Fred Itua, Abuja
Ahead of the 2019 general election, Christian and Muslim leaders have signed a peace pact in Abuja.
The event was witnessed by representatives of the United Nations (UN) and the United States of America (USA).
Daily Sun learnt that the peace agreement between the dominant religions in Nigeria was to affirm that the country “shall remain committed to peace and harmony among Christians and Muslims, from both North and South, as the country approaches the 2019 general election.”
Regardless, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, has condemned actions of religious leaders, whom he alleged no longer promote religious values, describing most of them as egocentric.
He also called for a peaceful co-existence among Muslims and Christians for sustainable growth.
Abubakar stated this during the signing of the peace agreement.
Speaking further, the spiritual leader, who is the co-chair of the Nigeria Interfaith Action Association (NIFAA) and leader of all Muslims in Nigeria, said everyone must ensure democratic sustainability.
The Sultan, who was represented by the Emir of Keffi, Dr. Shehu Usman Yamusa III, said: “Let me seize this privilege to appreciate NIFAA for being resilient in the course of peace building in Nigeria, as well as keeping faith with the principles of the UN General Assembly on international day of peace, which encourages countries of the world, with different religious faith to come together as a people and as a nation.
“The unique declaration is very timely since it is noted that most religious leaders no longer promote religious values but are being egocentric, and above all conflict entrepreneurs.
“Let me affirm that religious leaders must disseminate the language of peace under their spiritual jurisdiction, but must also note the doctrine of Karmic law, where all must account for their deeds, now or later. Of note, we must all ensure democratic sustainability, especially as the 2019 general election approaches.”
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Meanwhile, National President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Supo Ayokunle, who alleged that most Nigeria leaders no longer promote peace, added that everyone must account for their deeds.
The CAN president, who was represented by the Prelate of the Methodist Church, Dr. Samuel Chukwuemeka Uche, said their anticipation for the 2019 general election and the Osun governorship election is that both elections would be peaceful.
He said as leaders, they desired peaceful elections for a stable Nigeria, where there would be justice and the rule of law.
Ayokunle said: “We must recognise our diversity. Everyone must strive for love and must be entitled to dignity within the ambit of the law.
“We need servant leaders, responsible and obedient follower-ship. Nobody should pray for Nigeria’s disintegration.”
The United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Stuart Syminton, who witnessed the signing of the peace pact, said no one would be a Nigerian if there is no peace.
He advised that when someone kills, he or she should be called a killer and not the other way round.
Former US Assistant Secretary of State and now a UN chief, Tom Bull, said he would take the peace declaration to the UN summit, adding that Nigerians are determined to have peace election.
Bull said he is proud to be a NIFAA member of, adding, “We pray for peace, and with this declaration, Nigeria is determined to have a peaceful election. I will take this to the gathering of the UN body in New York…” he said.