nigeria.
It added that it will guarantee the socio-economic freedom of the Muslims in particular by ensuring that individual state develop at their own pace and with the support of the Federal Government and by so doing re-enact the are of the groundnut pyramid, coal and cocoa.
The group believed that agriculture will not only thrive again under Jonathan second coming, but would restore the economic viability and drastically reduce the crisis of unemployment plaguing the nation.
In the Communiqué issued at the end of the session, the Secretary-General League of Imams and Alfas, Southwest and Chief Imam, Owoland, Sheikh Ahmad Aladesawe ,the Muslims said education remains paramount if the nation must remain united, and thus identified with the Jonathan government policy on education which according to them, seeks to creatively develop Nigerian youths particularly those of the Northern Nigeria.
They cited the establishment of about 200 Almajiri Schools and the founding of at least 12 Universities, nine of which is located in the predominantly Muslim States of Northern Nigeria, insisting that the culture of the dependency is alien to Islam.
The argued that the protection of lives and property remains the major responsibility of any government, the Muslims leaders said security challenges have indeed remained a battle to be fought and won, hence “we join other Nigerians who appreciate that security is a collective responsibility which requires all hands to be on deck particularly with the Federal government leading the pack.”
They further said that “the Nigerian Armed Forces under Jonathan must be commended for a superlative display of gallantry as they dislodged the deadly insurgents – especially in the last six weeks.
“The current aggressive drive in agriculture by the Jonathan/Sambo administration must be commended, the hitherto persistent rise in the price of food especially rice had been professionally confronted with the results manifesting in the fall of the price of the commodity”, thus imploring that “the this effort must be sustained”.
Present at the event are the Chief Imam of Oshogbo, Mr. Shehu Musa Animashaun, Deputy Chief Imam of Ogun State, Mr. Bamgbola, Chief Imam of Delta Sheikh Abdul Ahmed, Chief Imam Ado-Ekiti, Chief Imam of Ibadan, Represented by Dr. Kalil Koyejo Oloso, delegates and representative of Morcas, Agege, Lagos, delegates from all southwest states and Middle belt coalition and delegates from the Hausa/Fulani/Arewa community.
Speaking at the gathering where Senator Iyiola Omisore and Mr. Tai Lawal were also present, the Vice President, Namadi Sambo reeled out the achievements of the administration even as he mentioned that the government is committed to conducting a free and fair election.
At the session, Ondo state Governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko said the southwest is an enviable example of religious tolerance, adding that people should not look at the PDP and All Progressive Congress presidential candidates from religious point of view, but what they have been able to do and what they are capable of doing.
He said Dr Goodluck Jonathan has been able to demonstrate his ability to allow press freedom, provide education, good transportation system, improve on Agriculture among others, feats which he said the Apc candidate Gen Buhari (rtd) could not achieve when he had the opportunity to rule the nation.