From Femi Oyelola Kaduna
As part of efforts to promote religious tolerance and peaceful coexistence, over 50 Muslims, Islamic religious and traditional leaders yesterday worshipped with their Christian counterparts at the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) gospel church Lemu road, Kaduna south local government of Kaduna state.
The Muslims and their leaders stayed inside the church throughout the service that lasted almost four hours and their leaders gave goodwill messages which majorly centred on religious tolerance and the utmost need for peaceful togetherness regardless of religious, tribal or ethnic differences.
Speaking on the essence of the service which had in attendance the Muslims alongside their clerics and traditional leaders at the church invitation, the Senior pastor of the church, Reverend Dauda D. Haruna, said, it is possible for us all regardless of religious differences to live in peace.
“ As a church we are committed to building a community of peace and belief me, we can live in peace if we respect each other’s faith and tell each other the truth.
“ What we are doing today is what we have been doing annually for about five years where we donate food stuff to our neighboring Muslims during Ramadan and after invite them to worship with us, an opportunity we equally discuss how we can further and together promote peace in the state and country at large” he said.
On his part, Kaduna State Deputy Governor, Architect Barnabas Bantex who stood in for the Governor Malam Nasir el-Rufai commended the Church for what he called laudable initiative.
He said, the event is such event is part of the ways of ensuring religious cohesion amongst religious organization and faith, while expressing enthusiasm that such gesture could help bring about lasting solutions to religious crisis in the state and Nigeria at large.
“ My boss, the governor is mandate focused and will do everything humanly possible to ensure that peace at all levels is ensured in the state” he assured.
Speaking in the same vein, the Hakimi Barnawa Alhaji Kabiru Zubairu who stood also spoke on behalf of the Emir of Zazzau, Alhaji (Dr) Shehu Idris commended the gesture while soliciting for fervent prayers against all forms of social vices in the state and country at large.
He appealed for love for one another and support for government at all levels for them to deliver on their promises.
On his part, the Executive Secretary of the famous Sultan Bello Mosque, Shiehk Hamisu Ya’u who said the last time he entered the church was in 1986 also expressed joy for the initiative of the church.
He identified politics, role of religious leaders, hate speeches, propaganda and lack forgiveness and love for one another as causes of religious crisis.
Corroborating his position, Mrs Agera from the Christian Solidarity Worldwide- Nigeria (CSW-N) said, “ we must work together as one and tolerate each other. Be a good Muslim and a good Christian to achieve lasting peace.”