The Al-Habibiyyah Islamic Society (AIS) has urged Nigerians to develop the culture of self-reliance rather than depending on government “for everything.”
The Executive Director and National Chief Imam of the organisation, Sheikh Fuad Adeyemi gave the advice at the opening of 17th anniversary of the organisation’s founding themed, “empower to be empowered”.
The cleric noted that it was unwise to sit back and complain that the government did not provide jobs for the people.
“We complain of poverty and the government promised a better life for the people. But we cannot sit down and wait before we get to where we supposed to be. So, in that case, we decided that let us sit together and see how we can empower ourselves to become better citizens,” he said.
He said the organisation engaged Bank of Industry and Jaiz Bank Plc to connect people with government easily after it discovered lots of disconnect between them.
The pioneer chairman of the organisation, Ambassador Ridhwan Mustapha, said the various organisations present at the programme explored ways of empowering the people because poverty was a major issue in Nigeria and other African countries.
He said there was need for religious leaders to be proactive in the fight against corruption, which he blamed for the prevalence of poverty in the society.
Also, Sheikh Muhammad Khalid, Chief Imam, Apo Legislative Quarters Mosque, Abuja, called for massive youth empowerment and functional education system to curb the spate of insecurity in the country.
The Imam, who decried the alarming rate of insecurity in the country, called on religious organisations to join the federal government in finding a lasting solution to the problem.
He stressed the importance of creating the enabling environment for gainful employment and social amenities as part of a long-term solution to the problem.
“Today the federal government is doing a lot in the fight against corruption and insurgency, but you cannot fight corruption effectively when there is hunger and poverty in the land. If we also want to fight insurgency, we should look for ways to empower the people and teach them how to catch fish and not giving them fish,” he said.
On his part, the Managing Director of TAJ Bank, a newly-licensed Islamic bank in Nigeria, Mr Lizan Abdul Rahman, urged Nigerians to use the Islamic banking system for economic prosperity.