Stop politicising Buhari's health - MUSWEN warns politicians 

By Nofisat Marindoti, The Nigerian Voice, Osogbo

The Muslim Ummah of South West Nigeria, MUSWEN, has warned those who are policising the health status of President Muhammadu Buhari to stop giving undue publicity and attention to his illness.

The President of the organisation, Dr S O Babalola gave the warning at the 3rd General Assembly of MUSWEN.

While berating the critics who are using the President's illness to achieve cheap political goals, Babalola maintained that everybody gets sick and Buhari cannot be given an exception.

He thereby urged Nigerians to pray for the President,

"As the leader of the country, strong in health or weak, the President needs the support and prayers of all citizens. That is a civic duty, not an act of grace. As humans, we all fall ill. We all face moments of uncertainty. We all can experience moments of slow paces in our respective journeys. These realities should inform our attitude to our leaders when they face similar circumstances."

Unite against corruption
The MUSWEN head charged Nigerians to get united in the fight against corruption, saying "the fight against corruption is a battle for the survival of the nation."

He asserted that corruption has been a major factor that has prevented the giant called Nigeria to claim its rightful place in the comity of nations.

"Therefore, if we all desire a better future for Nigeria and Nigerians, we must all resolve in unison that the fight against corruption is a battle for the survival of the nation."

Babalola congratulated the President Buhari’s administration on some modest improvements in the country.

"The battle against insurgency in the North East is now largely won. With Boko Haram crippled, peace is gradually returning to the crisis-ravaged North East. More Chibok girls are back and are being reintegrated into normal life. The crisis in the Niger Delta has subsided. Agitation in the South East is becoming moderated. The economy is gradually getting out of recession. For these and more, we give thanks to Allah. Alhamdu li-Llaah."

Economic diversification
Meanwhile, Dr Babalola has called on the Government on the need to do more to diversify the nation and the states' economies, saying agriculture, solid minerals and tourism are more than enough to sustain the nation.

He also urged the authorities to pay special attention to education, health and physical infrastructure, just as he soliciced for more focus on youths' empowerment.

"Although we commend the government for its various development, we however, recognise the need for the government at all levels to do more for the people. Of particular importance is the need for the Federal Government to quicken the pace of work on its Social Investment Programme, which if well managed could help improve the economic wellbeing of the citizens.

"Our youths need empowerment. People’s purchasing power need to improve. pensioners, senior citizens and IDPs need better attention. Education, health and other social infrastructure needs more reform and investment. Power, roads and other physical infrastructure need more investment."

Avoid hate preachings
Apparently reacting to the ugly controversies and divisive tendencies that have characterised the relationships of notable Muslim clerics and proprietors of Islamic Institutes in the recent past Ramadan, the Dr Babalola urged Muslims preachers to desist from hate preachings in the coming Ramadan.

"As we approach Ramadan, I want to appeal to all Muslim preachers not to use the holy month as an avenue for hate-preaching. Ramadan presents a golden opportunity for the masses of Muslims to learn about and practice Islam in the best way possible.

"Muslim scholars and preachers have an obligation to use their knowledge to unite and not divide the Ummah. We must all remember that beyond the euphoria of this world, we will one day stand before Allah and account for how we guide the people under our watch." Babalola stressed.

MUSWEN programmes
Speaking on the activities of the organisation, the President narrated that MUSWEN has embarked on developmental programmes and projects which include Cervical Cancer Screening, Investment in Agriculture, Campaign on Balanced Education, Entrepreneurship Centre, Support for IDPs in the North East, Zakaah initiative and effective take off of its investment company – Sonobiz Services Ltd.

His words, "In the face of the huge legal issues thrown up by a number of issues that affect Muslims in the public space, especially the recent debate on the right of female Muslims to use hijab in schools and at workplaces, among many other similar situations, effort is in place for MUSWEN to set up a powerful Advisory Committee on Legal Matters.

"MUSWEN is ripe to have a standing Committee on Mediation and Reconciliation. These will be complemented by improved media, stakeholder’s engagement and fund-raising strategies.

"I have strong hope that the MUSWEN's Elders' Forum that would be inaugurated soon would be more than adequate to help chart the much needed sociopolitical direction for the Ummah in the region." Babalola added.

Isiaka Adeleke mourned
The group mourned late Alhaji (Senator) Isiaka Adetunji Adeleke, the first civilian Governor of Osun State and prayed that Allah forgive him and grant him eternal peace.

Babalola appreciated all stakeholders for their sacrifices, starting from the Sultan of Sokoto and President-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), His Eminence, Alhaji Muhammad Sa‘ad Abubakar, Dr Abbas Aidi, Chairman, Board of Trustees; the Executive Secretary, the Chairman of Standing Committee, Leaders of State Councils/Communities among others.