A faith-based human rights group, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has responded positively to Governor Babatunde Sanwo-Olu’s call for a peace walk. The group appealed to religious leaders and the youth to join the peace initiative in order to move Lagos forward.
MURIC’s appeal was made in a statement on Monday by its director, Professor Ishaq Akintola.
The statement reads:
“Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu recently invited Lagosians to a peace walk. We believe it is an invitation that should be accepted by all lovers of peace and all believers in one God. It is noteworthy that the governor had paid N420 million as compensation for police brutality before announcing the peace initiative. He has stooped to conquer. We should all join the historic march. MURIC will walk for peace with the governor. Lagos must not burn again.
“Besides, Sanwo-Olu is a performing governor. He is not just sitting in his office sipping tea. He is hardworking. He completed about 1,200 projects within two years. Of these, 1,000 are schools while some of the projects are renovative and others brand new construction works. He deserves the support of Lagosians. The brilliant performance of the Lagos State Government during the difficult days of COVID-19 when Lagos was the epicentre of the pandemic in Nigeria calls for massive support for the Sanwo-Olu administration.
“Both the governor and his commissioner for health were actively and physically in the field and the commissioner was infected at a point due to his constant contact with infected Lagosians. They risked their lives to save Lagosians. How do we show gratitude? Today, it is only in Lagos State that primary health delivery centres are active in all the local governments in the state. Lagosians should honour the invitation of such a governor if he invites them.
“MURIC therefore implores Lagosians to troop out en masse for Sanwo-Olu’s peace walk. All lovers of peace should be part of the exercise. All friends of Lagos should participate in the peace walk. In particular, we urge all religious leaders across the divide to join this peace initiative. Religious leaders should not be found among trouble makers. Neither should they incite the populace against the system. This is where they belong.
“The Glorious Qur’an commands Muslims to incline towards peace (8:61). It also describes true believers as servants of Allah ‘who walk humbly on earth’ and whose only response to provocation should be ‘peace’. It says, ‘And the servants of Allah the Most Gracious are those who walk on earth in humility, and when the ignorant address them, they say, ‘peace’ (Glorious Qur’an 25:63). It is for this reason that MURIC supports Governor Sanwo-Olu’s call for ‘peace walk’.
“‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God’, so declared the Bible in Mathew 5:9. Anyone who joins the governor on the peace walk is therefore a peace maker and a lover of peace. We charge Christian leaders and youth to join the governor’s peace walk ‘To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace’” (Luke 1:79). Let us join Governor Sanwo-Olu’s peace walk so that he can ‘guide our feet into the way of peace’.