VICE President Yemi Osinbajo; Osun State governor, Mr Gboyega Oyetola; national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Bola Tinubu; the Sultan of Sokoto and President-General, Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA); Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar; and the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, were among eminent Nigerians that launched a book coordinated by the Muslim Ummah of South West Nigeria (MUSWEN), on Wednesday in Lagos.
Also in attendance were the Oluwo of Iwo, Oba AbdulRasheed Akanbi; the Oniru of Iruland, Oba Wasiu Gbolahan Lawal; Ogun State deputy governor, Mrs Noimot Salako-Oyedele; and founder of Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) as well as the FATE Foundation, Alhaji Tajudeen Fola Adeola, who chaired the event.
Titled ‘Islam in Yorubaland: History, Education and Culture’, the book was presented by a former Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Jubrila Ayinla.
Provost, Federal College of Education Iwo, Professor Rafiu Adebayo, reviewed the book.
In a welcome address, MUSWEN president, Alhaji Rasaki Oladejo, described the book presentation as historic for Muslims in the South West.
According to him, it is a realisation of a dream to set the historical records of Islam in Yorubaland straight.
“What makes the difference in today’s presentation is the calling of the spade by its real name. For centuries, Muslims in Nigeria’s South West have had to accept their spiritual plight as a fate accompli when the concept and conditions for practising their religion had to be dictated to them by their counterparts in other religions,” he said.
Osinbajo commended MUSWEN for documenting history of Islam in Yorubaland.
Represented by the Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Senator Babafemi Ojudu, the vice president urged religious leaders to continue to spread the message of peace and religious tolerance.
Governor Oyetola congratulated MUSWEN on setting the record straight by publishing a book on Islam in the South West.
He said: “This well-researched work of history, no doubt, has benefited from the rich career of the authors who I was told are affiliated to Yorubaland by birth and to Islam by choice. It, therefore, follows that the book before us can be classified as the most authoritative in our recent history as far as the history of Islam in Yorubaland is concerned.
“I congratulate the authors in particular and MUSWEN in general on this knowledge of history of Islam in Nigeria, with particular reference to the South West, a region erroneously believed not to have very significant Muslim population in the country.”
Senator Tinubu, represented by a former deputy governor of Lagos State, Dr Idiat Adebule, called for unity among Nigerians in the face of insecurity and urged Nigerians to be wary of actions capable of plundering the country into ethno-religious crisis.
Sultan Abubakar noted that aside from history, religious leaders and scholars across Nigeria must rise up and feed their followers with the truth and true meaning of the faiths they profess.
He called on all stakeholders to devise means reducing to minimum issues of misinformation across the country, particularly those hinged on religious differences.
Oba Ogunwusi called for harmonious relationship among all tribes in Nigeria, irrespective of religion.