A prominent Muslim group, Standard Bearers Islamic Organisation has charged Muslims to participate actively in politics as the 2023 general elections draw near.
The National Coordinator, Standard Bearers Islamic Organisation, Dr. Abdulhafeez Bello gave the charge at a press conference in Ile-Ife on the sideline of a public lecture organised by the organisation with the theme: “Political Participation in Non-Muslim nations: Ethics and Rulings”.
He said Islam encourages Muslims to participate in governance as unanimously agreed by reputable Muslim scholars.
Dr. Abdulhafeez Bello said “We commend President Muhammad Buhari for signing the 2022 Electoral Amendment Bill into law. It is a major landmark and verifies the mantra of our President “I am for nobody; I am for everybody”. The recent elections in Ekiti and Osun State also further attest to the importance of this bill.”
“Our election in the past usually marred by widespread rigging, violence, voter’s intimidation and Federal might influence appears to be a thing of the past. All candidates were given a level playing field and this was enhanced by INEC’S introduction of the voter’s authentication and accreditation system technology (BVAS).”
“There is a significant increase in voters registration which has led to a renewed enthusiasm in our elections by the populace. President Buhari’s enduring effort in this regard as well the INEC Chairman Will be entrenched in the history of free and fair elections in the country.”
Dr. Abdulhafeez Bello expressed worry over the menace if vote buying and urged all stakeholders to take appropriate step to address the challenge and curb the practice.
“A pending challenge with our elections is vote buying practiced by our politicians especially at the venue of elections. This is degrading to our citizens and undermines the integrity of the Nigerian voter. We hope Government can fashion a means of combating this especially with the fear of the aftermath that may follow refusal either to not collect or to collect and possibly still reject the candidate that facilitated the bribe”, he said.
Dr. Abdulhafeez Bello also charged youth to vote for right candidates the the next year general elections and elect the rights set of leaders into political offices.
“We urge Nigeria youths to renew their spirit for a new Nigeria of our dreams. We all yearn for a Country of great opportunities to aspire to our best potentials and ensure continuous capacity building to serve our country better. To attain this we must be part of the process by eschewing ethno-religious sentiments in our daily dealings. We must ensure we vote for candidates with proven track record of vision, competence, good governance, religious tolerance and human capacity development. We should elect candidates that are youth friendly and can deliver on the aspirations of the youth.”
He appealed to politicians no to heat up the polity in their push to win elections and gain political offices. “Standard Bearers Islamic Organisation urge our politicians to embrace peace and prioritize the well-being of our Nation beyond any other personal or selfish interest. There will be no nation to govern if we allow our dear country slips into anarchy. We leave you with the saying of our Lord; Allah (SWT) in the glorious Quran Chapter 3 Vs 26. Say, “O Allah, owner of sovereignty, you give sovereignty to whom you will and you take sovereignty from whom you will. You honour whom you will and you humble whom you will. In your hand is (all) good. Indeed, You have power over all things”, Dr. Abdulhafeez Bello said.
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