Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Yakubu Dogara, has felicitated with Nigerian Muslims as they join other believers all over the world to commemorate the birthday of Prophet Muhammed (pbuh).
In a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Turaki Hassan, the Speaker enjoined the faithfuls to continue to demonstrate in their lives, the good virtues of the prophet, so as to engender the peace and unity needed for growth and development.
He said: “As I rejoice with you on this holy and significant occasion, I wish to enjoin you to replicate in your lives, the lessons of tolerance, piety, patience, honesty, justice and good neighborliness as preached and exemplified by prophet Muhammed (pbuh)”.
The Speaker also enjoined the Ummah to use the occasion to pray for continued unity, peace and progress of Nigeria.
“The celebration of Maulud should also renew our faiths and increase our tempo in coming together as a people of common destiny to pray for unity, peace, progress and stability of the nation for the country to attain its aspirational growth and development,” Dogara said.
Meanwhile, the Speaker has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to lead the struggle for total and unconditional emancipation of the unfortunate victims of slavery in Libya and other places where slave trade is happening by deploying Nigeria’s diplomatic and military clout to put an end to it.
This is just as the nation’s number four man challenged the stand of the African Union (AU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on the issue, saying their voices on the ongoing inhuman trade have been too feeble.
Dogara, who made the statement in a speech delivered in plenary titled, “Confronting The Scourge Of Human Trafficking And Modern Slavery”, said history will remember President Buhari as one of Africa’s great statesmen if he successfully leads the campaign to eradicate modern slavery.
Permit me to use this opportunity to call on Mr President and Commander-in-Chief to lead this struggle for total and unconditional emancipation of the unfortunate victims of this scourge.
History beckons on our President with a gold pen and a page reserved for only Africa’s great Statesmen if he successfully leads the campaign to eradicate modern slavery. Mr President should, if necessary, deploy Nigeria’s diplomatic and military clout on this matter.
We would like to see an immediate convening of emergency session of the ECOWAS and AU to launch a rescue operation as soon as possible. As it is, the voices of ECOWAS and AU are unacceptably too feeble on this devastating issue,” the Speaker reasoned.
He commended the French President, Mr Emmanuel Macron, for taking a principled position on the matter and applying pressure on the United Nations (UN) to take urgent steps in dealing with this scourge and appealed to other nations who value freedom and the dignity of the human person to join France in working out a permanent solution to the resurgent evil.
According to Dogara, the time for the world to take responsibility and act is now, adding that His Holiness, Pope Francis said: “Human trafficking is a scourge, a crime against the whole of humanity. It is time to join forces and work together to free its victims and to eradicate this crime that affects all of us, from individual families to the worldwide community”.
The Speaker stressed that Nigeria has a responsibility to ensure that slave trade is brought to an end and every single slave liberated.
He said “by being passive to the ongoing scourge, we are granting permission, hence the need to take a stand and work towards bringing an end to the inhuman venture.”