By; PETER NOSAKHARE, Kaduna
As Nigerians eagerly await the 2019 elections which is around the corner, politicians have been advised to stop cajoling the citizens into violence and conflicts by using religion and ethnicity in order to fulfill their selfish political interests and desires.
This advise was contained in a press release signed and issued after a briefing on “The Role of Religious Leaders in Peace Building,” by Interfaith Forum of Muslim and Christian Women’s Association held at Aso Motel Kaduna.
According to the General Coordinator, Hajiya Amina Kazaure, “these people know exactly what they are doing; they hide behind the veil of religion and ethnicity to fulfill their political interests and desires. Political ambitions have never been sympathetic to its victims, because they use anything to their seem best as weapons.”
She said these acts are threats to the unity of countries which have diverse religious beliefs like Nigeria where three are major tribes.
“We are not immune to this fact and so, religious leaders have to know that they a big role to play in building peace and social cohesion in the society. They are at the core of morals in the society which in turn determines the behavior of the people they lead, their perception towards other religious ideology, shapes their followers’ loyalties and the way they interact with others in the society,” she explained.
Hajiya Kazaure , therefore, implored Nigerians to shun rumour mongering and reprisal attacks in order for the country to develop as other nations.
“As “women of faith working together as mothers of a culture of peace,” we are using this medium to join our voices with those of other concerned citizens and our religious leaders by calling on every Nigerian to desist from acts capable of causing disunity particularly Kaduna and the country at large. When there’s no peace women and children suffer the most, ” she added.
In condemning hate and dangerous speeches, the coordinator, appealed to government to take the issue of security seriously because, “as mothers, we share in the constant vices of kidnapping, rape and killings; we plead with government to further enhance their security apparatus and personnel for effective security of lives and properties in the country.”
The NGO also decried all forms of sectionalism being stirred by certain segments of the country to cause division and make everybody suspicious of the other person, adding that, as an interfaith body it will continue to partner with government and other stakeholders in the areas of peace building cum other developmental efforts.