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Promoters of violence ‘re neither christians nor muslims-Sultan

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•CAN sues for peace, dialogue 

…Chukwuma Dike 

The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, has said that those promoting violence in the country in the name of religion are neither true christians nor muslims. 

Speaking at the opening ceremony of a two-day conference organised by the International Dialogue Centre (KAICIID) on the theme, ‘Coordinate to Achieve 2-Inclusive and Sustainable Interreligious Dilaogue in Nigeria,’ on Wednesday, called on Nigerians not to give up on working for peaceful co-existence among people of diverse faiths.

He condemned those whom he described as enemies of peace, stressing  that those encouraging violence through reprisal attacks are not friends but enemies of peace.

“We must tell ourselves the truth irrespective of the religious divide we find ourselves. Those who don’t want peace are out to cause trouble. We must rally round the government to assist them deal with the enemies of peace in this country. Those who are encouraging violence are not following the true teaching of Christianity and Islam,” he said.

The leader of Nigeria’s Muslims called on religious leaders not to engage in encouraging violence in any form.

He declared that considering the respect and authority enjoined by religious leaders, both Muslim and Christina leaders should be in the forefront of promoting peace through respect for one another.

“I have never picked up the mic to insult any Christian leader. We should be tolerant of one another and work towards achieving peace in this country. I have never lost hope in this country as far for the search of this country is concerned. No matter what happens, those championing peace will succeed at the end of the day,” he said.

According to the Sultan: “Muslim leaders will continue to work with Christian leaders to bring peace to Nigeria.  No outsider can bring peace to our country. We are the only ones who can work and bring peace for us. We must have a commitment among us to live in peace, work in peace and bring peace. We believe in dialogue. If we do not believe in dialogue, we won’t be here.

“The big problem is that those who are outside of this gathering preach violence and violence. They harp on negative things contrary to what they preach. We need to engage people outside of this place to embrace peace and dialogue.”

He commended KAICIID for organizing the conference, and tasked participants in the conference to ensure implementation of all recommendations.

“The challenge here is that each time we meet and resolve on certain issues, the problem has always been with the implementation aspect. I hope that after this conference, which I am told is rallying for a common ground for inclusive and sustainable interreligious dialogue in Nigeria, focus will be beamed on implementation aspect.

National President of Christian Association of Nigeria, Rev Samuel Ayokunle, who was represented by Bishop Stephen Adegbite, welcomed the conference and expressed willingness of Christians to assist in preaching peace. He said that only God has the right to take life and called on all to embrace peace and avoid loss of lives.

“We welcome all initiatives for peace and we want to state that we support all efforts aimed at preaching peace. We deplored the level of violence that has led to killings. Only God has the right to take life,” the CAN President declared.

Speaking through a video broadcast from Vienna in Austria, the Director General of KAICIID, Fahad Abualnasr, said the International Dialogue Centre would continue to support and partner with both Muslims and Christians in Nigerians to ensure peace. He said the 2nd coordinate conference, whose theme is, ‘Coordinate to Achieve 2 – Inclusive and Sustainable Interreligious Dialogue in Nigeria’ (CtA2), is holding in Abuja, Nigeria, from 25 to 26 January, 2017 as a follow-up of the first coordinate conference that held in September 2016.

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