By Isaac Aregbesola,
Abuja – Wife of the President, Mrs Aisha Buhari, on Thursday in Abuja urged Nigerians to live in peace, learn to tolerate and appreciate one another, irrespective of religion or tribe.
Buhari, made the call at the Fourth International Conference on Love and Tolerance: “Countering Violent Extremism” organised by Ufuk Dialogue in partnership with the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution.
Buhari who was represented by her Senior Special Assistant on Administration, Dr Hajo Sani, said that tolerance and peace were some of the pillars that sustain the structures of a nation.
The wife of the president who said that the conference could not come at a better time than now said women, religious leaders and all stakeholders to ensure the peace is entrenched in the nation.
She tasked religious leaders to keep praying to God for peace and unity in Nigeria.
“Irrespective of your religion, your tribe, or any other factor you have to put Nigeria first and understand that we need to live peacefully with one another,” she said.
While commending the organisers of the conference, she stressed that dialogue was one of the tools that could bring lasting peace in the country.
Also speaking, the Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, reiterated the need for unity and peaceful coexistence among Nigerians.
“We should encourage Nigerians to lone one another in our homes, communities, religious gatherings and nation at large, this is our challenging time and trying time and we will overcome it.
“Promoting extreme violence should not be encouraged, dialogue must continue but most important is that we must not promote hatred, this kind of dialogue must be encouraged in our religious institution,” she said.
She described a situation where mothers sell their children, or send them abroad for prostitution, as a highest point of hatred.
“You find mothers selling their daughters, uncles raping four or five years old girls kept in their care.
“Our religious leaders, should get more of messages of peace and tolerance, as we move forward in fighting this extreme issue that has bedeviled our society,” she said
She called for support for President Muhammadu Buhari in fighting corruption.
According to her, Nigeria is blessed with a president who will not gloss over issues such as corruption and other issues crisis such as farmer-herdsmen clashes.
“Corruption is hatred, if you are corrupt you are sowing extreme hatred to others, that stolen money is supposed to be used to take care of other citizen’s, health, education, infrastructure and other developments.
“We have to collectively work together to promote tolerant among ourselves, families, communities and religion.
“We should keep spreading the message of peace tolerance and compassion,” she said.