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Published On: Mon, Jan 12th, 2015

Cleric restates call for religious tolerance

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By Usman Shuaibu

The chief Imam of the University of Abuja in Gwagwalada Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Dr. Taofiq Azeez, who is also a lecturer in the department of English language at the University, has reiterated the call for everyone to tolerate one another irrespective of their religious inclinations.

In particular, Azeez, urged the students in institutions of higher learning in the country, to live in peace with one another irrespective of their religious beliefs.

This was disclosed in a paper titled: “Religious Tolerance in Tertiary Institutions: Islamic Perspective”, he delivered during the national conference of Committee of Deans of Student Affairs and Heads of Security of Tertiary Institutions in Nigeria (CODOSAHOST) in Gwagwalada, recently.

He appealed to the deans of student affairs as well as chef security officers of the various institutions across the country to always relate with the students in how to manage crises at the Universities.

He further pleaded with the administrators of affairs and chief security officers to deem it necessary to liase with the students’ associations, such as social clubs, religious associations as well as tribal associations within the universities to enable them know the motives behind establishing such associations by the students in the institutions.

While commenting on the increasing cultism and god fatherism on campuses, the y lecturer noted that one should not target at eliminating cultism and god fatherism at the universities.

He however, alleged that the university professors as well as government functionaries are the architects of the problems.

Also, presenting a paper tagged “Religious Tolerance and Peaceful Co-existence in Tertiary Institutions” at the conference, the chief security officer in charge of Benson Idahosa University in Benin City, Rev. Luka Dyagas, called on both Muslims and Christians alike to embrace each other despite their religious differences.

He urged students against religious intolerance, noting that religion was an effective weapon that could trigger crisis anywhere or anytime in the tertiary institutions.

He also called on both Muslims and Christians to engage in meaningful inter-religious dialogue capable of bringing the gap between the two faiths together in the country, while advising both Muslims and Christians to imbibe the virtues of peace at all times.

Dyagas therefore, used the occasion to appeal to the government to establish dialogue and reconciliation centers at the Local Government, state and geo-political zones in where matters of religious inclinations will be discussed.

Similarly, the national co-coordinator of CODOSAHOST, Mallam Umar Aliyu, urged the Dean of Student Affairs as well as heads of security in the tertiary institutions to maintain peaceful co-existence among all the religious faiths on campus, and pleaded with them to take staff and students along in the process.

According to him, the secretariat had created five transit zones for effective enforcement and that it will monitor movement of vehicles in all the housing estates.


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