Abuja (State House Report) – President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has called on all Nigerians irrespective of their creed or status to desist from making inciting and inflammatory statements capable of causing disharmony and breach of peace in the country.
The President, who was represented by Vice President Mohammed Namadi Sambo made this call recently in Abuja when he declared open a two-day roundtable meeting with Special Advisers on Religious Affairs from the 36 States of the Federation and the FCT. He noted that the meeting with the theme: “Towards Synergizing and Interfacing in the Religious Sectors for National Development” was organised by the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Islamic Affairs as well as that of Christian Matters.
“We should continue to assist government with prayers and positive counseling and desist from making inciting statements and comments capable of causing disharmony and breach of peace. It should be noted that by the teachings of our faith, we shall all account for our deeds in the hereafter. I therefore admonish you to live by example always and to do well for the development of our country and humanity,” he said.
“Without peace, there would be no meaningful development. This administration would not be deterred by the lawless acts of insurgents. We are working round-the-clock to transform all facets of our socio-economic and political lives. Let me reiterate that we remain resolute in our quest to provide positive development to Nigerians anchored on peace and harmony. We equally remain unwavering in our commitment to bringing an end to the security challenges confronting our dear nation.”
President Jonathan added that his administration has accorded religion its rightful place at the highest level of government by creating the Office of the Senior Special Assistant on Islamic Affairs and that of Christian Matters in recognition of the importance of religion in national development. He intensified that religion is a guide to mankind and that humans must therefore apply it as a guiding light against the backdrop of all the problems surrounding them.
He further stated that religion must bring out the best in us and we must use it towards conflict resolution, sustainable peace and the establishment of a just and egalitarian society.
While lauding his two assistants for spearheading the conference, the President called on the participants to strive towards promoting inter-religious harmony and dialogue at all times for peace and development to thrive. He averred that no meaningful development can be achieved without peace and security; urging them to make deliberate efforts to synergize and support the Federal Government’s programmes and its commitment to ensuring unity, peace and progress for the country.
In their separate remarks at the occasion, the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar III and the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Ayo Oritsejiafor stressed the importance of religious knowledge among citizens. They also charged Muslim and Christian faithfuls in the country to believe in one-another and the indivisibility of Nigeria as one united country.
The two Senior Special Assistants to the President on Religion, Tahir Umar Tahir and Obioma Onwuzurumba disclosed that the meeting was aimed at further deepening the understanding of the common values in the two major religions as well as utilizing the forum as a stepping stone for overcoming the country’s challenges.
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