Army calls for peaceful co-existence among Nigerians

David Adekunle, Lagos

Nigerian have been urged to tolerate one another to enable the citizens be free from religious crisis across the country.

The call was made to commemorate the Annual Ramadan lecture organised by the directorate of Islamic affairs Nigerian army held at DOIA complex, Bonny cantonment camp Victoria island, Lagos.

Themed “Islam, peaceful coexistence and conflict prevention” the guest speaker, Hon.Abdulateef Abduwaheed who is the commissioner for Home Affairs in lagos, enjoined Nigerians to practice religion with purity of heart so that the community would be free from conflict.

Hon Abduwaheed said Nigeria is not a lawless country and there should be no religious discrimination because Nigeria’s constitution provides room for peaceful coexistence irrespective of their belief, religion and tribe.

The commissioner while highlighting reasons why Nigerians should live in peace considered four factors which are, identifying your duty, be prescribed, what you are competent of and no reward for doing it.

Causes of conflict

The speaker who is a legal luminary identified four factors that lead to religious conflict namely : Name of religion, Ignorance, Religion Intolerance, Ethnicity/group, Greed/selfishness and poor leadership.

He debunked the activities of those that claimed to use the teachings of Allah to perpetrate evil, adding that Islam is a religion that forbids hatred, fornication, intolerance etc.

On his part, the director of Islamic affairs Nigerian army 81division Bonny Cantonment camp, Colonel Sheu Mustapha said the choice of the topic was deliberate and it emanated from the prevailing religious conflict among Nigerians.

Col. Mustapha noted that Islam is for oneness, peace, togetherness and does not recognize discrimination of any tribe, group or religion.

“Islam is derived from Arabic word and it speaks truth, encourages peace and unite different nations, we belong to one parent who are Adam and Eve”

“People are behind religious conflict and Islam does compel or coerce anyone to serve Allah” he said.

In the same vien, the special guest of honour, Commandant, Nigerian Army school of signals, Maj.Gen.Ismaila Rabiu tasked Nigerians on the need to be religiously tolerant and practice religion as it is expected of God and according to the constitution of the country.

Gen. Rabiu commended the efforts of the Nigeria’s president, Muhammadu Buhari for making the country worth living for her citizens’ sequel to the reduction of crimes and other vices in the country.

The lecture had in attendance, Army and Naval officers, religious leaders, chief of Imam 1004 estate mosque, Sulaiman Ibrahim, Sarkin Hausa of Idi Araba  Mushin, Chairman, Bellview Air ably represented by Munir Bankole and officers wives among others.