From Okey Sampson, Umuahia
Methodist Bishop and co-chair of the Interfaith Dialogue Forum for Peace (IDFP) Dr Sunday Onuoha has tasked religious leaders on the need to embrace peace for the survival of the country.
Bishop Onuoha advised Christians and Muslims not to allow selfish people to take advantage of their religion to cause problems in society.
Bishop Onuoha, who spoke at the inauguration of the Interfaith Dialogue team in Umuahia, Abia State, decried the level of disunity and hatred in Nigeria, stated that if the country can surmount the challenge posed by what he characterised by ‘state of origin’ syndrome, Nigeria would cease to be divided along religious and ethnic lines.
‘In Nigeria, we have decided that we shall no longer allow people of selfish interest to take advantage of our vulnerable followers. We must do something; this is why we have engaged faith leaders; both Christians and Muslims, government and interested groups to come together and work as a team to salvage our nation from selfish people who are bent on bringing crisis to our land,’ he stated.
‘If Nigeria had gone back to the negotiation table, we won’t have lost two million lives. And since after the civil war, some people out of selfish interest have continued to use religion against one another.’
The cleric said religion itself was not the problem but the people who took advantage of religion in order create selfish interest and make money out of the people.
Bishop Onuoha said another problem bedevilling the country was the ‘state of origin’ which he said if abolished would stop hatred, disunity, and agitations among people of different geopolitical zones.
He added that ‘If we want to build one country, state of origin should be removed from the bio-data.’