Use Power of religion to deepen unity in Nigeria – Governor Ganduje
Jack Acheme, Kano
Governor of Kano state, Dr.Umar Ganduje has urged relgious leaders in Nigeria to work together, create mutual understanding and dialogue to promote peace, unity and cohesion while de-emphasizing issues of division.
Ganduje stated this at the opening ceremony of the fourth National Inter-Religious Conference organized by the Kano state government with the theme ‘Harnessing Nigeria’s Religious Diversity for Sustainable Peace and National Development’.
He said that only such a platform would enhance development and prevent needless crisis among the two major faith in the country.
According to him, the conference was organized to motivate and strengthen interfaith dialogue for peace and unity as well as build trust between people of both faiths.
“The aim of the conference is to promote religious understanding in the society and enhance peace and unity in Nigeria. Sometimes, religion is used to instigate crisis and division. This is contrary to the tenets of both faiths.
“This is the reason why the leadership of various religions should ensure mutual understand and dialogue to prevent troubles before they escalated. We have to use the power of faith to deepen our unity and prevent those intended to use it for selfish interest,” said the Governor.
Ganduje emphasized that series of interfaith dialogues have enhanced harmonious relationship between various faiths and ethnic groups in Kano state evident by the peace being enjoyed in the ancient commercial city.
“The enduring peace being witnessed in the state is a positive testimony of the achievements of the initiative,” he said.
On politics, Ganduje reiterated the need for politicians to refrain from tactical use of religious centers for campaign ahead of the 2023 general elections as stipulated in the laws of the electoral umpire in Nigeria, the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC).
He advised political parties, especially the elites to stop weeping religious sentiments during campaigns while seeking votes from electorates so as not to divide the mutual relationship that exists between the people of faith.
The Chairman of the National Inter-Religious Conference, Dr. Mohammad Bin-Uthman said despite religious differences, leaders and their followers should respect the dignity of individual faith.
“Harnessing and celebrating our diversity without violating the principle of individual faiths is sacrosanct to national development” he stressed.
The co-chair of the conference, Arch. Bishop of Metropolitan, North Province, Peter Ogunmuyiwa added that “the plurality of faiths is a blessing to Nigeria despite the efforts of some elements to capitalize on the differences to create tension.”
He called for constant interface and dialogue between Christian leaders and Muslim clergies for better understanding and harmonious relationships in the country.