Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Monday, implored the Muslim faithful to use this year’s fasting period to seek the face of God for divine help on Nigeria and total recovery from the losses of COVID-19 pandemic and other pressing challenges.
Sanwo-Olu made the plea while addressing Muslim congregants at the Pre-Ramadan lecture/prayer held at the State House Mosque Complex, Alausa, Ikeja.
The Governor, represented by his deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat at the event, appreciated God on behalf of all residents for not allowing the pandemic to bring a total halt to the economic and religious activities in the State, noting that the fight against the virus was a daunting task both for the State Government and the residents.
In his address at the occasion, the Commissioner for Home Affairs in Lagos State, Prince Anofiu Olanrewaju Elegushi, who described Ramadan fast as a command from the Almighty Allah, quoted from the Holy Quran Chapter 2, Verse 189: “O Ye Believers, Fasting Has Been Prescribed Unto You As It Was Prescribed To Those Before You, So That You May Learn Self-Restraints”.
He recalled that this time last year, the whole world was rudely shocked by the intrusion of the Coronavirus, which forced most countries to lockdown, hence most religious activities were held on a low-key last year.
Elegushi called on Muslim brethren to avail themselves the training and serenity that Ramadan affords for cleansing and enrichment of every soul with virtues and re-dedication to the good of humanity as well as the development and progress of our dear State, Lagos and our great country, Nigeria.
He admonished Muslims to “cater for the less privileged around them as commanded by the Holy Quran even as we abstain from all forms of wrongdoing now and, hopefully, beyond the Fasting period; a call to fellow-feeling, harmonious co-existence devoid of prejudice, hatred, acrimony and bigotry as well as exhibiting attributes of charity and good neighbourliness”.
“I urge every one of us to avail ourselves of the lectures and practical teachings of seasoned Islamic clerics who have been selected to remind us of our roles as Muslims during this Ramadan period”, the Commissioner said.
One of the speakers at the event, Dr. Sa’eid Ahmad, an Imam and Lecturer at LASUCOM, bemoaned the lukewarm attitude of most Muslims to the COVID-19 vaccine when it was introduced by the government.
Dr. Ahmad informed that COVID-19 should be recognised by Muslims because it supports the framework and the principles of cleanliness which is already instructed in the Qur’an through ablution and constant washing.
He further stated that although Muslims wash their hands five times a day, a lot of them do not believe that COVID-19 is real and, as such, have not fully followed the laid down safety measures by the government and health officials.
“We complain that the Government is not doing much on COVID-19, yet when the vaccine came many felt reluctant to take the jab,” the cleric said.
Also in his lecture titled “The Purposefulness of Life”, Dr. Ishaq Zuglul, opined that life is not a sheer coincidence as there is much to life than vanities, adding that living here on earth is a test for eternity.
Dr. Zuglul asserted that external judgement will be based on the purity of heart action not by social status, educational level or affluence, charging those in governance to render public service to the people conscientiously and commended Governor Sanwo-Olu for the passion and fatherly disposition at handling the #EndSARS debacle.
In her vote of thanks, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs, Mrs. Adebunmi Adekanye, who was represented by the Director of Finance and Accounts, Mrs. Adetutu Ososanya, appreciated the efforts of the State government at ensuring peace and religious harmony in Lagos State.
The event was well attended by many dignitaries including the Secretary to the State Government, Mrs. Folashade Jaji; the Head of Service, Mr. Hakeem Muri-Okunola; the Special Adviser to the Governor on Islamic Matters, Mr. Abdulahi Jebe; the body of Permanent Secretaries and the Grand Chief Imam of Lagos, His Eminence, Sheikh (Engr.) Suleiman Abou Nolla among others.