Sultan of Sokoto Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III
Sultan of Sokoto Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III

As the 29th edition of the annual National Qur’anic Recitation Competition organized by the Centre for Islamic Studies, Usman Danfodiyo University, Sokoto hold in Auchi, Etsako West Local Government Area of Edo State, the Sultan of Sokoto Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III has called on politicians not to direct their political thinking towards religion in their electioneering campaigns. The Sultan who chaired the event holding at the Auchi Polytechnic Pavilion which has participants drawn from states across the nation, warned politicians to allow religious faithful practice their religion without any interference.
He added that Muslims are not negative thinkers who believe in wanton destruction of lives and property.
The Nigerian Islamic leader charged politicians not to use Islam as a basis for gaining political positions just as he advised both Muslims and non-Muslims alike to think rightly and vote for the candidates of their choice in the 2015 general elections and not on the basis of sentiment or religion persuasion.
“We must be allowed to practice our religion without discrimination; and our courts should not be used as tools to settle political scores but should be allowed to function as avenues for persons to ventilate their grievances if their rights are trampled upon” he advised.
He therefore urged Muslim faithful who are up in arms against the State to desist from it as according to him, the Islamic faith is not for the purpose of negative radicalism. Instead the Sultan noted the insurgents should embrace intellectualism and justice adding that those unhappy with the system should not renounce their faith in Islam because of the unfortunate activities of the Boko Haram militants in some parts of the country.
On his part, Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole called on politicians across the country not to hide under the name of religion to divide the country or repartition our family.
Comrade Oshiomhole said the decision by the Edo State Government to host this year’s edition of the competition was borne out of its desire to continue to promote things that would promote knowledge as the world will not know peace if we allow ignorance to take the place of reasoning.
“We need to be re-educated even on those things we think we already know so as to make the world a better place for all.”
“If a man commits crime in the name of any particular religion the person should be prosecuted and punished.”
“The real challenge here is that no religious leaders should be allowed to profit from the atrocities of those criminals who have committed crime in the name of religion.” He warned.
The Governor therefore challenged politicians to put themselves to test as the 2015 general elections draw near stressing that the elections of 2015 should not be seen as a do-or-die affair.
Over 28 states are participating in the competition, which began on Wednesday January 7, and would end on Saturday January 17, 2015.