From Femi Oyelola, Kaduna
The, Chairman, Kaduna State Peace Commission Archbishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon, has appealed to religious leaders in Kaduna State and beyond, to work together to address perceptions that drive religious intolerance.
He stated this in his remark at the meeting of the Commission held in kaduna yesterday.
The clergy said As Christians and Muslims, there is need to,
Promote obtaining knowledge of the other religions ,Strengthen cooperation with the other religions, Promote beneficial competition in doing good works among the religions and
enshrined the value of mutual support to each other.
Archbishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon, noted that adopting the above ideals and working very hard to practically implement them will substantially limit religious intolerance.
“Working together and cooperating with each other in doing good will eliminate most of the negative perceptions that have no basis in the religious faiths, thereby assisting communities to attain mutual trust and respect, which is necessary for peaceful and harmonious coexistence.’
He said the Commission will deliberately promote the values of the sacredness of human life.
“Humans of all kinds are created by God Almighty with dignity and honour, and this needs to be fully recognized and respected.
“No person has the right to take away human life, and this sanctity of human life must be inculcated in the minds and hearts of our young people.” He said
Idowu-Fearon also advised Nigerians to address and resolved differences using non-violence means, mainly in the form of dialogue.
Acccording to him differences will continue to exist and competing needs will continue to exist but dialogue remains the best option to tackle it.
The Clergy expressed dismay that, as inter-communal violence was being addressed, criminality in the form of kidnapping and village raiding is escalating, resulting to death and destruction of properties.
“This is indeed a very painful development, especially considering the brutal approach of mass killing by gangs of bandits.
“I join the Kaduna State government in commiserating with the victims of these heinous crimes. Addressing this challenge is a herculean task, and I urge the government and security agencies to work with the people of the State to address the problem. Indeed, there is strong need to redouble efforts and make available all the needed financial, human and technical resources to bring this menace to an end.
“The Commission has pursued deliberate efforts of engaging the diverse stakeholders to promote a culture of dialogue, tolerance and understanding that will lead to peaceful and harmonious coexistence in the State.
“The Commission has therefore worked with relevant institutions of government at the federal, state and local government levels, the traditional institutions, religious bodies, civil society organizations, the media, political parties, security establishments, women and youth groups, community based organizations and indeed wide range of the citizenry to tackle the key drivers of conflicts in the state.
“These drivers include competition over scarce use of resources, negative ethno-religious perceptions, youths restiveness and insecurity, among others.
“The Commission is satisfied with the level of cooperation received from the government and people of Kaduna State.The Commission and its partners will continue to focus its activities on these areas, and I am optimistic that these disturbances will soon become history”, he stressed