‘Poverty, Religious Bigotry, Others Fuelling Social Crisis’

August 3, 2013

L- R: Amirah (President) of the state chapter of the Federation of Muslim Women Association of Nigeria, Alhaja Fausat Ahmed-Yusuf; Deputy Governor, Prof. Modupe Adelabu; and Erelu Bisi Fayemi during the annual breaking of fast (IFTAR).

Poverty, religious bigotry and ignorance have been identified as the root causes of the social crisis threatening the peace and corporate existence of the country.

Wife of Ekiti State Governor, Erelu Bisi Fayemi, and a Muslim scholar, Dr.  Biliquis Abduraheem, shared this view during the annual lecture and breaking of fast (Iftar) hosted by the governor’s wife.

Deputy Governor of the state, Prof. Modupe Adelabu; Wife of Secretary to the State Government, Mrs. Modupe Owolabi, and other top officials of the state also joined in the prayer session.

This year’s Iftar marked the third one organized by the governor’s wife since 2010 during when she distributes gifts and breaks fast with Muslim women leaders across the state. The women had converged on the Government House mosque and Lady Jibowu Hall under the aegis of Federation of Muslim Women Association of Nigeria (FOMWAN), Ekiti state Chapter, for the event.

Erelu Bisi Fayemi advised the women Muslim faithful to be well versed in the injunctions of the holy Quran and doctrines of the faith to guard against being brainwashed into by religion bigots into accepting strange tenets. She identified poverty, ignorance and religious bigotry as the root cause of the social malaise besetting the country, one of which she named as child marriage.

According to her, some bigots hide under the smokescreen of religion to commit atrocities and cover their track.

She said, “Muslims and Christians are worshipping the same God. We should not allow religion to divide us. Don’t let anybody misinterpret the Quran for you. Some are misinterpreting the holy books to satisfy their selfish end. Beware of lopsided interpretation of the holy book

“It’s not religion that will take us to heaven, but out deeds. All the Muslim leaders that I know, including those canvassing for earlyu marriage now will not give out their daughters at tender age.

“We watch weddings of children of these influential Muslim leaders, senators, governors and others on TV. Not once I’ve I seen when they gave out under-aged girls as brides. Their girls are given out at full age and well educated.”

She blamed ignorance and poverty for the decision of parents who gave out the hand of under-aged girls in marriage.

Citing the example of Senator Ahmed Yerima who reportedly doled out $100,000 to his Egyptian driver to marry the driver’s 13-year-old daughter, she said the driver would have rebuffed him if not for poverty.

The governor’s wife also advised women to be gainfully engaged to supplement the family income and to prepare for the unknown.

Delivering a lecture titled, ‘The role of women in maintaining peace and guarding against violence in Nigeria,’ Abduraheem stressed the need for peaceful co-habitation between Muslims and adherents of other religions. She described Islam as a religion of peace, urging Muslims to maintain peace with their God and the people around them.

The First Lady added that lack of education, negative parental influence, lack of proper counseling and poverty were the root causes of violence in the country. She prayed that the fasting period would usher in peace and prosperity for Ekiti state in particular and Nigeria in general.

In her remarks, the deputy governor advised women to properly educate and train their children so that they don’t join bad gang. Prof. Adelabu added that children with good education and proper upbringing would not be used by evil people to unleash violence on innocent people.

The Amirah of FOMWAN in Ekiti state, Alhaja Fausat Yusuf, thanked the governor’s wife for hosting the women for the third consecutive year.


Last modified: August 3, 2013

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