Pumps as Osinbajo Storms Ahmadiyya 66th Convention (Jalsa) in Ilaro

***Urges peaceful co-existence, religious tolerance

***As Fashola, Ahmadiyya Amir preaches Forgiveness

By RAZAQ BAMIDELE

There was visible excitement at the weekend in the ancient town of Ilaro, a settlement in Yewa South Local Government Area of Ogun State, Nigeria where this year’s 66th National Convention (Jalsa Salana) of the Ahmadiyya Jamat took place. The 3-day event, with the theme: Love for all, hatred for none started on Friday 14 and ended on Sunday 16 of December.

The colourful occasion featured lectures, awards distribution, exhibition, sermons, goodwill messages and Islamic enlightenment programmes among other things.

There was ecstasy when the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbayo arrived the conference venue in a chopper.

Osinbajo, who was received and ushered to the podium by the National President (Amir), of the Islamic organization, Dr. Moshud Adenrele Fashola did not waste time after his citation was read by another scholar, Dr. Sahid Timehin to deliver his speech as the Special Guest of Honour

In the speech, the Vice president, Professor Yemi Osinbajo called for religious tolerance among all Nigerians as a prerequisite for the country’s socio-economic and political development.

While commending the members of the religious group for promoting peace and unity among Nigerians, also lauded traditional rulers for their fatherly roles in bringing about peace in their various communities, Osinbajo urged them to continue to support government policies and programmes for a better society.

He stated that those whose desire was to create division among Nigerians failed to know that God created us as one.

“Sometimes ago, I hosted the leaders of Ahmadiyya and we talked about a lot of issues one of which centered on maintaining peace and unity. I have read and seen that the true ideal of Ahmadiyya is peace and love. We must not discriminate. I urge you all to continue in that direction.

“Our country is one where many times, people want to create division between Muslims and Christians, they want to create division between tribes, they want to create division between different people but God sees us as one.

“He does not see us as tribes, he sees us all as one people. I want to thank you in particular because you have continued to preach love and peaceful coexistence. I am pleased that Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat is very keen in fostering peace,” the Vice President stressed.

He was thereafter led to the exhibition center, one of Ahmadiyya depositories of ancient pictures, artefacts, Qur’an, and other materials. Osinbajo was also led to the female wing of Ahmadiyya, Lajina where he also addressed the excited female members of the group.

Earlier, addressing the over 35,000 participants on the theme – “Self-Purification and Submission to Allah as Prerequisites for Reformation of Mankind,” the Amir of the group, Dr. Mashhud Fashola enjoined all Muslims to forgive one another and submit totally to Allah, adding that the basis for genuine reformation is by purifying one’s soul against bad deeds.

“Allah enjoins you to compete with one another in asking for forgiveness from your Lord.

The righteous enjoy full protection, guidance, prosperity, happiness, peace of the mind, victory over all opponents, nearness to Allah and at the time of death; he or she will be received with honour and glorious comfort by the angels. Such people are those who had attained nearness to Allah before leaving the world. We can only achieve this status through reformation in Islam.

He stated that the objective of being in this world was to achieve nearness to Allah, self-reformation and righteousness through Islam.

Highlights of the event were the presentation of awards to some members who excelled in their areas of studies as well as solemnisation of marriages.

CAPTION

From left: Dr Habeen AbdulYekeen, Naibul Amir, Northern Region, Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at, Nigeria; Hon Surajudeen Ishola Adekunbi, Speaker, Ogun State House of Assembly representing Gover Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State; Vice President Prof Yemi Osinbajo, Dr Mashhud Fashola, Amir, Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at, Nigeria; Alhaji M.A Bankole, Chairman, Congress Planning Committee and Dr. AbdulGaniyy Enahoro, Naibul-Amir, Eastern Region, Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at, Nigeria, during the 66th edition of Jalsa Salana held in Ilaro, Ogun State last weekend.

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