Sa’ad Abubakar III spoke in Benin City at the General Assembly and Executive National Council Meeting of the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA). Abubakar, however, hailed the Pope for making a very strong statement defending Islam as a religion of peace. On the hijab controversy, he stated that putting on hijab is a right and not a privilege for Muslims across the nation.

The Sultan said: “Hijab is our right not a privilege. It is not a favour to us. It is our right. READ ALSO: Momodu writes on job creation – ”I do not envy Buhari” “And we hold on to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria that guarantees freedom of worship. “That is why we don’t disturb anybody who wants to go and worship the way he wants.”

He added: “Nigeria is a multi religious state, not a singular state. And being a multi-religious state, we must allow the various religions to go on but we must not trample on each other’s right, which means I must be allowed to practice my religion the way I believe as ordered me by the Holy Quran and nothing else. “So when we get this done, the issue of hijab and so many other things affecting Islam, I believe is our right, not a privilege, unless the Constitution is changed.” On bad elements in Islam, he said: “Those bad people among us, like in other religions, we should pick them out and teach them the tenets of Islam. “If they refuse to change, that is their own problem.

We will meet with the creator on the judgement day. “In any society, there are many terribly bad people. So many, who are not Muslims but carry out criminal activities with some Muslim organisations in America, France and even in Nigeria. “Those people doing negative things should be called criminals or terrorists but not Muslims. “I’ve never heard of Christian terrorists but we have heard of so many Christians or followers of other religions who committed heinous crimes against humanity. “But they didn’t claim to do it for their religions and we did not hold them against their religions.”

In the same vein, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, has called on political parties and their candidates in the September 10 gubernatorial election in Edo state to place the interest of the voters above all other considerations ‎as they campaign for votes. Alhaji Abubakar, who is in Benin to attend the annual general meeting of the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, made the call during a courtesy visit to Governor Adams Oshiomhole at the government house.

Though 18 candidates and political parties are in the race, the election is believed to be majorly between Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Godwin Obaseki of the All Progressives Congress (APC). He also cautioned them to avoid any act that could lead to violence before, during and after the election, noting that campaigns are supposed to be issue-based, and not opportunity to confuse the people.
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