From Okwe Obi, Abuja
The Cardinal Onaiyekan Foundation for Peace (COFP) and the Islamic Research and Da’Awah Foundation (Youth Wing) are calling for peace and tolerance in the face of Nigeria’s looming interreligious crisis.
While delivering his lectures entitled, “Mending the cracked pot”, the Chairman, Interreligious Commission in the Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja, Rev Fr Emmanuel Unamba, argued that religion was not the problem of Nigeria but some bad leaders who inadvertently mislead their followers.
The cleric, noting that politicians who should uphold the dignity and fabric of the society sometimes fuel religious tensions, advised followers not to cave in to the antics of such people.
Umamba encouraged citizens to be united and speak with one voice for the development of the country and cautioned religious leaders against endorsing politicians for elective offices.
He implored both traditional rulers and religious leaders to remain neutral in the face of tension, especially during election campaigns.
The Imam of Khalid Binwali, Musa Abdulhamid, on his part, spoke on education, saying: ‘Education which is meant to solve our problems is not solving our problems. And that is why I said the government should put more efforts in seeing that every child acquire education most especially at the basic level because the benefit of that education is not for him or her individually but for the family and society at large.
‘I am sure that it would go a long way in solving these interreligious problems that we have found ourselves. We should live in accordance with the dictates of our calling.’
To strengthen peaceful coexistence, the organiser, Barr Muhammad Sarki Abubakar, disclosed that a football competition would be organized between the two dominant religions in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
According to Abubakar, he will not relent in fostering religious tolerance in the country.