1st August, 2011
As Muslims worldwide commenced fasting in the holy month of Ramadan, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN) on Sunday reiterated the call for religious tolerance among all ethnic groups in the country and obedience to laws aimed at achieving orderliness in the society.
Governor Fashola, who spoke at the First Tarawih prayers held at Lagos House, Ikeja to signify the commencement of the fasting, urged everyone to put the fear of God in all their dealings and prayed that God will use the commencement of the Ramadan period to put a stop to the violence and untoward events being witnessed in some parts of the country.
Urging that the period of abstinence should also accentuate orderly behaviour, obedience to constituted authority and piety, the governor added that with the fear of God, people will not dispose refuse into the drains, unauthorised places or on the roads while a motorist will not engage in reckless driving and over speeding but realise that with patience, one would always get to his destination.
The governor said particularly worthy of mention is the activities of commercial motorcyclists popularly known as okadas on Lagos roads who must always respect the sanctity of human lives while on the roads.
Governor Fashola explained that they must always respect the provisions of the law which stipulates that they can only operate in IKoyi, Victoria Island and Ikeja till 8 p.m. while they can ply other parts of Lagos till 10pm.
He added that anyone who decides to be on the roads after the 10 p.m. operating hours, will be made to face the full wrath of the law because several times some unscrupulous elements have used the motorbikes to commit crimes.
Governor Fashola also expressed appreciation to Almighty Allah who has counted all those alive worthy to participate in another Ramadan fasting period, while praying for the repose of the souls of those who had passed on since the last Ramadan.
In a lecture at the occasion, the Chief Imam of Nawair Ud Deen, Alhaji Shehu Abdul Majeed who spoke on duties of every Muslim to Almighty Allah and fellow beings during and after Ramadan said when a Muslim observes fasting, he becomes compassionate about his fellow beings.
He said apart from Ramadan being a period of abstinence it should also be a period of moderation and shunning of controversial issues by all arms and levels of government
He added Ramadan has multiple benefits such as education and elimination of lack of knowledge, adding that each time people listen to sermons and messages during Ramadan, their horizon is widened and could be used to solve many of societyâ€™s problems.
Imam Abdul Majeed added that when people offer Zakat during Ramadan, it provides an opportunity to eliminate poverty as many have nots have something given to them from those who have.
The programme which drew attendance from members of the State Executive Council including the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mrs. Ranti Adebule and Commissioner for Home Affairs and Culture, Hon Oyinlomo Mohammed Danmole also featured recitation of the Holy Quran and special prayers for all levels and arms of government by the clerics present like the Chief Imam of Lagos, Alhaji Liadi Akinola Ibrahim amongst several others.