The Sultan of Sokoto and President General, Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, has called for training of community leaders on Demographic Dividend (DD) to properly educate the populace on the agenda.
Abubakar made the appeal at a conference tagged “Harnessing DD for sustainable development in Nigeria: The role of Muslim religious leaders’’, by United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Abuja on Wednesday.
Represented by the Emir of Shonga, Alhaji Haliru Yahaya, the Sultan explained that the capacity of community leaders must be built and empower them with the right information to disseminate to their subjects on DD.
He said that there was need to pass the right information to people in achieving DD or else would be difficult to attain.
“The engagement of community leaders is important and such leaders must be convinced in what the Demographic Dividend is all about.
“They must be empowered with the right information that DD programme is not meant to reduce the population of Islamic nations.
“When they are equipped with such right information, they will carry out sermons on Sundays and Fridays in ensuring the attainment of DD,” he said.
He stated that Islam encouraged having children, but it was a sin to have children that you could not cater for in terms of providing them with basic needs of life.
The sultan emphasised on the need to make concerted effort to ensure education, health and empowerment of women and young people were put in proper perspective in achieving DD in the country.
He urged religious leaders to preach to people to give birth to children they could cater for not children that would be thrown out on the street as “Almajiris”.
Abubakar noted that attention must also be paid to the reproductive health of women and well being of the young people.
“If there is a healthy family in every home, the country will be better for it,” he said.
The Sultan, who expressed happiness on the conference and selection of Imams and other religious leaders, pledged to support the achievement of DD in the country.