By Hussaina Yakubu
Kaduna – Kaduna State Peace Commission has called on religious leaders to redouble efforts in preaching peace, love and forgiveness to their followers in order to have a more cohesive and developed society.
The Chairman of the Commission, Rev. Idowu Fearon made the call on Tuesday in Kaduna at a consultative dialogue forum with religious leaders aimed at promoting religious harmony in the State.
He said the essence of the meeting was to consult with religious leaders due to the vital roles they play in disseminating messages to their followers
According to him, religious leaders must be loving and compassionate towards members of both faiths and must possess good qualities and be role models to their followers.
Fearon also emphasised the need for them to remain humble, saying humility is an important aspect of life.
“All religions including traditionalists must be respected. We all believe in one God and are all equal before God, hence, the need to understand other faiths and be open minded towards each other to promote peaceful coexistence”.
The Chairman noted that the issue of peace was very clear and significant in all religions, as “we are all descendants of one race and are all equal before God irrespective of our ethnicity and religion”.
“Religious leaders should be open to see good in all religions. It is important for us to use our differences to make Kaduna peaceful because ignorance has not helped in any way”, he emphasised.
In his remarks, Gov. Nasiru El-Rufai reiterated that the government would continue to accord top priority to peaceful coexistence among all residents.
The governor, who was represented by Samuel Aruwan, Commissioner Internal Security and Home Affair said, government will continue to open its doors for positive partnerships for enduring peace in the state.
“We need regular lines of communication and processes of dialogue to work through the difficult conflicts we face when religion and other major identity concerns become engaged in the issues that divide us, hence, we need to put efforts towards peace building.
“Many of you have sacrificed your time, energy and resources for peace and security of our State. Many of you have been called names, denigrated and ostracized, but your genuine commitment for the peace of Kaduna State and humanity remains unshaken”.
The State Secretary, Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Rev. Sunday Ibrahim called on all to involve in consultations with sincere hearts.
He assured that the Christian community will always work for peace as stated in the holy book, adding that meaningful development can only be achieved in a sustained peaceful society.
Also, Ibrahim Kufena, the Kaduna State Secretary, Jama’atul Nasril Islam, JNI, said dialogue is extremely important in all aspects of life.
Kufena reminded Muslims of the teaching of Islam which emphasises on peaceful coexistence with everyone.
He also called on religious leaders who take advantage of their followers to fear Allah because they are going to account for their deeds in the Hereafter.