Muslims, especially in Nigeria, have not engaged the law enough to the extent of realizing fully their guaranteed rights.
Making the disclosure was Professor Abdulwahab Egbewole, who is the Director, General Studies at the University of Ilorin.
Egbewole, who spoke in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, at the 20th Annual Ramadan Lecture organized by Muslim Lawyers’ Association of Nigeria (MULAN), Oyo State, charged Muslim lawyers to educate and assist Muslims on their fundamental rights.
According to him, there was no need for the wrangling over the use of hijab by Muslims, saying the act does not infringe on anothers rights.
The university don stressed that Muslims in the legal profession must make available to the citizens their expertise for Muslims to enjoy the rights available to them.
He added that they needed to engage more in pro bono services for the purpose of making fundamental rights truly available to Nigerian Muslims.
In his lecture entitled `Fundamental Human Rights in Nigeria: A Myth or Reality’, he urged Muslims to agitate their rights through dialogue, noting that there are three generations of rights, “namely the first, second and third generation rights.”
Speaking from Islamic perspective, he stated that Muslims have a right to practice their religion as enshrined by the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
According to him, “Section 38 of the I999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria the right of individuals to practice their religion.
“This right as guaranteed by the constitution could only be achieved through the principles of Islamic Law.’’
Egbewole said that Islamic law was a complete way of life that regulates the affairs of Muslims.
He stated that the fundamental rights enshrined in the constitution are rooted in Islam, adding that the prescriptions of Islam are more comprehensive.
“This means that Muslims can realise their right to freedom of religion using the same constitutional provisions,” he affirmed.
Similarly, Communications Minister, Barr. Adebayo Shittu, disclosed that there is a need for Muslims to seek more knowledge on the practice of the religion.
He called on Muslim lawyers to always be there for Muslims in the entrenchment of their fundamental rights, adding the constitution of Nigeria guaranteed rights of individual to practice their religion.
Shittu, who was a special guest, also called on the Nigerian youths to key into the N-Power scheme of the federal government, which he said would soon engage another 300, 000 graduates.
Also, Alhaji Lasun Sanusi (SAN) urged Muslims to move away from constant complaint of bad treatment, urging them to be more committed to practising the religion holistically.
Sanusi said that poverty and ignorance are great factors affecting the people from understanding what their rights are, urging parents to educate their children.
“We don’t need presidential system of government because it is to wasteful. You will only see National Assembly members unite on money matters,” he said.
Earlier, MULAN chairman, Barr. Akeem Adetunji, stated that the association had in the last one year engaged actively in its dawah projects.
Adetunji said that the association has provided free legal services to those who could not afford the cost of engaging services of a lawyer even when they seemingly good cases.
He said that the title of the lecture and guest lecturer were carefully chosen to provide a platform for people to learn more on the topic.