By Saby Elemba, Owerri
With the conclusion of Muslim Eid-El-Kabir celebration, the Sarkim Imo, the traditional ruler of the Northern and Muslim community in Imo state, Alhaji Auwal Baba Suleiman, has cautioned Nigerians not to allow religion or ethnicity differences to tear the country apart.
The Sarkim Imo who spoke to some journalists in Owerri last week that religion by the way Allah (God) created it, is not meant to bring about problem to people, saying that there is freedom of religion and everyone has right to any religion of his or her choice in the Nigeria. “It is not the making of anybody to belong to any reliogious group, rather it’s by the design of Allah”.
The monarch therefore urged Muslims and Northern communities in the state to imbibe the spirit of tolerance and respect among one another to ensure peacful co-existence particularly within the environment they find themselves. The Sarkim urged them to always work together and cooperate with the members of their host communities in the state.
On the security challenges, the monarch advised Nigerians to always give necessary encouragement to the security personnel to enable them discharge their constitutional duties diligently.
He emphasized on the need for both the people and the security personnel to work together to ensure maintenance of law and order this is as the Sarkim Hausawa enphasied that no one would like to live in any environment where there is no security personnel.
On the Eid- el-kabir, Alhaji Baba Sulaiman said that this year’s celebration was different because of the fact that slaughtering of ram among Muslims is compulsory while the other celebration is to fast for 30 days for every Muslim faithful.
The monarch said that the whole essence was to use the event to reach out to friends and also show charity.
Meanwhile chairman Muslim Council of Imo State, Prince Basheer Uwakwe blamed past and present leaders for their ceaseless spate of agitation for balkanization by some ethnic nationalities.
He agreed that agitation for balkanization is a collective responsibility because of their myopic and naivety of the leaders to amass wealth for themselves.
“When you talk about agitation for sovereignty, we should blame our past and present leaders because of their mistakes which has given to looting of public funds, but if they retract their steps and confess their sins to Allah, will move forward”, he said.
He described settlement in any part country as a constitutional right of all Nigerians, explained that the Muslim community who had been living in the state for over a century had not been linked with any form of crisis, and gave an assurance that they would continue to promote peace, unity and harmony among Nigerians wherever they are.