The Sultan of Sokoto and president, Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, yesterday implored Nigerians to continue to live in harmony and maintain peaceful coexistence, regardless of tribe, religion or political affiliations.
The royal father made the call during a courtesy visit to the pioneer president of Muslim Ummah in South West Nigeria, Justice Sheu Tijani Bolarinwa Babalakin (rtd), in his country home in Gbongan, Osun State.
The Sultan stressed the need for Nigerians to live in peace, saying as citizens, the people are all one, and they “need to stay together and work for the sake of humanity”.
Commending the former Supreme Court judge, Abubakar said Justice Babalakin had contributed immensely to the development of Islam and Nigeria as a whole.
“This visit has been in the pipeline for so long but man proposes, God disposes. Justice Babalakin has paid his dues and he has contributed his own quota to the development of Islam and Nigeria in general.
“Justice Babalakin is a true religious leader and the pioneer president of MUSWEN. We are in the Southwestern part of the country to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of MUSWEN and deemed it necessary to pay Justice Babalakin a visit as the pioneer president,’’ he said.
Welcoming the Sultan Abubakar, Justice Babalakin commended the president of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs for the support he gave to him when he was the president of MUSWEN.
He said, “It is my great pleasure to welcome you to my humble abode in Gbongan, Osun State of Nigeria. I regard it a great privilege that you considered me worthy of a private visit. I pray fervently that the Almighty Allah will continue to guide you aright in the discharge of your onerous responsibilities.
“I want to specifically thank you for the great efforts you have made in uniting the Muslim community in the whole of Nigeria. Your leadership in this area has been remarkable and must be appreciated.
“I am particularly happy that you managed to resolve an issue that had divided the Ummah for a long time, which was irregular celebration of Eid-el-Kabir. From time in memorial, we have been celebrating this festival on different dates. Since you came to the throne, we have been celebrating this event on the same day. This has enhanced the unity amongst the Muslim Community.