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Islamic group urges Nigerians to pray for Nigeria

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The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has urged Nigerians to work and pray for peace and stability.

MURIC urged Nigerians to change their mindset from negativity to positivity and adopt the principle of ‘ora et labora’ (work and pray) to overcome the challenges facing the country.

This was contained in the Sallah message made available to DAILY POST on Saturday by the Director of MURIC, Professor Ishaq Akintola.

It added, “First, we must change our mindset from negativity to positivity. We must stop seeing Nigeria as a failed state. if a Muhammadu Buhari can be governor of the whole Northern region, military head of state, chairman Petroleum Trust Fund and now president of Nigeria without a single trace of corrupt enrichment, if Professor Ishaq Oloyede can remit N7.5 billions to JAMB’s coffers within one year alone whereas only N50 million naira was remitted by his predecessor in seven years, then there is indubitable evidence that not all Nigerians are corrupt.

“If an Alhaji Abdullahi Abubakar, the 83-year old Imam of Nghar village in Barkin Ladi Local Government of Plateau State can save 300 Christians from being killed, Muslim-Christian conflict can be resolved. If an air force man Bashir Umar can return 37,000 euros which he found in a parcel to its owner, then there is evidence that not all Nigerians are dishonest and greedy. Not all Nigerians are thieves.

“There is hope in the horizon. Nigeria is on the path of greatness. The panacea to our challenges are not far-fetched. First, we must change our mindset and believe that we can be great again. We must determine to rebuild our country, to love our neighbours, to shelve corruption, etc. We can call this our intention or niyyah. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “Intention comes before work” (an-niyyat qablal-‘amal). He also said, “Works shall be judged according to intentions” (Innamal a’maal binniyyaat).

“Initiate good intention to serve Nigeria and not self. This is part of the reengineering of the Nigerian mindset. Initiate an intention to start the new Nigeria. Let change begin with you. Eliminate that negative belief that everyone is corrupt and that nothing can work in your country.

“Drop that negative idea that it is impossible for us to live together. The late reagge maestro, Jimmy Cliff, probably had Nigeria on his mind when he sang the lines: ‘You can get it if you really try. But you must try, try and try. Try and try. You’ll succeed at last… Listen, Rome was not built in a day. Opposition will come your way. But the harder the battle, you see. Is the sweeter the victory now…’

“Next, we must adopt the principle of ora et labora (i.e. pray and work). Prayer is the sword of those who have faith in God (Ad-du’aau sayful-Mu’min). We must follow our intention to change Nigeria with prayer and start working towards it. Prayer is good but we must work to follow it up. That is why the Romans say, ‘Ora et labora’.

“We must not spend the whole day on our knees or mats praying. Allah will bring the fishes but we must dig the bait. That is why the Qur’an says, “Work and Allah, His apostle and the believers will see your work” (Qur’an 9:105). The idea of Allah and the believers seeing your work is a metaphor for rewarding it. It is such reward that will serve as necessary incentive for more work and better service.

“It is in this context that we call on Nigerians to pray for the security agencies who are toiling day and night to bring the security challenge under control. They are fighting for us and dying for us. They spend sleepless nights so than we can sleep with both eyes closed. They are in the trenches come rain or shine so that we can enjoy peace in our homes.

“Let us reward them with prayers and active support. Let us pray for the families they leave at home. We must support them actively because security is a collective responsibility. Active support to the police can be in form of material support and giving reliable information. Companies, wealthy individuals and communities should donate vehicles, walki-talkies, etc to the police. It will make them more effective. We must not forget other arms of the security agencies like the civil defence and the secret service men. The latter work behind the scene and make huge sacrifices for our safety. They all deserve our prayers and support.

“In this same context again we are constrained to remind President Muhammadu Buhari of the plight of the 54 soldiers who have been in jail since 2014. If we are talking about rewarding those who risk their lives so that we can enjoy peace, we must not abandon those who fought against Boko Haram but are rotting in jail today.

“Once again we appeal to Mr. President to grant them presidential pardon. The 54 soldiers were those who asked their commander to provide them with better weapons before sending them back to the battle field. It was their request which exposed the 2.1 billion dollar arms fraud. They should be treated as heroes for exposing a scandal, not as criminals rotting in jail.

“On a last note, we urge Nigerians to change their mindset from negativity to positivity and to adopt the principle of ‘ora et labora’ as a panacea to overcoming the challenges facing the country. We must not lose hope. If Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) could receive a ram to replace his son at the last minute, there must be light at the end of the tunnel for Nigeria. Let us keep the fire of hope burning.

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News

AfroBasket: D’Tigress to face Mali in final

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Nigeria’s senior national women’s basketball team, D’Tigress, have qualified for the final of the ongoing 2019 AfroBasket Women’s championship in Dakar, Senegal.

D’Tigress, defending champions of the competition, defeated their Malian counterpart 79-58 on Friday to advance to the final as they strive to retain the trophy they won in 2017.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria, the team won the semis against Mali.

Nigeria’s Ezinne Kalu was the star player with 19 points, while Mali’s Meiya Riders had 14 points.

D’Tigress had earlier thrashed DR Congo 79-46 in the quarter-finals, demolished Cameroon 106-39 and crushed Tunisia 75-26 in the group stage.

The championship, which began on August 10 will end on Sunday.

Nigeria will now face winner of the Senegal versus Mozambique match in the final on Sunday.

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Crime

Pirates abduct three Russian sailors in Cameroon

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Three Russian crew members of a cargo ship have been abducted by pirates near the port of Douala in southern Cameroon, the Russian Foreign Ministry on Friday said.

The cargo ship “Marmalaita” belonging to the Danish company, Ultrabulk, carrying the flag of Antigua and Barbuda, was attacked by unknown people on Thursday.

According to the Russian Embassy in Yaoundé, Cameroonian authorities and representatives of the ship-owner company are taking steps to clarify the incident, the statement said.

Russian diplomats are actively working with Cameroonian authorities and the ship-owner to facilitate the quick release of the Russian citizens, a report by Xinhua, said.

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Education

Chinese government offers scholarship to 58 Nigerians

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The Chinese Government has awarded scholarships to 58 Nigerians among whom were 16 doctorate degree students, 39 masters’ degree and three undergraduates, according to a report byPUNCH.

The beneficiaries received their university admission notices from the Counselor, Embassy of China in Nigeria, Mr Li Xuda, in Abuja on Friday.

Addressing the awardees during a pre-departure briefing, the Ambassador of China to Nigeria, Dr Zhou Pingjian, encouraged them to work hard in fulfilling their dreams and to observe and learn what brought China to where it is today.

He said, “This year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.

“In these years, China has always placed education as fundamental to its pursuit of national rejuvenation.

“Every year, hundreds of Nigerian students get scholarships and chase their dreams in China; some of them are sponsored by Chinese companies.

“Last year at the Confucius Institute, University of Lagos, the body of Chinese investors announced the award of scholarships to 63 students of the university to study in Chinese institutions.”

The envoy added that 6,845 Nigerian students were studying in China with 512 covered by Chinese government scholarship.

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