Dignitaries who gathered at the University of Lagos on Sunday, April 28 for the Annual pre-Ramadan Lecture of the University of Lagos Muslim Alumni (UMA) have urged Nigerians to imbibe tolerance and peaceful co-existence.
The dignitaries, included the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III; Governor Isiaq Gboyega Oyetola of Osun State; Oba Rilwanu Akiolu of Lagos; Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos and Alhaji Shuaib Afolabi Salisu, UMA National President and a host of others.
They spoke at the pre-Ramadan Lecture, the 25th in the series by UMA whose theme was Managing Diversity: Whither The Muslims?
Setting the ball rolling in his Address of Welcome, Alhaji Salisu said the theme was specially chosen by UMA in view of the prevailing situation of religious and ethnic tension in Nigeria and the world over.
The Sultan in his Keynote address said The Quran and the Hadith of Prophet Muhammed (SAW) have provided the basis for Muslims on how to leave peacefully with people of other faiths.
Giving credence to this were the governor Osun State and the Oba of Lagos. Like the Sultan, they recollected how Prophet Muhammed forstered love and harmony amongst Muslims, Jews and Christians in Medina when he and his followers as a result of persecution migrated from Mecca to the new city.
The two guest lecturers: Prof Abdul Razak Alaro of the Faculty of Law, University of Ilorin and Dr Lukman Zakariyya of the International Islamic University, Malaysia said diversity is ordained by Allah and mankind have to learn to live by it.
The Vice Chancellor of University of Lagos, a Christian praised the Muslim Alumni Association for it’s efforts at charting pathways for the peace and progress of the nation and for being worthy ambassadors of the University.
He recalled with nostalgia his growing up days in Lagos during which he said Christians and Muslims co-existed peacefully and felicitated together during their different religious festivities, praying for the return of “the good old days.”
*Photo R-L: Prof Ogundipe, Gov Oyetola, The Sultan, Alhaji Salisu.