The Chief Executive Officer of Jaiz Charity and Development Foundation, Imam Abdullahi Shuaib, has urged Islamic clerics to participate in political activities, either to vote or be voted for.
He said the long absence of Muslims in the top echelon of the three arms of government in some parts of the country has reduced the Muslim Ummah to a third-class community that has no say in the administration of their affairs.
He spoke at the 29th National Islamic Training Programme organised by The Muslim Congress (TMC) in Abuja with the theme, “Good Leadership: Imperative for a Virile Nation.”
The cleric said participating in the political process would facilitate and ease the affairs of Muslims in their quest to develop and enhance their God-given fundamental human rights.
Imam Shuaib added that Muslims’ participation in politics would also preserve the identity and protection of Islamic symbols in politics and governance.
He listed the consequences of being apolitical and non-partisan to include continuation of oppression, victimisation, harassment and assaults, corruption, impunity, violation of rule of law, and stereotyping and stigmatisation.
Also, Imam Jamiu Tirmiziy, the Chairman of the Sharia Committee of Experts, Zakat and Sadaqat Foundation, said since democracy is the system of governance in Nigeria, it would be unfitting for Muslims, especially those with sound Islamic knowledge and high moral standards to stay on the fence.
He urged Islamic scholars to educate their followers on the need to participate in Nigeria’s electoral process.
The cleric said, “We need to encourage the citizens, including Muslims to ensure that they participate actively in democracy because it is our system of governance in the country and we must patronise it together.
“It will be suicidal if Muslims decided not to participate in politics because we are the majority. If there are opportunities for those with sound Islamic knowledge on the ballots it will be better.”