Religious leaders in Nigeria have urged leaders of various religious groups to imbibe the teachings of peace to the followers. The Sultan of Sokato Sa’ad Abubakar the II, Dr Supo Ayokunle, President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and other leaders, made the call on Tuesday in Abuja during the signing of a Peace Declaration between Christians and Muslim leaders in Abuja.
The peace accord was witnessed by both the United Nations (UN) and the United States of America (USA).
They emphasised that religious leaders must disseminate the language of peace under your spiritual jurisdiction, but must also note the Doctrine of Karma law, where all must account for our deeds, now or latter.
The peace agreement between the dominant religious leaders in Nigeria was to affirm that the country shall remain committed to peace and harmony among all of its members – Christian or Muslim, from the North or from the South as the country approach the 2019 general elections.
He said, “we must all ensure democratic sustainability especially that, the Democratic festival in Nigeria is around the corner, the 2019 general election.”
But speaking during the signing of the peace agreement, one of the co-chairs of the Nigeria Interfaith Action Association (NIFAA), who is also the leader of all Muslims in Nigeria, Sultan Abubakar III, said all must ensure democratic sustainability.
“Let me use this privilege to appreciate NIFAA for being resilience in the course for peace building in Nigeria as well as keeping to the faith principles of UN General Assembly on international day of peace which encourages country of the world, interfaith together, as a people and as a nation.”
The Sultan, whose speech was read by the Emir of Keffi, Dr Shehu Usman Yamusa III, noted that the unique declaration was very timely, stressing “must religious leaders no longer promotes religious values, but are being egocentric, and above all conflict entrepreneurs.”
The National President, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Dr Supo Ayokunle who also said that must Nigeria leaders no longer promotes peace, added that all must account for their deeds.
The CAN chairman who was represented by the Prelate of Methodist Church, His Eminence, Dr Samuel Chikwuemeka Uche, said their anticipation for the 2019 general election and the Osun State Governorship election is that it went peaceful.
He said as leaders, they desire peaceful elections for a stable Nigeria where there will be justice and the rule of law.
“We must recognised our diversity,” Ayokunle said adding that everyone must strive for love and must be entitled to dignity within the ambit of the law.
“We need servant leaders, responsible and obedience followership. Non should pray for Nigeria’s disintegration,” he added.
US Ambassador to Nigeria, Stuart Syminton, who witnessed the signing of the peace pact, said no one will be a Nigerian if their is no home.
He advised that when someone killed, he or she she should be called a killer and not the place the person comes from.
He narrated how a woman in Nigeria devoted in saving lives was killed adding that the life of another woman doing the same thing is been threatens.
Former assistant US Secretary of state and now a UN chief, Tom Bull said he will take the peace declaration to the UN summit adding that Nigerians are determined for peace.
He said he is very proud to be a member of NIFAA, adding, “We pray for peace, and with this declaration, Nigeria is determined to have a peaceful election. I will take this to the UN body gathering in New York,” he added.
Imam Nuru Khalif who spoke for the Muslim group said Nigeria need peace, desire peace and must work for peace.
Also speaking for the Christian youth, Dan Kadzai who asked for forgiveness about the flaws, said the peace agreement will be pursue by the youth adding that they will disabused the minds of the youths from attacks on the social media.
Prof Hussainatu Abdullahi, who spoke for Muslim women said Nigerians are crying for igalitarian society and peace.
She said everyone especially religious leaders must work for peace.
On her part, the representative of Christian women, Pastor Marbel Toyin Sowodu said women wants peace adding that nothing can be done without peace.
Prelate emeritus, Methodist Church Nigeria, Dr Sunday Nbang, who gave a history of how Pope John Paul II advised them to started inter-religious meetings, said he is happy that what they started is been built upon.
He said Nigeria’s problem is mosquito, politicians and religious leaders who cant tell their followers the truth.
Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed who was represented the Director, Cultural Industries and Heritage, Lizzy Ihegwe Iwuamadi, said the government have toured the geopolitical zones preaching peace.
He called on Nigerians to avoid hate speech and be mindful of what comes out from their mouth.