The Jama'atu Nasril Islam yesterday rose from its annual general meeting in Kaduna with a resolution to continue to partner relevant stakeholders in the campaign towards the eradication of polio in the country.
This came as the Senate President, David Mark, Wednesday lamented what he described as persistent cases of polio among children in the country, saying that it was an embarrassment to the nation.
The meeting of the Islamic group noted that the polio issue had continued to remain controversial and misunderstood, especially in northern Nigeria, stressing that efforts would be made to educate the people as well as engage in meaningful dialogue to resolve the controversies surrounding the issue.
In a communique issued at the end of the meeting, the JNI also lamented the menace of street begging, saying it was an eyesore that had continued to dent the image of the Muslim Ummah in Nigeria.
The communiqué, which was signed by the Secretary General of JNI, Dr. Khalid Abubakar Aliyu, also alleged that Muslims were still being denied their constitutional rights to practice their religion unhindered and were being persecuted in some parts of the country.
The meeting resolved however, that the JNI would not relent in its efforts at advising leaders at all levels to be more sincere, proactive and responsive in the handling of cases of conflicts in a fair, just and impartial manner.
According to the communiqué, "as a way of curtailing religious insurgency, the meeting called on the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency treat the case of insurgents with all sense of magnanimity by declaring amnesty to all of them, especially combatants that have expressed readiness to tread the path of peace.
"Rather than further dividing and weakening the Ummah, the meeting called on Islamic scholars and preachers to necessarily foster the spirit and mechanisms for cooperating mutually and working together in the interest of Islam, in spite of their differences of opinions.
Meanwhile, while speaking during a courtesy call on him by Rotary Club International District 9125, Mark said Nigerians from all walks of life should be free to practice their religions without restraint adding that Nigeria is a secular state governed by constitution.
"It is a major embarrassment that Nigeria is one of the three polio most affected countries. All because of sentiments and people taking advantage of the ignorance of the ordinary citizen," he said.
Further, Mark said: "We must do all we can in collaboration with voluntary organisations or non-governmental organisations to eradicate polio and remove this shame and embarrassment on the nation."
He commended Rotary International for its efforts towards the eradication of polio in Nigeria and simultaneously partnering with the government to provide water for the needy and improving sanitation across the country.
Such effort, Mark added, would greatly alleviate the sufferings of citizens and also improve the standard of living of the people.
Earlier, the incoming governor of Rotary 9125, Mr. Aninze Felix, who will assume office on July 2013, said his focus would be sanitation and provision of water to the needy in the society.