The Federal Government yesterday advised Nigerians to pray for President Muhammadu Buhari instead of wishing him death.
Communications Minister Adebayo Shittu made the admonition in Ilorin, the Kwara state capital, at the opening ceremony of the 31st national quranic recitation.
Alhaji Shittu, who represented President Buhari at the event, said: “I want to give you an example of Ibadan land. I live in Ibadan all my life, and I know that when Olubadans are to be appointed, more often than not, they are very very old.
“Atimes you have 70 or 75 years old being appointed as Olubadan and then there will be the presumption that he will die the next day, but in God’s way, the man may stay till 35 years as Olubadan.
“If God will do this will for an Olubadan, how much more for the President of a country like Nigeria.
“So what we need is for all of us to pray for our president so that we can continue to enjoy political stability in our country and so that we will enjoy social and economic development.”
In his remarks, Kwara State Governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed, urged religious leaders in the country to intensify efforts in promoting the true teachings of Islam in order to insulate impressionable youths from radical and perverse interpretations of the Holy Quran.
Said he: “In this regard, it is important our youths are exposed to authentic interpretations and understanding of the Qur’an to avoid being misled by inaccurate and misleading explanations of the Holy Book.
“On our part, we remain convinced that education is the foundation of all development and the crucible in which the future of youths is shaped. We will, therefore, spare no effort in our quest to expand access to education at all levels.
“Functional education, coupled with authentic understandings of the Holy Quran, has the capacity to expand economic opportunities available to our youths, thereby getting them employed as a necessary antidote to youth restiveness and insurgency.
“Every youth we functionally educate depletes the army of unemployed and vulnerable youth available for recruitment into insurgency and others crimes.
“In similar vein, I implore our Arabic and Islamic leaders and erudite scholars here present today, to always teach and guide our youths in the ways of God and the Holy Book.
“I call on Muslims and Christians to avoid mutual suspicion and work together for the peace and harmony of the state.”