The Amir that is Head Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at Nigeria, Dr Mashuud Adenrele Fasola, has urged the Nigerian government under President Muhammed Buhari to invest more in agriculture and rural development.
These he said are a catalyst to solving the economic problems facing the country.
The advice was contained in an Eid-ul-Fitri message from the Ahmadiyya Muslim group, copy of which was sent to The DEFENDER on Monday.
Dr Fasola, a development economist, submitted in his sermon that if agricultural and rural development are promoted, there will be abundant food production as well as job creation that will make every citizen have enough income to buy food.
Despite the abundant arable land and natural soil for agricultural development, he noted that thousands of Nigerian youths do not want to engage in agriculture but prefer to travel abroad for greener pastures through illegal means.
In his words he said: “These days, thousands of young men and women from Nigeria and many other Muslim-dominated countries, are fleeing their countries to escape poverty, joblessness, insecurity and communal or civil war, and seek survival in rich countries. Many of them perish on the way while many ends up virtually in slavery and servitude, being treated like animals.”
He equally charged religious organisations and their leaders to play significant roles in addressing hunger among their membership rather than pre-occupy themselves with religious indoctrination, wasteful rituals and ceremonies whereas they should be seen much busy promoting the wellbeing of indigent members of the religious organisations.
He suggested empowerment programmes on agricultural production and various small-scale enterprises, like, according to Fashola, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at has done in the production of cassava for “cassava flour-staple food and mass plantation of Banana in Ikirun, as well women skill acquisition scheme embarked upon in Ilaro.”
“These initiatives are quite apt as it will be tough or impossible to address insecurity, criminality, drug addiction, immorality, domestic violence and youth suicide, without addressing joblessness, hunger, apathy and indifference of well-to-do members of the society to the suffering of the less-privileged and indigent members.”
The Muslim cleric noted that fasting in the month of Ramadan is intended to celebrate the revelation of the Holy Qur’an to mankind.
He urged every Muslim to reflect deeply on the lessons of Ramadan.
“During the fasting, we are able to concentrate on studying and reflecting on the contents of the Holy Qur’an. Allah, the Gracious, draws our attention in Chapter 20 verses 1 to 7 that the revelation of the Holy Qur’an was not intended to be a source of distress or hardship, but caution on the grave dangers that may confront mankind individually and collectively.
“Allah who sent down the Holy Qur’an is in the best position to guide mankind for He is the Creator of the Earth and high Heaven, and all things in heaven, in the earth, in-between and underneath belong to Him. So, if it is the world we seek, He is in the best position to guide us towards it, and if it is high heaven we seek, He is in the best position to guide us to its realisation. Similarly, in Chapter 2, verse 186, Allah declares that He desires ease and not hardship for mankind through the prescription of fasting,” he said.
Dr Fashola sued for peace within and outside the country noting that, “Allah desires to draw our attention to the major commandments that will bring wellbeing and peace and not hardship and chaos. Allah is in the best position to guide man because He is the Creator and Owner of Heavens and the Earth, and what is between the two and what is beneath the earth, and He is the Gracious, the All-knowing, the Wise, and Almighty,” he stated.