The Convener’s Speech at the Rally Ground, Lagos State Government House, Alausa, ikeja
IN THE NAME OF ALLAH, THE MOST BENEFICENT, THE MOST MERCIFUL
Being a speech delivered by the Convener, Center for Global Peace Initiative (CGPI) Mr. Yekinni Shakiru Ayinde at the rally ground, Lagos State Government House, Alausa Ikeja on the occasion of the Children’s Day, May 27 2014
All praise is due to Allah (SWT), may His peace and blessing be upon the noble prophet Muhammad (SAW), his household, companions and the generality of Muslims till the day of resurrection (Amin)
Your Excellency, the Executive Governor of Lagos state, Mr. babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) and members of the Lagos state administration here present, we convey our warmest greetings to you by saying Assalamu Alaykum Wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu
Your Excellency, our mission here today is two- fold; one is to commemorate with you on yet another occasion of the ‘Children’s Day’; the other is to express our views and solidarity with the rest of our compatriots on the case of the abducted school girls from the Federal Government Girls College Chibok in Chibok local government area of Bornu state, and by extension convey one or two words to Mr. President, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. It is our belief that today being the day of the child offers the appropriate opportunity to do all of these.
On the occasion of the ‘Children’s Day’, permit me to say that we appreciate the efforts of your administration in the task of making the future of our nation better and brighter by focusing on the rights of the child. ‘The Child’s Rights’ law which embodies certain rights as inalienable to the child, and the violation of which is punishable by appropriate penalties is a step in the right direction. We are proud of your administration in this and similar regard. We however implore you not to rest on your oars, as the task of running a complex state like Lagos is necessarily daunting.
Your Excellency, even though today ought to be a day of celebration, we are saddened by the abduction of over 200 school girls in Chibok local government area of Bornu state by the Boko Haram insurgents and the attendant cluelessness and lackluster performance of the Nigerian government in bringing this horror to a close . We as a collective of Muslim organizations condemn in the strongest term this heinous crime, and also express our disappointment at the manner in which the issue was previously handled by the federal government until recent external intervention. We say with every emphasis that acts of abduction, killing, kidnapping, wanton destruction and terrorism are all alien to Islam both in letter and spirit. We affirm that these acts constitute not only crimes against humanity, but also crimes against Allah and His religion, for Allah Has ordained that to kill a soul is likeable to killing the entire humanity (Q:5 :32). We say likewise that Boko Haram and its ideology of forceful conversion of people away from their religion runs counter to the dictate of Islam which affirms that ‘Let there be no compulsion in religion, for truth is clear and distinct from error…’ (Q: 2:256). We also reiterate that Islam forbids spreading evil and corruption in the land and recommends appropriate punishments for harbingers of evil and destruction like the Boko Haram sect (Q:5 :33). We therefore lend our total support to the ongoing efforts to rescue the abducted girls and re unite them with their families.
Your Excellency we are appalled at the incessant loss of lives and the destruction of properties on a scale unprecedented in the country. This as you are aware is already portraying us as a nation where life has no value in the comity of nations. In other climes, governments would deploy all resources and attention to rescue one individual, but in our own case the loss of hundreds of lives in a single week and the abduction of over 200 school girls did not deter our leaders from dancing to ‘Azonto’. We stand here today to query the allocations running into billions of naira as security votes and the corresponding increase in the spate of loss of lives and heightened insecurity in the nation. Our leaders claimed to be committed to education as part of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) , yet they are unperturbed at the kidnap of over 200 secondary school girls in a region where education is the least of considerations until international outcry forced the hands of our government to necessary action. The invitation of multi- national force to help handle the insurgency –despite the global acclaim of our military in similar operations in other countries- shows how rudderless we have become as a nation.
Your Excellency, we also wish to draw your attention to the insinuation by some uninformed and mischievous individuals who intend to label Islam and Muslims with names that do not represent us; these individuals peddle lies, carry stories and false alarms with the intention of sowing discord and rancor between Muslims and their neighbors, and to create an atmosphere of fear and mistrust; we abhor terrorism and all the acts that go with it. We therefore appeal to well-meaning Nigerians to continue to see and treat the Boko Haram insurgency from its origin which is political and not religious.
Your Excellency, with regard to this insurgency rocking the nation, we would like you to convey to Mr. President of the need for him to drop politics, bring together all stakeholders (especially Nigerians) and put a stop to the loss of lives which is becoming a daily routine, now in the entire length and breadth of the north. We also want Mr. President to know that corruption is the bane of our existence as a nation; it is not true as claimed by Mr. President that the issue of corruption is overblown; it is the hydra headed monster that is threatening to consume us as a nation and the President must see that combating it is the road to success in his administration of the country. Until recently revealed by foreign governments, our leaders have always denied that the Nigerian military is ill equipped to tackle the insurgents despite humongous allocation to security as a way of concealing the corruption that goes on at that level. However with the case of low morale in the military and two mutinies carried out by soldiers in less than a month, need we say more?
Finally Sir, we implore Mr. President to bring a quick end to the Boko Haram insurgency, tackle security concerns and restore sanity and stability to our nation. We say enough of all these negative trends, even as we are ready to lend our helping hand in moving this nation forward.
We thank you for your audience and we say Assalamu Alaykum Wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuhu
Comrade Yekinni Shakiru Ayinde
Center for Global Peace Initiative (CGPI)
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Chibok: Multiple protests rock Lagos House
No fewer than six different organizations stormed the Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja, to register their dismayed over the inability by the Federal Government to rescue the over 200 secondary school girls abducted in Chibok area of Bornu State in April.
The organizations came in with large number of people carrying placards with emotional messages and others lamenting the attendant failure of government to arrest the situation.
They include Center for Global Peace Initiative (CGPI), The Young Muslims Association (TYMA), Association for Formidable Educational Development (AFED), Al-Mu’minaat Social Advocacy Project (SAP), Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria, Lagos State Area Unit, League of Muslim Schools’ Proprietors (LEAMPS) and Pure Heart Foundation (PHF).
After hours of chanting various slogans and singing different songs to seek the unconditional release of the abducted girls, the state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Lateef Ibirogba, came over from another function to receive their protest letters on behalf of the state governor, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola.
CGPI Convener Shakiru Yekinni lamented the attendant cluelessness and lackluster performance of the government in bringing Boko Haram activities to an end.
He said: “We as Muslim organizations condemn in the strongest term this heinous crime, and also express our disappointment at the manner in which the issue was previously handled by the federal government until recent external intervention.
“We say with every emphasis that acts of abduction, killing, kidnapping, wanton destruction and terrorism are all alien to Islam both in letter and spirit. We affirm that these acts constitute not only crimes against humanity, but also crimes against Allah and His religion, for Allah Has ordained that to kill a soul is likeable to killing the entire humanity.
“We say likewise that Boko Haram and its ideology of forceful conversion of people away from their religion runs counter to the dictate of Islam which affirms that ‘Let there be no compulsion in religion, for truth is clear and distinct from error.
“We also reiterate that Islam forbids spreading evil and corruption in the land and recommends appropriate punishments for harbingers of evil and destruction like the Boko Haram sect.”