As the nation looks forward to electing new leaders in the 2015 general elections, the Sultan of Sokoto and President-General, Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakr; Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari; Chief Imam of Lagos, Alhaji Garuba Akinola Ibrahim; have urged Nigerians at home and abroad to pray for a successful electoral process.
The trio made the call on Saturday during the 9th Zakat Distribution Ceremony organized by Zakat and Sadaqat Foundation (ZSF) at the New Great Hall of the College of Medicine, University of Lagos/Lagos University Teaching Hospital (CMUL-LUTH), Idi-Araba, Mushin, Lagos, southwest Nigeria.
The event featured opening of Baytuz Zakat (Zakat House) at Olajide Street, Ilasamaja, Mushin, Lagos by Sultan Abubakar and distribution of materials and cheques worth N84 million.
The materials include: tricycles (Keke Marwa), deep freezers, complete computer set, complete mechanical tools, wheel chairs, washing machines, shoe-making machine, sewing machine, photocopier machine while the cheques were meant to support the beneficiaries in the areas of education, health, welfare, debt relief and accommodation.
The occasion was chaired by Chairman of Jaiz Bank, Alhaji Umaru Mutallab while Executive Secretary, Muslim Ummah in Southwest of Nigeria (MUSWEN) Prof Daud Noibi delivered a lecture.
Sultan Abubakar enjoined Nigerians to pray fervently for the country.
“We need prayers for our leaders to lead us right; we need good leadership in this country who can take us to the promise land,” he said.
He called on those in government to compliment the effort of the foundation to reduce poverty in the society.
He said people should be encouraged to pay Zakat as it is one of the pillars of Islam.
The sultan urged beneficiaries to make good use of the empowerment materials and in the nearest future be Zakat payers.
He added that the body will move to speak with the government to institutionalize Zakat and passed it into law for people to take it seriously.
Alhaji Sulu-Gambari corroborated Sultan Abubakar’s call for prayer.
He said prayers will go a long way to stem the rot in the society.
Alhaji Akinola described prayers as tools to drive away evil in the society.
Alhaji Mutallab called on wealthy Nigerians to pay their Zakat as at when due, saying it is a veritable means of reducing poverty.
He enjoined the beneficiaries to make good use of the materials.
ZSF Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer, Imam Abdullahi Shuaib, lamented the widening gap between the rich and the poor.
According to him, despite the abundant human and material resources, the country is plagued with different challenges and crisis.
“These challenges have compounded the already worsening standard living of the poor and needy people with youth unemployment on the increase… who is benefitting from this wicked and ungodly situation,” he queried.
He said no fewer than 400 people will benefit from N84 million Zakat proceed for this year.