Omipidan to Muslim Ummah: Tinubu/Shettima's performance in four years will determine fate of Muslims in Nigeria's politics

...Let's work, intensify prayers for the sustained peace, unity, development of Islam, Nigeria

Chief Press Secretary to the immediate past Osun State Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola, Ismail Omipidan on Sunday, enjoined Muslim Ummah in Nigeria, to continue to propagate good virtues, promote love, tolerance and peaceful coexistence regardless of geographical, ethnic or religious boundaries. 

This is even as he harped on the need for Nigerians particularly Muslims to strive to pray for, and support the current administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and his Vice, Kashim Shettima, saying their performance or otherwise in four years will go a long way to determine the fate of Muslims in Nigeria's politics.

He noted that it was incumbent on Muslims, in the spirit of faith propagation, belief, unity and brotherliness, to rally support for their brothers at the helm of affairs, most importantly at a crucial time the duo of President and Vice-president, are of the same faith.

Omipidan, who was the Guest Speaker at the Opening Ceremony of the 27th Islamic Vacation Course of the Muslim Students' Society of Nigeria (MSSN), Benue Area Unity in Benue State, said the intensification of fervent prayers for the sustained peace, unity and development of Islam and Nigeria should be paramount in the minds of every Muslim youth.

The former Political Editor of The Sun Newspapers,  averred that the choice of the Muslim/Muslim ticket vis-a-vis the subsequent emergence of the duo of Tinubu and Shettima, 30 years after a similar attempt was made, must be jealously treasured by Muslim Ummah, as such remains a rare opportunity since the return to democracy in 1999.

Speaking on the theme of the event; "Recapturing the Socio-political Unity of the Muslim Ummah: The Role of the Muslim Youth", Omipidan identified different workable ways Muslim youths can work towards recapturing the socio-political unity of the Muslim Ummah in Nigeria and beyond.

He said the deep understanding of the Deen and commitment to Taoheed, would serve as a guiding principle to Muslim youths to recapture the lost unity within the Ummah, saying it is important for them to have deep understanding of the religion and know what their responsibilities are as Muslims.

Omipidan asserted that, it is incumbent on Muslim youths to focus on and promote common issues; exercise self-restraint in attacking others; build bridges across ethnic boundaries; promote inclusivity and dialogues; champion education and leadership, and knowing that unity of the Ummah is their collective obligation.

He said: "One of the ways we can recapture the lost unity in the Ummah is by emphasizing and focusing on common issues, that is, things that we share as Muslims. While we may have differences, matters that bind us as Muslims are far greater than few things that tend to divide us. 

"These days, we Muslims tend to dwell on differences and completely ignore common beliefs and principles we share as Muslims. Belief in Allah, in the Prophet, Solat, fasting, Zakat, Hajj, Qur’an, and many other subjects are common to Muslims. Focusing on these common things instead of the few differences we have can lead to the unity of the Ummah.

"In addition, we must avoid taking a strong or extreme position on minor issues. We should place emphasis on aspects of Islam that are more important than the others. Knowing what our priorities are will help us avoid dwelling on minor issues that cause division in our communities, and ensure that small differences do not kill unity of the Ummah."

Omipidan noted that the Muslim youths must cultivate the habit of self-restraint in attacking others by showing respect for others in discussions and dialogues saying "without doubt, there will always be differences of opinions but we must learn to approach issues with tolerance and open-mindedness." 

He stated further: "We should have honour and respect for one another irrespective of our divergence, whether on or offline, we must avoid unnecessary ideological debates and embrace scholarly engagements devoid of exchange of insults and unpleasant remarks. 

"Let us learn to criticize or correct others without hurting them. Harsh criticism or attack on fellow Muslims could create anger and disintegration."

Omipidan said the time has come for Muslims across the globe particularly in Nigeria to consider themselves as one-united entity irrespective of their ethnic differences noting that no Muslim should be identified as either Yoruba Muslim, Hausa Muslim or Igbo Muslim, but rather as Muslims. 

He said Muslims are obligated to always show concern for the needs and plight of other Muslims from all backgrounds and ensure that no Muslim, regardless of their ethno-cultural background, feels shut out of the community, ignored or neglected. 

Omipidan added that the promotion of inclusivity and dialogues must be the priority of Muslims particularly the youth as communication is key to fostering understanding and unity, saying Muslim youths, with their familiarity with modern communication tools and platforms, can lead the charge in promoting cross-cultural dialogue and breaking down stereotypes that hinder unity. 

"Education is a powerful tool for empowerment, and Muslim youths can leverage it to revitalize the socio-political unity of the Ummah. By pursuing higher education and acquiring knowledge in fields such as politics, law, and governance, they can occupy leadership positions that enable them to influence policy decisions and advocate for the interests of the Ummah. 

"The success of any nation or association is dependent on the mutual unity and harmony among its members. A strongly united nation becomes an indivisible force and has the capacity to overcome any hinderance that comes its way. 

"As Muslim youths, we must organize ourselves to be vigilant and thwart the conspiracies and efforts of the enemies to create rift and disunity among Muslims.

"You will all agree with me that extremism and radicalization pose significant challenges to the unity of the Muslim Ummah. Therefore, as Muslim youths, we must do our best to expose and counter extremist ideologies, and promote balanced understanding of Islam. 

"This can safeguard the Ummah's socio-political unity. By fostering critical thinking, promoting religious tolerance, and providing alternative narratives to extremist propaganda and ideologies, Muslim youths can prevent the spread of divisions and contribute to the restoration of a cohesive and inclusive Ummah", Omipidan added.

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