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Sultan identifies reasons for violation of human dignity

Saturday, 7 October 2017

From Gideon Arinze and Odigbo Chidinma

The Sultan of Sokoto and supreme spiritual leader of Muslims in Nigeria, Muhammad Sa'ad Abubakar has identified ignorance and absence of proper and functional education as reasons for the increasing rate of conflict and violation of human dignity.

Abubakar said that the unfortunate trends in the Muslim-non-muslim relations in recent years which have witnessed persistent violence and disappointments over the Israeli-Palestine conflict, Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan continue to prick human conscience.

He said that respect for human dignity cannot be found among communities perpetually in conflict with one another or where poverty and ignorance remain the lot of the people.

Speaking during the 57th founders day celebration of the University of Nigeria with the theme: Restoring the dignity of man: Education as a veritable tool, Abubakar said that human dignity is God-given and as such,  its protection and dignity must be ensured.

According to him,  there can be no time to call for the restoration of the dignity of man than today when a large part of the human race in developing countries is immersed in deep and protracted armed conflicts.

He said that some of the contemporary practices that violate the dignity of man include: torture,  rape,  social exclusion, labour exploitation slavery and poverty.

He regretted that humanity is still struggling to achieve the basic minimum standard of dignity for a man over 70 years after the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights.

On the way forward he said that we must kindle the light of knowledge in order to banish the darkness of ignorance which is our real enemy.

"Knowledge is life because we ignorant person is merely a liability to the society and any society in which human life is not protected and promoted cannot be considered to be civilized" he said adding that the sanctity of human life and the honour conferred on the human person, as well as the investment in the development of the human person, are the metric to measure human civilization.

Continuing he said, "dignity connotes inviolability of the human person and a firm recognition of a set of rights and obligations of others."

He also used the occasion to refer to those who go around to kill people in the guise of Fulani herdsmen as criminals who must be dealt with, while also noting that whoever kills will be requited for their sins.

Earlier in his address,  the Vice Chancellor of the UNN, prof.Benjamin Ozumba said that the history of the University will not be complete a without reference to the dreams of the founding fathers which a continues to inspire the institution to greater heights.

"This years celebration like every other is not a mere event but a progressive journey to greatness.  We must strive to fulfil the visions of our founding fathers as a way of repaying them for establishing this great citadel of learning," he said.

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