Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has felicitated the Ansar-ud-Deen Society of Nigeria for sustaining the legacy of its founding fathers 100 years after the Islamic organisation was founded in Lagos to propagate conventional education among Muslims during colonial era.
The Governor, on Monday, received the Society’s delegation led by its national president, Dr. Rafiu Sanni, at the State House in Alausa as part of the ongoing consultations by the missionary group to celebrate its centenary anniversary.
Sanwo-Olu said he was no stranger to the progressive ideals and guiding the activities of the Islamic movement within communities it had established its roots, noting that his personal contact with the Society came during his formative years in Surulere where Ansar-ud-Deen ran a grammar school.
The Governor said Ansar-ud-Deen gained prominence and stood tall among Islamic organisations, given the influence its reformist values had on young Muslims towards training them to be upright and attaining intellectual development.
He said: “I have come with contact with Ansar-ud-Deen Society of Nigeria right from when I was a toddler. Right behind the house I was born in Surulere is Ansar-ud-Deen Grammar School. I grew up with the idea that Ansar-ud-Deen was the only Islamic society until I started coming in contact with other religious movement. This goes to show the positive influence Ansar-ud-Deen had in my community and other communities where it has established its own identity.
“Ansar-ud-Deen gained prominence in our communities and is still standing tall today because of the incredible work to build upright society through education and religious values that produced outstanding Nigerians who are well respected in our country today. The Society has stood the test of time in terms of discipline; 100 years on, Ansar-ud-Deen has remained focus on its guiding principles and ideals of its founding fathers.”
Sanwo-Olu commended the missionary leadership for building on the foundation bequeathed to the Society, urging members of the movement to work together and maintain spirit of brotherhood rooted in the Society to sustain its cherished legacy.
Dr. Sanni observed that the story of the Society would not be told without Lagos being mentioned in significant details, noting that the missionary group had its birth in the State when it was difficult for Muslims across the Yoruba-speaking parts of the country to get conventional education.
Ansar-ud-Deen, its national president said, has over 600,000 members in Lagos, noting that the Society had been playing its part to promote development of the State.
“Ansar-ud-Deen Society, over the last 100 years, has produced prominent personalities in the society, while have continued our missionary work towards reforming young people in our effort to improve the society’s value system,” Dr. Sanni said.