Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, on Saturday, said that the National Assembly will not enact any law that will “stifle the freedom of worship” in the country.
Saraki who gave the pledge in his address during the formal closing ceremony for the 31st National Quranic Memorization Competition in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, that the nation’s apex legislative body will continue to “work to ensure that people can freely practice their religion without fear.”
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Sanni Onogu, the Senate President also called on Nigerians to pray for good health and wisdom for President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said there is equally need for concerted prayers for the peace, unity, economic prosperity, political stability and general development of the country.
Saraki said: “Let me use the opportunity of the gathering of distinguished members of the Ulammahs to ask that you all pray for our President, Muhammadu Buhari. May Almighty Allah continue to give him good health, the wisdom and know how to lead this country in peace and to prosperity.
“Also, pray for our country to have peace, unity, economic prosperity and political stability and general development.
“I also want to assure you that the Senate in particular and the National Assembly in general will not enact any law that will stifle the freedom of worship.
“We will always work to ensure that people can freely practice their religion without fear,” he said.
The Senate President said he was delighted to join members of the Ulammahs and dignitaries across the country to celebrate contestants in the competition which drew participants from 33 states of the federation who have memorised the Holy Book.
According to him, the knowledge of the holy book is one of the best ways to spread the word of God.
“I am convinced that if we all forget about religion and look at the rationality of the words contained in the holy books, our world will be better,” Saraki said. “The holy books of the two major religions, the Quran and Bible, teach morality, justice, equity, love, compassion, respect for elders, making money through just and fair means and many other virtues which if we all imbibe them, there will not be war, disease, poverty, squalor, deprivation, crime and injustice.
“The holy books talk about the responsibility and burden of leadership. The books say those of us in position of leadership will have a lot to account for before Allah. Also, It is true that all of us are in one position of leadership or the other.
“We are leaders at various levels and we will be held accountable. Even as a follower, we will be held accountable on whether we have played our role in making our leaders lead with the fear of Allah.
“More importantly, I want to enjoin those of you who have proven to be experts in the memorisation of the Quran to please help preach the word of God to the high and low in a peaceful manner.
“Use your knowledge of the holy book to spread love, peaceful co-existence, understanding, tolerance, unity, compassion and genuine fear of Allah. Use your knowledge of the Quran to let the world know that those who discourage people from acquiring education are not good Muslims.
“Let the world know that those who obstruct the peace of the world do not represent Islam. Let the world know that Our holy Prophet lived peacefully with Christians and Jews.
“He taught us to even emulate him. That is the essence of Hadiths. If we have taken to the words of Prophet Muhammmed (saw), there would have been peace and development in our country and the world over,” he said.