By Abbas Bamalli
The 35the National Qur’anic recitation competition has begun in Kano, on Friday, with 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, participating.
Declaring the competition open, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar II, noted that Nigeria had participated severally and won the international version of the Qur’anic competition.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Sultan was represented at the opening ceremony by the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado-Bayero.
According to him, the previous successes recorded were due to the hard work and dedication of relevant stakeholders, before and during the competitions from the Local Government up to the national level.
He called on the participants to be calm so that they could record more success, urging the officials of the competition to also discharge their duties without favour.
The Sultan commended the state government for establishing an agency to cater for Almajirai and Islamiyya schools, to achieve the desired objectives.
The Kano State governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje disclosed that his administration was committed to the provision of free and compulsory education, as well as reforming the almajiri system.
Ganduje explained that the almajiri system had been modified with a new curriculum, and enhanced with the establishment of three new mega almajiri schools.
According to Ganduje, the state government had hosted the national Qur’anic recitation event three times, and had emerged winner several times, saying that the government had accorded Islamic education great importance.
“Each of the almajiri schools in the state has a population of at least 1,000 students, as the state will provide technological innovations into the recitation of the Holy Quran”. He said.
The Chairman of the Organising committee, the Vice Chancellor, Usman Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, Prof. Usman Lawal, said the competition was a forum for selecting gifted and talented Muslim youths, who would represent Nigeria at the International Qur’anic recitation competition.
He added that the competition was also aimed at discovering brilliant Muslim youths for scholarship awards, by state governments, philanthropists, national and international organisations, to pursue higher education.
This would be in addition to “fostering unity, peaceful coexistence among Muslim youths, based on the teaching of the Glorious Qur’an and Hadith for which we all gathered here for”. He said.
“In view of this, I appeal to the participants, state Coordinators and our distinguished and impartial judges for fair play throughout the programme.
“Certainly there are prizes to be won, but we should remember that there are more than prizes at stake; our honour, integrity, and above all, the image of Islam is what we are projecting.
“We must, therefore, show by our words and actions that Islam has been, and indeed an embodiment of peace and peaceful co-existence in our nation and beyond”. He said. (NAN)