From: Fred Ezeh, Abuja
A former military Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd), on Tuesday, said that lasting peace and development would continue to elude Nigeria until the culture of social justice was placed top in the activities of both public and private organisations.
He suggested that such social justice should be applied to economic justice, which he said, begins with fair and equitable distribution of proceeds of the commonwealth of the nation, while available opportunities and privileges were extended to all Nigerians irrespective of political, religion and ethnic differences.
He identified some of the social injustices that had been responsible for the slow pace of development in Nigeria to include bribery and corruption, tribalism, nepotism, discrimination, poverty, youth restiveness and poor quality of education, advocating a religious approach for a durable solution.
Abdulsalami, who spoke at the 2nd Annual International Conference on Islamic Studies in Nasarawa State University, Keffi, highlighted that religion was a key component in the vehicle that would be used to entrench and sustain Nigeria’s unity in diversity.
The elder statesman, who was represented by his former minister of finance, Alhaji Ismail Usman, described religion as a social necessity that had, over the years, elevated man’s nature and exposed him to inexhaustible treasures of sound thinking and right action.
According to him, “It (religion) had also launched man into wide horizon of truth and goodness thus acquainting him with God and the rest of the universe, and satisfying is spiritual and materials needs.”
He thus challenged the Islamic teachers and clerics that were present at the annual two-day Islamic conference to develop new ways and methodologies of teaching Islamic studies in the 21st century technology world.
He also challenged them to, in the course of the meeting, highlight issues on social justice and sustainable development contained in the Glorious Qur’an and Sunnah, which would expedite the human and economic development of Nigeria.
Host of the conference and Vice Chancellor of the institution, Prof. . Muhammad Mainoma, who was also represented by Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academics, Musa Inuwa, said that the essence of the conference was to provide a platform for Islamic teachers and scholars to deliberate on issues that concerns Islamic studies.
The conference, according to him, was also for the participants to exchange ideas, knowledge and possibly discuss better ways to impart and bequeath the knowledge of Islam on future generations.