The Archbishop emeritus of Abuja, Cardinal John Onaiyekan, has tasked religious leaders across the country to preach tolerance between the Christian and Muslim communities so as to ensure peaceful co-existence.
Bishop Onaiyekan said religious leaders have to work together to achieve some amount of religious harmony, as a condition for peaceful co-existence.
Bishop Onaiyekan who stated this in Abuja at the national stakeholders’ summit on peaceful co-existence in Nigeria organized by the National Peace and Unity Campaign, said “the need for peaceful co-existence goes beyond our nation but a matter of concern for the entire humanity.”
He said the country is living in critical times where we can no longer afford to live with one another, adding that humanity has a choice to either live together in peace, or we destroy ourselves.
“It cannot mean we lump all religious together and harmonize all of them in some form of uniformity.
“If there were any harmony at all, it would be like that of musical polyphony, where different voices blend to produce a harmonious music,” he said.
Also, the Chief of Staff to Deputy Senate President, Dr Otive Igbuzor, said Nigerians are peace and loving people from all parts of the country adding that there have been peaceful co-existence for many decades but he wondered why peace suddenly become a rather unusual challenge in the last decade .
He noted that it is really heartbroken that peace has been taken for granted since the end of Nigeria civil war which brings men and women of this great country together on the round table.
He lauded the National stakeholders summit on peaceful co-existence, stating that it is the best and the first Nigeria concert to discuss peaceful co-existence among everybody.
Also, the Convener of the National Peace and Unity campaign and the Executive Director for Grassroots Initiative for Peace and Productivity ,Pastor Osere Daniel, called on the need to save the soul of our nation, strengthen the bond of our unity and project our beauty of diversity.
He said the future of this vast country has to be on the effort of ourselves to help one another and we cannot do it if we don’t walk together in unity.
He said for peace to reign across the country, political leaders throughout the country should control their party extremist .
He said the country has now reached a critical stage in history and we all must seize the opportunity to show that we are able to manage our affairs properly .
“I appeal to my country men and women to cooperate with us to create a better understanding among people to establish future respect and trust among our tribal groups ,” he said.