By Suleiman Adamu Sokoto
CRITICS of the invitation extended to Dr. Zakir Naik, a renown international Islamic cleric and scholar to Nigeria were on Thursday responded to by the Sultan of Sokoto and President General , NSCIA, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar.
Sultan Abubakar who spoke in Sokoto in defence of the august visitor’s(Dr. Zakir Naik) invitation to the country, said Muslims have the right to invite fellow muslim brothers for interaction.
However, criticisms had trailed the invitation extended to the Cleric by the revered monarch to grace the 10th Sheikh Usmanu Bin Fodiyo week which ended Thursday with a lecture by Dr. Naik on what Islam is to both Muslims and non Muslims .
Sultan Abubakar who also disclosed that he met with Dr. Naik 11 years go , pointed out that Islam remain one across the globe stressing that ” Islam is one every where you go and as Muslims , we have the right to invite fellow muslim to interact with us.
The revered monarch who passionately expressed the joy and feeling of Sokoto people receiving the visitor, added” Sokoto state is happy to receive you . We are Muslims and we are proud to be one. We are working for Islam and not for all citizens.
” We are Muslims by the devine will of Allah. Nothing and no one can change that. We are thankful to Allah for making us Muslims”, the revered leader remarked at the well attended closing ceremony of the week held at the International Conference Centre, Kasarawa in Sokoto, the state capital .
Abubakar however, acknowledged and applauded the instrumentality of Dr. Naik to the spread and development of Islam and its dynamics across the globe.
In his remarks, a former Minister of Defence , Mahmoud Yayale Ahmed who noted the significant role of Sultan Abubakar to the course of Islam, said that the loyalty of Muslims in the country to the monarch remain unshakened.
Ahmed ,also a one time Secretary to the Federal Government who was on same page with Kebbi state Governor, Muhammad Nadir Idris added” We are behind you for all you are doing to promote Islam , foster peace and unity in the country.”
Sokoto state Governor, Dr Ahmed Aliyu Sokoto represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Muhammad Bello Sifawa stressed the importance and place of knowledge to human and societal development explaining that the world was knowledge driven , thus nothing can best be achieved without education .
He disclosed that the state government placed premium attention to measures at repositioning and revitalising religious knowledge as cardinal aspect of its 9 points agenda.