The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has challenged the Centre for Qur’anic Reciters of Nigeria to rise and nip in the bud, the monster of disunity ravaging the nation owing to what he described “as escalating the precarious fault-lines in our societies, occasioned by inefficient governance.”

Delivering a goodwill message yesterday in Sokoto at the National Conference on Alarammomi organised by the Qur’anic Reciters, in concert with the Centre for Intellectual Services of Sokoto Caliphate, Atiku insisted that religious leaders have a key role to play in mending the deep divisions among Nigerians of different shades and colours, saying that “we have to have a nation first before anything else. Right now, unless something drastic is done, our national unity will be permanently ruined,” insisting that though the present administration caused most of the problems, the solution lies in all citizens, which they can bring about by voting for another government that takes the interest of the people first, and which will exploit the nation’s heterogeneity to huge advantage.

Atiku was represented at the conference by his media associate, Suleiman Uba, a senior editor and author.

Also speaking at the occasion, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, tasked the leadership of the Qur’anic Reciters to rout out quack clerics, “who take pleasure in twisting the true teachings of Islam to achieve selfish and most often dangerous ends.

Others who spoke at the occasion included the executive secretary of the Universal Basic Education Board, Dr. Hamid Bobboyi, as well as chairman, Board of Trustees of the Centre for Intellectual Services, Professor Sambo Junaidu. The guest speaker, Professor Sulaiman Khalid did justice to the theme: Almajiri system and current realities.

Major highlights of the event included awards of excellence to deserving personalities, who played important roles in forging national unity through religious tolerance amongst the nation’s diverse citizenry. They included the mothers of two of the nation’s major industrialists, Alhaji Aliko Dangote and Alhaji Abdulsamad Isyaka Rabi’u and a host of others.