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Imperative of citizens’ cordial relation with authority

It is generally believed that there cannot be meaningful development in any society if there is no correlation between the leaders and the people they…

It is generally believed that there cannot be meaningful development in any society if there is no correlation between the leaders and the people they led.
Also is the need for mutual respect, love and understanding such that the inevitable societal disputes can be resolved amicably, but the society breaks down if the constituted authority and the citizens are having a ‘parallel line’ relationship and approach to issues.
Islam prescribes clear dictates in the Qur’an and Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) on the rights and responsibilities of the leaders and the led. It is however surprising that many societies are experiencing multi-faceted socio-economic and political challenges stalling growth and human development.
This was the concern of the National Coordinator of Zaymar Islamic Research and Development Education Centre, Hajiya Shifa Garba, who partnered some individuals and organisations to organised a two-day conference on promoting national stability through constructive social relations with constituted authority at the Abuja National Mosque.
Hajiya Shifa said the conference was to promote peace and better understanding among the leaders and the led. There is the need for dialogue and tolerance for Nigeria to overcome its challenges and achieve rapid development.
At the end of the conference attended by local and international Muslim clerics and other scholars, participants among other recommendations in their communique signed by Hajiya Shifa, called for special roles for religious and traditional leaders to fast-track peace and national healing.
The conference themed “Promoting National Stability Through Constructive Social Relations with Constituted Authority”, held that de-radicalization of youths is an essential tool to minimise acts of violence and terrorism.
“People of faith should assume special roles in nation building, security, stability and protecting territorial integrity. Nigerians should be cautious in adopting ideologies that do not uphold our national stability and respect for constituted authority. National stability is the main key to socio-economic development. The essence of unity goes beyond religious collaboration and should be extended in full spirit of loyalty nationwide in every other aspect of engagement to promote peace, progress and stability,” the communique said.
It said that food security is an inevitable tool for assuring national stability, moderation, tolerance and peaceful co-existence and that disrespect for women promotes stigmatization, minimum involvement in nation building and lack of interest in proper training of children and wards to become responsible citizens.
While saying that rumour-mongering, incitement and lack of authenticated information are threats to national security and stability, the communique said mutual respect, mutual co-existence and mutual understanding encourage unity and stability.
It said that extremism is a leeway to terrorism, disrespect for constituted authority and state of unrest and that traditional rulers should re-assume role of check-mating preachers to avoid calumny, hate speeches and negative influence on followers especially the youths.
During the plenaries, the federal government through the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, urged Muslims to respect constituted authorities in order to promote national security, stability and societal cohesion.
The minister, represented by the Deputy Director anti-corruption and transparency unit of the ministry, Malam Abdulrasak Yakubu Bichi, said Muslims, no matter the sect they belong to, must accord constituted authority in the country the requisite recognition and loyalty it deserves as Islam is synonymous with peace and loyalty to constituted authority.
“The Holy Qur’an and the Prophet Muhammad harp on the need for believers to obey, remain loyal and to recognize and acknowledge the authority of those who preside over their affairs, particularly their Muslim leaders. We should treat them with utmost respect and desist from being confrontational to them,” Mohammed said.
Also, the duo of the Chief of Army Staff Lt. Gen Tukur Yusuf Buratai and Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas assured Nigerians of security and respect for human rights.
Ibas represented by the Admiral Superintendent Naval Dockyard Limited Lagos, Rear Admiral Abdullateef Akintola and Buratai represented by the Army Director of Religious Affairs, Col. Shehu Garba Mustafa, said the citizens’ resolve to work with constituted authorities was key to resolving the nation’s multi-faceted challenges.
Niger State governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, represented by his Special Adviser on Religious Affairs, Alhaji Tanko Baba Ahmed, said that the theme of the conference was apt considering current happenings in the country.
He decried a situation where the youth who are the future of the country have been neglected by both the government and the society, adding: “We have it as a duty to individually and collectively cater for the youth because they are the future generation.”
The conference also witnessed presentations from Professor Misbahudeen Ahmed Rufai of the Malcolm X College Chicago USA, the Commissioner of Information, Culture and Home Affairs Katsina State Alhaji Hamza Brodo, Dr. Ahmad Bello Dogarawa of the Ahamdu Bello University (ABU) Zaria, and the CEO Comerel Travels Abuja Ustaz Abubakr Sideeq who spoke on ‘Utilizing Context Specific Religious Tools To Promote Constructive Social Relationship With Constituted Authority’ among others.


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