ABUJA - Muslim students are leading relief efforts for Christians in the central Nigerian city of Jos, which has been ravaged by deadly floods that killed scores and displaced thousands.
"In fulfillment of our duty to fellow human beings, irrespective of color or creed, and of course in the spirit of Ramadan and Islam's call for help to disaster victims, we decided to join the relief efforts for the victims of Jos flood," Abdulhakeem Ogunmuyiwa, the head of the Muslim Students Society of Nigeria (MSSN), told OnIslam.net.
The umbrella group has donated N105,000 to the victims of the deadly floods in Jos.
It has also donated relief materials and sent a number of volunteers, including doctors, to assist the victims.
"As students, our purse is rather small but we decided to give out what we have in terms of money, materials and expertise," Ogunmuyiwa said.
"Some of us also volunteered their professionalism and we are glad we could do that for the victims.
"It's our way of saying, look, this is what Islam is all about, not what the bad name the violent extremist Boko Haram group is giving the deen."
Jos, in Plateau State, was ravaged by deadly floods earlier this week, leaving at least 33 people dead.
More than 10,000 people have been displaced by the floods, according to the Nigerian Red Cross.
Nigeria is experiencing its annual rainy season.
Floods three weeks ago left at least 35 dead in Plateau state.
Established in 1954 in Lagos, the MSSN is the largest Muslim group in Nigeria.
It has branches at many higher educational institutions in the west African country.
The MSSN uses the electronic media and literature to disseminate its beliefs. In the 1970s, it became affiliated with the World Assembly of Muslim Youths.
The Muslim student group has channeled the relief materials through the Jamaiyyatu Nasril Islam (JNI), an umbrella body chaired by the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Abubakar Sa'ad.
JNI Secretary General, Dr Abubakar Khalid, confirmed the donation from the Muslim students and urged all Nigerians to emulate them.
"Yes the MSSN donation, materials and personnel were channeled through the JNI and we are grateful to Allah for making them the pride of Islam and Muslims," Dr Khalid told OnIslam.net.
"In the light of this, just like what Muslim students have done, we call on Nigerians, particularly Muslims, to generously assist the Plateau people by donating building materials or cash any relevant valuables that will facilitate the affected victims' resettlement," he said.
He also appealed to Muslim scholars to help in rallying people to assist the flood victims.
"All assistance could be channeled through the JNI headquarters or its State branches," he said.
Jos lies in the Middle Belt region between the predominately Christian south and the mainly Muslim north of Africa's most populous nation.
The city has seen bouts of communal violence between Muslims and Christians, claiming hundreds of lives.
Nigeria, one of the world's most religiously committed nations, is divided between a Muslim north and a Christian south.
Muslims and Christians, who constitute 55 and 40 percent of Nigeria's 140 million population respectively, have lived in peace for the most part.But ethnic and religious tensions have bubbled for years, fuelled by decades of resentment between indigenous groups, mostly Christian or animist, who are vying for control of fertile farmlands with migrants and settlers from the Hausa-speaking Muslim north.
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net