Friday, 24 January 2014

Nissan to roll out made-in-Nigeria cars in April

Nissan Motors will be rolling out its  first  set of Made in Nigeria
four-wheeled drive, Sports Utility Vehicles (SUV) from its Nigeria
factory in April this year, according to the Chief Executive Officer
of the company, Carlos Ghosn.

Chosn, who  disclosed this to President Goodluck Jonathan on the
sideline of ongoing World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, said
the vehicles would be rolled out of the old Volkswagen Assembly plant
in Lagos.
The Nissan president, who projects that it is  possible to produce two
to three million cars in Nigeria annually, said that his company's
operation in the country  will lead to creation of thousands of direct
and indirect jobs in the country.

He also told President Jonathan that Nissan intended to increase its
investment in Nigeria and establish its own production plant in the

'We are interested in producing popular cars , totally adapted to the
needs of Nigerians,' Ghosn told the President, adding that the company
also planned to bring its global suppliers to make vehicle components
in the country.

Jonathan assured the Ghosn that his administration would provide good
enabling environment.

He also  said the administration will diligently implement the
country's new national automotive policy, which it hopes will result
in  rapid development of  Nigeria's automobile industry.


HEADLINES: APC orders members to block Jonathan’s bills *** N’Assembly debates 2014 budget next week *** Police commission promotes 23 officers *** Court reserves judgment in NBA’s appeal *** Students shut varsity *** Amaechi-led NGF decries lack of consultation on budget *** Kaduna PDP defectors return, others join *** Workers issue seven-day ultimatum to construction firms over welfare *** ‘N113b required to complete East/West road’ *** Crisis brews in teaching hospitals over alleged plan to privatise units *** APC orders members to block Jonathan’s bills

OUTRAGED at what it considered as President Goodluck Jonathan's
encouragement of lawlessness in Rivers State, the All Progressives
Congress (APC) yesterday urged its members in the National Assembly to
block all his legislative proposals.

   Such proposals include the President's request for the passage of
the 2014 Budget and the confirmation of all nominees to military and
civilian positions.

   According to the APC, this should be the position "until the rule
of law and constitutionalism is restored in Rivers State in particular
and Nigeria in general."

  The members of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the
opposition APC gave these directives yesterday as they rose from an
emergency meeting in Abuja.

   In a statement issued at the end of the meeting at the party's
secretariat in Abuja, the party specifically directed its members at
the National Assembly to ensure the blockade of the 2014 Appropriation
Act, the confirmation of the service chiefs and ministerial nominees
until impunity allegedly being perpetrated by the People's Democratic
Party (PDP)-led government stopped.

   The statement read out to reporters by the party's Interim National
Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, also directed its members
across the country to resort to self-help if the impunity persisted.

  The People's Democratic Party (PDP) has described the directives by
the APC's as a direct call for anarchy and a vindication of its
(PDP's) earlier position that the APC is out to destroy the
institution of democracy and the unity of the nation.

  PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, said last night
that with the anti-people directives, Nigerians could now see that the
PDP was not crying wolf when it alerted that the APC did not mean well
for the nation.

  The PDP said: "In asking that service chiefs should not be confirmed
by the Senate, the APC has revealed its devilish plot to undermine the
nation's security system, create a state of anarchy and pave the way
to unleash mayhem on the people."

Taking Allah as Our Rabb

Allah mentions a very special group of people in Surah Fussilat. These
people don't just say "we believe in Allah"—they say that their Rabb
is Allah. Rabb in most English translations is translated as "Lord,"
but that doesn't completely cover the meaning.

What does it mean for Allah to be our Rabb?
Rabb is the One who creates, sustains, and owns everything in
existence. Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan mentions that the most suitable
English translation would be Master. So in declaring Allah as Rabb,
these people, may Allah make us like them, have implied that they
themselves are Allah's abd (slaves).

Abd is the most honourable title in the Quran for any human being.
Allah has honoured prophets by calling them abd, and if that is the
case then what about sinners like us? True greatness comes in being a
proper slave of Allah, wherein one submits to Allah completely.

Being Steadfast
Allah continues in the same verse, then remained steadfast. It is easy
to be a part-time slave of Allah, or to be a proper slave of Allah for
a a few days, but true slavery entails being steadfast in obeying
Allah, and staying away from what Allah has prohibited.

Angelic Protection and Glad Tidings
Allah continues: on them the angels will descend, saying, "Do not
fear, and do not grieve; and be happy with the good news of the Jannah
(Paradise) that you had been promised."

