Since October 1, 2010 when bombing of public institutions including houses of worship and market places became a vogue in the country, many Nigerians have blamed the development on religion fanaticism.
Perhaps, because of accident of names, some Nigerians have even concluded that the perpetrators of wanton destructions of lives and properties of innocent citizens in some parts of the country are Muslims.
The christening of the group whose members had on many occasions claimed responsibilities for bombings in some parts of the country as Boko Haram – western education is evil does not help matters.
This development had led to accusation and counter accusations by leaders of the adherents of the two most popular religions in the country (Islam and Christianity) over who the masterminds of the dastard killings of innocent citizens in parts of the country are.
While some Christian leaders are of the opinion that some Muslim youths in the Northern part of the country are the perpetrators of the evil deed, the Muslim leaders insisted that no Muslim would take the life of another person because Islam abhors taking of one’s own life not to talk of another person’s.
But while this argument over who the perpetrators of this heinous are continues on daily basis, one Nigerian that appears to be genuinely concerned about finding solution to this problem of insecurity in the country is the former Acting national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alh. Abubakar Kawu Baraje.
Instead of dissipating energy on argument over who the masterminds of the daily killings of innocent Nigerians are, Baraje has in his own private capacity mapped out a strategy to put an end to the menace in no long distance future. He intends to achieve this through the inculcation of proper Islamic education and moral teachings in the Muslim youths.
To achieve his mission, the former PDP boss has floated an Islamic institution – Baraje centre for Arabic and Islamic studies and he has carefully chosen a respected Islamic scholar and a justice of the Kwara state Sharia court of Appeal, Justice Salihu Mohammed as the chairman of the institution’s governing board.
Though, the centre had been in existence since 1997 but its operation had been at the elementary level but because of the exigencies of time, Baraje has decided to expand the scope of learning at the institution.
At the graduation for 41 students of the institution located along the state pilgrim’s welfare board’s office, off western reservoir road, gerewu area, Ilorin, the former PDP boss did not minch words in his condemnation of the killings of innocent citizens in some parts of the country. He however quickly added that those perpetrating the crime must be misguided elements who should not be regarded as Muslims.
Baraje, a thorough bred Islamic scholar himself quoted copiously portions of the holy Qur’an where Allah forbids Muslims from taking their own lives not to talk taking of other peoples lives.
He declared that only functional Islamic education coupled with good moral upbringing of the youths is the antidote to religiously-motivated killings in parts of the northern Nigeria.
He lamented that misguided people are hiding under the cloak of religion to kill and maim fellow Nigerians.
The immediate past PDP chairman therefore urged government at all levels to ensure provision of quality and functional education in the country.
He said, “the intention of floating this centre is to give a good foundation to the youth and they will not misinterpret whatever they read and nobody can hoodwink, misguide and hypnotise them. Because I believe it is the misguided ones that are turning the name of Islam upside down.
“What we are doing here is to build a future for Nigeria. A future where the youth will not only be given education but functional one for that matter, an education that will enable him live peacefully with any Nigerian or anybody without causing any harm.
To prove that Islam is a religion of peace, to prove Islam preaches welfarism, to prove that people who are killing and maiming in the name of Islam are totally being misguided and misled.
“Once morality is inculcated in them from their youth ages, they will never misunderstand any act of knowledge given to them.
Therefore, it is expected that the products of this centre will understand the true meaning of Islam and exhibit the true principles of Islamic relations.
“This school will eventual going to be secular and going to be affiliated with Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria and Al-Hazari University in Egypt. We are already on with the applications to these institutions. The institution is to promote education but beginning with Islamic education. My intention is to ensure that the morality of our youth has solid foundation.”
Baraje disclosed that the institution is tuition free while promising to continue to donate the school uniform to the students to encourage both the students and their parents.
Earlier, a Judge of the Kwara state Sharia Court of Appeal and chairman of the institution’s governing board, Imam Saliu Mohammed, had urged Nigerians to rally round President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration to bring about enduring peace in all the troubled parts of the country.