WITH one voice, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Mohammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III and Christian leaders in the country have pledged to promote peace so that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration can develop the nation. Besides, Buhari has identified poverty, injustice and lack of job opportunities as factors mainly responsible for inter-communal and intra-communal conflicts in the country.
WITH one voice, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Mohammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III and Christian leaders in the country have pledged to promote peace so that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration can develop the nation.
Besides, Buhari has identified poverty, injustice and lack of job opportunities as factors mainly responsible for inter-communal and intra-communal conflicts in the country.
While receiving a delegation from the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (CHD), an organisation active in the promotion of peace in the country, Buhari said that to achieve enduring peace, greater effort must be made to eradicate poverty and injustice.
According to him, ethnic and religious conflicts in parts of the country are outward manifestations of underlying problems of joblessness, injustice and poverty.
The president, who spoke on the incessant conflicts between farmers and herdsmen, said a plan to map out grazing areas would soon be presented to the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) as a temporary solution to the frequent conflicts until herdsmen are persuaded to adopt other means of rearing their cattle.
Buhari, who commended the centre for the relative peace that has returned to Plateau State as well as their ongoing activity in southern Kaduna said he completely agreed with the centre that dialogue is always preferable to the use of law and other mechanisms, including force, in conflict resolution.
The Executive Director of the centre, David Harland, had earlier told the president that following their success in facilitating the settlement of the interethnic and inter-religious conflicts in Plateau State, the group had moved to Kaduna State.
He expressed the hope that the techniques used in bringing peace to Plateau could soon be deployed to deal with the Boko Haram insurgency and other conflicts in Nigeria.
The sultan, who is the leader of the Jama’tu Nasri Islam (JNI) and the President of the Christian Council of Nigeria (CCN), Mr. Emmanuel Udofia, met in Kaduna yesterday to inaugurate an Interfaith Centre for Documentation, Peace and Reconciliation, a platform for the promotion of peaceful coexistence among Nigerians.
In his address at the inauguration, the sultan condemned instigation of ethnic and religious crises in the past, saying the committee would go to every part of Nigeria to preach religious tolerance.
He said: “I know that a lot of people may wonder why we should have a body like this being inaugurated while there are others still existing. I want to say that the more the better. One of the most important things this body will focus on is to ensure peace in the land.
“Why are there so many conflicts that are threatening our peace and stability? There must be obvious reasons. Nobody can come fromany where and force peace on us. We, the Nigerian people would be the only ones that can ensure peace in our country. Therefore, we will accept support from outside the country because we believe that the world is a global village and we are part of humanity.”
On his part, the CCN president, Udofia said: “This body is for peaceful coexistence and reconciliation. If there is anything Nigerians need now, it is peace. I want to say that this body is for documentary purposes. It is for the emancipation of the people of this nation by disseminating truth that will assist Nigeria know how to co-exist, to assist Nigerians to live peacefully irrespective of religious affiliation.
“This body will disseminate information that will unite our nation Nigeria. God did not make any mistake to have created us as a people. God by himself has given us his world that we must do everything possible to make sure we are our brother’s keeper.
“No matter where we come from, no matter our religious affiliations, we have one God and we must do everything possible to do the will of God in this country by being at peace with one another.”