Imagine this: you are on your deathbed, and while everyone is crying
around you, angels descend upon you tell you that you have nothing to
fear and nothing to be sad about. They also give you the glad tidings
of Jannah. What more can a Muslim strive for? That is the reward of
being a slave of Allah.

Allah continues in the next verse: We have been your guarding friends
in the worldly life, and (will remain as such) in the Hereafter. And
for you here is whatever your souls desire, and for you here is
whatever you call for.

Allah mentions that for those who are truly the slaves of Allah,
angels will be their guarding friends in this world and also in the
hereafter. Also mentioned is the ultimate pleasure of Jannah—
"whatever your souls desire." Whatever we fantasize about, whatever we
dream and wish, in Jannah every one of those dreams and wishes will be
fulfilled for the slave of Allah.

In the next verse: A gift of welcome from the Most-forgiving, the
Very-Merciful. This is to prevent the ego from taking its place in the
picture. Allah mentions that all of this is a welcoming gift from
Allah out of His Mercy, not only because of the deeds of the slave.

Many times we read these verses and we think, "Ah, but we are bad
people, we are sinners. These gifts are for the best of people, and we
would have to be sinless to achieve this rank." But Allah mentions
"the Most-Forgiving, the Very-Merciful" to remind us that even these
people make mistakes and sin as well, but Allah forgives them for
their unwavering commitment.

The Qualities of Those Who Accept Allah as Rabb
And who is better in speech than he who calls to Allah, and works
righteously, and says: "most certainly I am one of the Muslims."

In the very next ayah, Allah poses a rhetorical question, asking who
can be better than these people. And their qualities are that they
call to Allah. Then they also do the good deeds themselves and calls
themselves Muslims. Those who accept Allah as Rabb are those who
combine both dawah and actions at the same time and who call
themselves Muslim.

Calling oneself Muslim has two implications: number one is that he
doesn't call to any group or party or sect; rather he calls to Islam,
and number two is that he does not place himself on a higher pedestal
than other believers out of pride and arrogance. Rather, even though
he might be at a different level of Iman, he calls himself Muslim and
does not arrogantly look down upon the people.

Allah Teaches Dawah
What then is the way forward for dawah, and what is the first step?
Allah Himself makes it clear in the following verse: Good and evil are
not equal. Repel (evil) with what is best, and you will see that the
one you had mutual enmity with him will turn as if he were a close

More often than not, we get terribly angry when someone attacks Islam
or the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam. However, instead of
behaving like the hooligans that the media paints us as, we should be
more tactful and clever. We must acknowledge the fact that in their
position we might have done the same and so we should give everyone
the benefit of the doubt.

Had it not been for this principle, Islam would not have been
successful in its first generation. The Prophet sallallahu alayhi
wasallam and his sahaba employed this method and many hateful people
among the Quraysh were won over. Ironically the latter part of the
verse mentions that the one who was the enemy will become a friend.

Allah in the next ayah mentions some further qualities one needs to
have in order to execute this method: But only those who are steadfast
in patience, only those who are blessed with great righteousness, will
attain such goodness.

Naturally, the human reaction to the abuse of oneself, one's belief,
or something one holds dear is particularly testing, and hence Allah
mentions  being patient. Ibn Kathir commenting on this says, "no one
accepts this advice and works according to it, except for those who
can be patient in doing so, for it is difficult for people to do."
Also it shows that patience comes with increased righteousness and
that the one who does it will attain great good in shaa Allah.

For every good deed one does, Shaytan is there with his attacks. How
to fight back?

Allah continues: And if an evil whisper from Shaytan tries to turn you
away, then seek refuge in Allah. He is All-Hearing and All-Knowing.

Allah also knows that Shaytan will whisper to us, especially when our
dawah doesn't work to either give up or to get angry, and in those
moments Allah asks for another moment of patience and to seek refuge
in Allah. What is the point of getting angry? Doesn't Allah hear what
is being said to you, and know what is happening to you? And Hence
Allah ends the passage, He is All-Hearing and All-Knowing.

The Bigger Picture— Al Jannatul Firdaws
Going over so much we might actually forget the larger picture. We
might actually give up when we think that we have to be nice to those
being bad to us (ouch— that really hurts the ego doesn't it?) Why not
just give it up?

Again, let's go back to the beginning. Would we not want angels to be
our guarding friends in this world and the next? Would we not want to
be given glad tidings of Paradise on our deathbed? Do we not want to
go to Paradise so that we can fulfil our wildest dreams? Is this not
worth taking the trouble for a reward which knows no bounds? Are we
then ready to call to Allah, work righteousness, and say "I am one of
the Muslims?"
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