Kaduna state Governor, Alhaji Mukhtar Ramalan Yero has called on religious and political leaders in Nigeria to stop lip service religion and imbibe the fear of God in them in order to move the country forward.
Yero stated this in his address while declaring open a 2-day workshop on national Interfaith Dialogue on Religion and Peace-making in Northern Nigeria, organized by the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR) in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Department of Political Affairs/Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force Office in Kaduna.
According to the Governor, Nigerians have deviated from the dictates of the holy books that teach love for one another irrespective of religious differences, and said until people go back and do according to what the holy book teaches, the challenges associated with religion may be difficult to overcome.
In a keynote address, the Special Adviser of Peace to Gombe State Governor, Dr Hannatu Ibrahim, observed that in Nigeria, religion has been used as a tool for mobilizing people and resources to fight battles to the extent that it has practically over-bloated its instrumental value, adding that, the deployment of religion as a convenient platform for political and ethnic expressions is on the increase, because people tend to look up to our religious leaders as role-models.
In his remarks, the UN Resident Co-coordinator/UNDP Resident Representative Mr. DaoudaToure said the workshop is aimed at promoting understanding, trust, confidence, and above all peace among adherents of various religious communities in the northern part of Nigeria.
In his welcome address, the Director General IPCR, Professor Oshita Oshita expressed confidence in the efficacy of dialogue over violence, adding that if interfaith dialogue fails, it is the failure of human beings.