Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has said protecting the image of Islam is the greatest challenge facing the Muslim faithful today in the light of the activities of extremists who are bent on destroying every humane virtues of the religion.
In his Sallah message to Muslims on the occasion of the Eid el Kabir celebration, issued Wednesday in Abuja, the former Vice President advised Muslims to reclaim the religion which is being hijacked by violent extremists whose atrocities portray Islam in bad light.
The Wazirin Adamawa expressed sadness that the activities of these violent extremists have economically destroyed the North in particular the Northeast and disrupted its social life.
“As a citizen of the Northeast, I have a firsthand experience of the impact of terrorism on our people’s daily lives”, he said.
He called for rigorous scrutiny and vigilance to guard against the influence of extremism, including exposing innocent students and followers to their virulent ideas.
He advised parents to be wary of letting their children follow any preacher and thereby, falling victims of indoctrination, warning that poisonous ideas are as destructive as a bomb.
The Waziri Adamawa also called on Muslims to show increased commitment to peaceful coexistence and tolerance in line with the demands of the Muslim faith and Nigeria’s complex diversity.
According to him, love and peace should not only be preached, but must also be put into practice for the sake of sustaining the peace in our land.
The former Vice President advised Nigerians to eschew religious bigotry, and condemned politicians who use ethnic and religious sentiments to gain power.
According to him, identity politics founded on religious loyalties rather than competence and commitment to unity is a threat to our democracy and progress.