To prevent the hate speech and confrontation among the Yorubas and Igbos in Lagos during the just concluded elections from degenerating further, an Islamic scholar and leader has called for mutual respect from the two divides for each other.
His Eminence Fadhilat Sheikh Yahya Olorunosebi Oshoala, Chief Imam, Oriwu Central Mosque, gave the charge on Wednesday in an interview with THE IMPACT, stating that respect for each other’s place of origin will bring about lasting peace and co – existence.
“It is the Igbos and the Yorubas that we have to talk to, because there has been a lot of hate talk. There is a lot of pride and boasting. Let us talk to ourselves; let us be sincere; let everyone know his place of origin and respect the place of origin of others. Let us respect the religion, the ethnicity of others”, Chief Imam Oshoala said.
“Though, we are in Nigeria, but God has divided us. We have the River Niger and the River Benue, dividing us into the North and South and politically, we have further divided ourselves. Let everyone stay where he is. If you go to another area, go by what they do there. Let us avoid ethnicity. Let us avoid religious bigotry”.
While stating that the state and the country need good leaders that would unite and govern with fear of God and respect for everyone, the Chief Imam referenced Prophet Muhammed (S.A.W), as an exemplary leader whose acts should be emulated.
“Like I always said, I don’t believe in campaigning for anybody because what we need is competency, dedication, your track records, that’s what we need. The right person may be a Christian, Muslim, or an idol worshipper. All we need from anybody we choose as a leader is to be honest and balance”, the Islamic leader said.
“These we got in our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). When he got to Medina, the infidels and idol worshippers had the largest numbers in terms of population. The Israelites (Jews), their numbers were next to the infidels. Then, there were Christians who were also more than the Muslims.
“The Muslims were very few, but all these people saw the countenance, behavior of Mohammed. They saw his leadership roles, his manners and they all came together to accept him as the leader.
“There was somebody who was about to be crowned a King before Muhammed came, but with his arrival of the prophet, they all forgot about the man, and that is why the man became his enemy. They forgot him. He has gotten the crown, everything he wanted to use, but rather than concluding his coronation, the people chose Muhammed as a leader.
“Do you know what he did after his emergence as leader? He respected everybody by what and who they were. He respected everybody.
“He allocated the budget based on the numbers of each tribe and religion. He didn’t say because he was a Muslim and used that to make budgetary allocations to Muslims who were the minority. The infidels had more, followed by the Jews”, he said.
While further appealing to the nationalities and tribes to live together in respect and trust, Chief Imam Oshoala added that with good leaders, things can work very well in the country.
“He was honest, did you know that it was as a result of this that most of them withdrew from what they used to be and voluntarily became Muslims? That is how it should be”, he said.
“If a leader works as expected, there’s no way a country cannot be a one party state. It is possible because if he does very well, people will believe in him.
“I am appealing to the Igbos, Yorubas, Hausas, let us live together as brothers and sisters, and respect the religion of one another and also, the ethnicity of one another”, he appealed.