Muslim leaders have raised concerns over the high rate of youth restiveness, saying something must be done urgently to get them engaged in productive ventures.
They spoke in Lagos on Sunday at the official introduction and get-together of Island Muslim Coalition (IMC), a group of Muslim communities and mosques on the Island and Lekki corridor.
Muslim News gathered that the group, which had its first major gathering since floated early this year is aimed at collaborating on matters of concerns with a resolve to raise funds for the building of a Muslim cemetery, orphanage and old people’s home as well as a youth entrepreneurship centre.
Chairman, Board of Trustees of IMC and Deputy President of the Muslim Ummah of South-West Nigeria (MUSWEN), Alhaji Rafiu Ebiti said the youth development centre would specifically target the engagement of youths to stem the tide of restiveness in the society.
The Muslim leader stated that the Island Muslim Coalition, an initiative to strive on Muslim structure and ideas, would be playing its part through the building of the entrepreneurship centre in Osapa along the Lekk-Epe Expressway.
He said, “We have a donation of an hectare of land in Osapa to build an entrepreneurship centre so as to train Muslim youths on different skills and make them useful to themselves. When you are young, you think it’s about money.
“But when you grow older, you understand it’s about wealth creation. Wealth creation is a vast area. It’s not only money, it includes endowment, skills, knowledge, commitment, transfer.
“The Prophet said there will be three things left when each of us is gone. The knowledge you have imparted, a good son and whatever work you have done. So, we need to hand over to our youths those basic things that make a Muslim a better human being.”
Managing Director of Med-View Airline, Alhaji Muneer Bankole decried the breakdown of family ties while appealing to parents to take the training of their children with utmost seriousness.
According to him, “Crime among youths stems from the absence of knowledge. So, they should search for knowledge. When there is no knowledge, you think going that route is better. It is a fickle that will overtime disappear, no matter the amount of money you make from it. It may take time but Allah will render it useless. If you don’t work for something, it is not going to last with you.”
Also speaking, a Trustee of IMC, Ariyo Olushekun, described IMC as a platform to strengthen collaboration among the Muslim faithful in the Island axis.
He said, “IMC is not another organisation in the real sense of it. There are several Islamic organisations and communities that exist within the Island. This is only a coalition of those organisations so that it enables them come together to work as one for us to achieve synergy.
“So, if every organisation is trying to do one thing or the other on their own, it takes a long time to achieve success and for it to be effective. But where they all come together and pool resources, they can achieve success in a faster way.
“Generally speaking, we are looking forward to working on projects that will benefit the Muslim ummah. Two have been identified to start with. One is a cemetery; a Muslim cemetery that will be properly mapped out and established. For instance, the corpse in the cemetery should face the qiblah, but many of the ones around are not always so. There are also ways of preparing the grave. All these are not present in the ones available. And besides, what is available now is not sufficient.”
He also advised the youths “to first learn the tenets of Islam and imbibe the teachings of Islam, then practise them. If you follow the teachings of Islam in anything you are doing, you will succeed.”, he added.
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