KADUNA, Nigeria – Christian and Muslim leaders in Kaduna state have called on their adherents to desist from conducts that are unbecoming of their faith but to embrace peace.
The leaders of the two major religions spoke at Sir Kashim Ibrahim House, Kaduna, when Governor Nasir El-Rufai inaugurated the House of Kaduna Family, a platform designed for leaders of faith to dialogue, interact and assume collective responsibility for messages that assist people of faith to live as peaceful and law-abiding citizens.
Addressing the 22 senior Christian and Muslim clerics that attended the event on Thursday, Governor El-Rufai said that diversity of faith should not be a reason for division and violent conflict.
According to governor El-Rufai, the decision to gather leaders of faith in a joint endeavour for peace and harmony in the state reflects the belief that religion does not have to divide.
He noted that the diversity of faith can be a vehicle for unity when adherents respect the right of every human being to life, liberty and livelihood, as creatures of God.
The governor appealed for the support of the leaders in ensuring that the conduct of people more closely mirrors the message of peace and compassion in the major religions.
The governor told the gathering that Kaduna State has spent enormous financial resources to support, equip and sustain federal security agencies to provide peace in the last five years, observing that the resources could have been better applied for investment in reducing the human and physical infrastructure deficits the state suffers from.
Governor El-Rufai explained that “Belief in God ought to compel people of faith to cherish common humanity, and to stand up for everybody, not just the people with whom they share a common religion.”
He enjoined the people of the state to work together to ensure that widespread adherence to religion translates into a broad constituency for peace, adding that division and conflict amidst intense religiosity is not the state’s destiny.
Twenty-two Muslim clerics and Christian clergymen attended the inauguration including Archbishop Ali Buba Lamido of the Diocese of Wusasa, Bishop Timothy Yahaya, Rev. Professor Moses Audi and Rev Ishaya Adamu Jangado.
The rest are Archbishop Mathew Manso’osoNdagoso, Bishop Julius Yakubu Kundi, Rev Barnabas Dogo and Archbishop Sunday OgaIdoko.
Others who attended are Apostle Emmanuel Nuhu Kure, Rev OlatubosunIshola James, Mrs Agatha Asabe Soji.
On the Muslim side who attended are, Sheikh Dr Ahmad Abubakar Gumi, Dr Tukur Adam AlMannar, Dr Mohammed Suleiman, Sheikh AbdulkareemHashm and Malam Amin Alkasim.
Others at the event were Malam Tahir Baba Ibrahim, Malam Yusuf Yakubu Al-Rigasiyyu, Sheikh Hamza Muhammad Lawal, Alhaji Mohammed Maruf Raji and Alhaji Sherrif Olutusin and Hajiya Fadila Musa attend.
The participants from the Kaduna State Peace Commission included the chairman Most Revd. Josiah Idowu-Fearon, the Executive Vice Chairman Priscilla Ankut and the Permanent Commissioner Hajiya Khadija Hawajah.