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Agitations: Jerry Gana calls for dialogue, warns against hate speech

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•African Study Bible is unveiled
..Nneoma Ndibe 
The former Nigerian Minister of Information, Prof. Jerry Gana has called on the federal government  to embrace dialogue as a sustainable way of addressing the rising ethnic tensions in the country hinged on the clamour for restructuring or outright secession by various socio-political groups.
Gana made this call on Thursday during the launching and thanksgiving service of Africa Study Bible, a Bible which focuses on telling God’s word in the African way, at the National Christian Centre Abuja
He also appealed to Nigerians of diverse ethno-religious groups to shun hate speeches, while making their demands from the government.
The Minister  condemned what he sees as  growing rate of hate speeches in the country, warning that any society that deserves to move forward in terms of growth and development must embrace peace, because division and hatred is not only distractive to a society but also to individuals.
He said that it is totally unnecessary to generate hate speeches as it signals dooms and disunity for any society.
He however, stressed the fact that all is not well with the country, urging the government to seek practical ways to build a country that is acceptable by all Nigerians.
According to him, government cannot force people to be united without addressing their needs and grievances.
As a way forward, the former Minister called on President Muhammadu Buhari led administration to embrace the recommendations of the 2014 Confab report.
He said: ‘’Let me take this opportunity to appeal to all Nigerians, whatever may be the challenges, difficulties, and what we see as unfair, we must not introduce this horrible language of hatred that is mobilizing our people to contention. I also want to take this opportunity to speak to the government of today because if the truth is to be told all is not well with the Federal Republic of Nigeria more effort must
be done to unite the country.
‘’In a democracy dialogue is the way, discussion, debate and understanding, you cannot create a society by force, you create it by understanding, two people cannot walk together except they agree, it
is a very profound theme. I also urge the federal government to consider the 2014 National Confab report.”
Ealier, the supervising editor, Africa Study Bible, Prof.John Dosu said that the Africa Study Bible is very descriptive and put to the hands of preachers and average reader deep insight of the Bible.
He said the Africa Study Bible confirms that Christianity is in Africa.
In the same vein, the theology editor, Africa Study Bible, Prof. Danny McCain stressed that the Bible is critically important because more Christians live in
Africa than any continent, adding that by 2050 nearly 40 per cent of the world’s Christian will live in sub-Saharan Africa.
McCain said that the Bible was authored by 350 contributors from 50 countries, and that it promotes Africa culture and languages.
’The impact of this Bible is to make the word of God relevant to our situation. It is written in simple English, it is one volume study Bible that encompasses text, note and commentaries,’’ he said.
He added that the Africa Study Bible gives a deep, extending and a more applicable understanding of the Bible.
The Christian teacher also called on Christians in the country to be more united and embrace peace, saying that “Jesus never advised his followers to turn against each other” or engage in hate speeches.

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