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Nigeria’s economic recovery requires prayer- Sanwo-Olu

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has urged Muslims in the country to use the Ramadan period to pray for the nation to overcome it’s present economic challenges.

Sanwo-Olu added that at a time like this when the country is going through economic challenges and hardship, the citizens needs prayer to assist the leaders in taking the right decisions that will lead the country on the right path to national growth and economic recovery.

The Governor made the call on Sunday while speaking at the Annual Ramadan Lecture 1445AH/2024 of the Ansar-Ud-Deen Society of Nigeria, Lagos State Council held at the Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos.

He emphasized that no one will seek elective post with the aim to fail but they are overwhelmed by various challenges and pressures of office. The Governor therefore stressed the need for prayers by Nigerians to assist the leaders in overcoming various obstacles and present economic challenges and hardship facing the country.

Sanwo-Olu said, “Nobody will contest for a position of authority with the intention to fail. They are overwhelmed with challenges and pressure of office. So, there is a need for us to use this period of Ramadan to pray to Allah to prevent them from derailing from their promises.

Commenting on the present hardship in the country, Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, enjoined Nigerians to be their brothers’ and sisters’ keeper during Ramadan and after.

He added that as government, his administration has initiated various programmes to ameliorate the hardship faced by citizens in the state. According to him, “We have initiated the Lagos Food Market across the 57 Local Government Areas/Local Council Development Areas in the state, where citizens can get food items at discounted rates.

He said food items like Rice, Beans, Bread, Garri, Eggs, Tomatoes, Pepper among others will be sold at 25% discount to residents starting from today, Sunday, 17th March, 2024 at the designated areas across the state. This, according to him, is the government ‘s way of bridging the huge cost of getting foodstuff.

He also disclosed that the state government has concluded plans to feed one million less privileged residents across the state free of charge using some selected “Mama Put Food Joints” across the state. Also, to attend to citizens medical needs, the state government through the six newly created Health Districts across the state will hold medical outreaches where citizens will be attended to and given free drugs particularly those with diseases like High Blood Pressure, Diabetes and others.

The governor therefore urged all the citizens to take full advantage of all these initiatives by the government for their good and not to resell them.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Chairman, Lagos State Council of Ansar-Ud-Deen Society of Nigeria, Abdul-Rahman Salaudeen who was represented by the Vice Chairman, Hassan Alao, charged Muslims to take advantage of the month of Ramadan to observe all what Allah enjoined them to do and abstain from what Allah forbids as well extend hands of succor and assistance to the needy, poor and the less privileged around them.

He added that the society would continue to register its presence in the distribution of welfare packages in her bid to alleviate the sufferings faced by the less privileged in the society. He therefore charged all to be their brothers’ and sisters’ keeper in the face of the present economic situation and hardship.

The Chairman stressed that the society remains committed to making people see the beauty of Islam, revitalizing the high values the religion teaches and will always embark on lots of life changing programmes and activities that will make Muslims and non-Muslims see Islam as a religion of peace, love and unity.

In his lecture, titled “What does He want from me”, the Guest Lecturer/National Missioner Ansar-Ud-Deen Society of Nigeria and Overseas, Sheikh Abdur’Rahman Olanrewaju Ahmad said Ramadan is a month in which Muslims are expected to be increased in their worship and their efforts to get closer to Allah. He added that they are expected to be of more service to their fellow human beings. It is a period they are reminded of their duties to their God and fellow human beings.

He stated that what Allah wants from mankind, particularly Muslims is to be closer to Him, love Him and worship Him as well as do away with anything that Allah has warned them against.

Commenting on the present hardship in the country, the cleric said tough times don’t last forever only tough people do. He therefore charged Nigerians to be more conscious of Allah and be just to themselves. as the issue is not peculiar to Nigeria, but a global phenomenon.

He said, “There is no need in hoarding money and in hoarding goods, in making life much more difficult for people. If something is meant for the people, give it to them. Allah will provide your own. Don’t misappropriate the resources that are meant to alleviate the suffering of the people. Don’t hoard goods, don’t profiteer, don’t make life more difficult for people.”

“This is not about the government, it is also about us, about individuals. It is not the government that runs most of the public transports. Don’t make it difficult for people. It is not the government that sells goods in the market. Don’t hoard, don’t make it difficult for the people. Government is not the landlord. Don’t make it difficult for people, make it easy for them and Allah will also make it easy for you,” He said.

In their goodwill messages, the former Minister for Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, National President of the Ansar-Ud-Deen, Alhaji (Aare) Rafiu Ademola Sanni and the Chairman of the Occasion, AVM (Dr.) Sikiru Oladimeji Smith all urged Muslims to seize the opportunity of Ramadan to pray for Nigeria and remember and take care of the less-privileged in their communities particularly at this hard time, as the month of Ramadan is a month of giving.

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