National Assembly Will Not Stifle Freedom of Worship

Senate President Bukola Saraki on Ambassadorial list
Nigeria’s Senate President Bukola Saraki

(NAN) The Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, says the National Assembly will not enact any law that will stifle the freedom of worship in the country.

Saraki made this known in a statement by his Chief Press secretary, Mr Sanni Onogu on Saturday in Abuja.

He made the pledge at the formal closing of the 31st National Quranic Memorisation Competition in Ilorin in Kwara State.

The president of the senate stated that the nation’s apex legislative body would continue to “work to ensure that people freely practice their religion without fear’’.

“I want to assure you that the senate in particular and the National Assembly in general will not enact any law that will stifle the freedom of worship.

“We will always work to ensure that people can freely practice their religion without fear,” he said.

The senate president said he was delighted to join members of the Ulamahs and dignitaries across the country to celebrate contestants in the competition, which drew participants from 33 states of the federation.

According to him, the knowledge of the holy book is one of the best ways to spread the word of God.

“I am convinced that if we all forget about religion and look at the rationality of the words contained in the holy books, our world will be better.

“The holy books of the two major religions, the Quran and Bible, teach morality, justice, equity, love, compassion, respect for elders.

“They also teach making money through just and fair means and many other virtues, which if we all imbibe them, there will not be war, disease, poverty, squalor, deprivation, crime and injustice.”

He said that the holy books further talked about the responsibility and burden of leadership.

“The books say those of us in position of leadership will have a lot to account for before Allah. Also, it is true that all of us are in one position of leadership or the other.

“We are leaders at various levels and we will be held accountable. Even as followers, we will be held accountable on whether we have played our role in making our leaders lead with the fear of Allah,,’ he said.

He enjoined the participants at the competition, which was mainly the memorisation of the Quran, to help preach the word of God to the high and low in a peaceful manner.

“Use your knowledge of the holy book to spread love, peaceful co-existence, understanding, tolerance, unity, compassion and genuine fear of Allah.

“Use your knowledge of the Quran to let the world know that those who discourage people from acquiring education are not good Muslims.

“Let the world know that those who obstruct the peace of the world do not represent Islam. Let the world know that our holy Prophet lived peacefully with Christians and Jews.

“He taught us to even emulate him. That is the essence of Hadiths.

“If we have taken to the words of Prophet Muhammmed, there will have been peace and development in our country and the world over,” he said.

Saraki further called on Nigerians to pray for good health and wisdom for President Muhammadu Buhari.

He enjoined Nigerians to also “pray for peace, unity and economic prosperity as well as political stability and general development” of the country.

“Let me use the opportunity of the gathering of distinguished members of the Ulamahs to ask that you all pray for our President, Muhammadu Buhari.

“May almighty Allah will continue to give him good health, the wisdom and know how to lead this country in peace and to prosperity.

“I also pray for our country to have peace, unity, economic prosperity and political stability and general development,’’ he said. (NAN)

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