*clerics harp on need to be brothers’ keepers
By; JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
As the world marks the 2022 International Day of Peace, Rotary marked the day with a seminar as well as the inauguration of the Kaduna State Peace Committee.
At the event held at the Hotel Seventeen on Wednesday night, various speakers spoke on the theme, “Discrimination and Peace building in Kaduna State”.
Speaking on the topic, “End Racism, Build Peace, Chief Imam of Almanar Mosque Kaduna, Dr. Tukur Adam said that Islam encourages peaceful coexistence among all mankind, quoting the Quran, he said, God said, “I have created you all from one man and woman,” hence the need to develop strategies to work together, through showing of love.
“But unfortunately, along the line, issues came up like racial discrimination, which results to unfair or biased treatment against people simply because you don’t belong to same religion, ethnic group or class, which is against all teachings of Abrahamic religions,” he said.
Represented by Sheikh Ibrahim Musa, he said that peace building is fundamental and is the implementation of measures to end conflict.
“Based on Quranic injunctions, Muslims are beloved to love their neighbours as they love themselves. Your neighbour could be a Christian or even a traditional Worshippers.
“We should do everything possible to eschew all forms of biasness and all forms of discrimination. What God has prescribed to you to carry out should be adhered to. We are lucky that in Nigeria, we have dedicated religious leaders who are set to guide us,” he said.
Also speaking on the same topic, Reverend James Wuye said that some religious leaders preach hate messages, which is an unwelcomed development.
He recalled that when the first set of Muslims were persecuted, they took refuge at Abbysinia, which is Ethiopia today.
“Nigeria is a religious country, but many of us are not godly.
“You will just close from church service, while driving, someone drives past you wrongly and you insult him which shouldn’t be,” he said.
According to him, things that can cause disintegration include transferring negative attitude to children as well as lack of trained religious leaders.
Reverend Wuye warned that anger that is not transformed, is transferred.
“Those who promote violence will die by same violence.
“I lost my hand in 1992, some people died, because we didn’t know how to talk. We have differences, let’s respect those differences. At interfaith, we are not trying to merge both religions, but are promoting religious tolerance,” he explained.
While moderating the session, Rotary Zonal Coordinator, Rotarian Oludare Mohammed Jamiu Odele said that discrimination is an evil that must be done away with.
“Any move against the next person is against God. Coming to Rotary, we have diversity, equity and inclusion. If we live in a world of equity, the world will be peaceful.
“The problem of our country today, is our leaders and our religious leaders. God is the one that created us in different languages and their is diversity. We must learn to manage our diversity,” he advised.
He added that lack of knowledge and understanding is responsible for crisis.
Rotarian Odele said that as a child, he attended St. Anne’s Primary School and was the page boy during Pope John Paul’s visit to Nigeria.
“I am a Muslim and they selected me to be the page boy, without asking of religion. That did not stop me from going to my Islamiyya classes,” he recalled.
He said that Rotary will be taking the peace committee to schools, to further harp on the need to embrace peace.
In his vote of thanks, the Rotary Kaduna State Coordinator Peace Committee, Rotarian Yakubu Abubakar said that the Rotary Nigeria National Peace building and Conflict Prevention Committee.
He said the committee has been established all over the country, with Kaduna State having the highest numbers of volunteers, totaling about 250.
He said one aspect of Nigeria needing intervention is peace building.
“For those who have volunteered, we have reached some of you, but others would be reached soon,” he said
In an interview with newsmen,
Rev Gideon Kantyiok from ECWA said that religious leaders are key to achieving peaceful coexistence.
“Religious leaders have important role in leading their people to obeying God for peace to be achieved in the world,” he said.
He blamed overzealous clerics for crisis in the society.
Reverend Kantiyok recalled that things that have been done to show a religion is superior than the other, has not worked, hence the need to embrace each other in love.
During the event, the committees Inaugurated and some of their heads are,
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) with Aisha Umar as its head.
Preventing And Countering Violence Extremism (Rabiu Saleh Beli)
Gender Based Violence And Child Protection (Nana Firdausi Tizeh)
Inter-faith Peace Dialogue And Collaborations
(Co-Chairs) Engr. AbdurRahman Hassan Danladi and Rev James Movel Wuye
Climate Action On Peace (Chrisantus Defunaan Lapang)
Women And Youth Peace Programmes (Hauwa Zemo Adamu)
Culture And Social Cohesion
Inmate Re-orientation And Prison Decongestion
Drug Abuse And Rehabilitation (Hassan Malami Dogo)
Awareness, Media And Technology
Sports And Entertainment
(Bilkisu Ali Gwabin)
Peace Club (Abubakar Isah)
Social Enterprise And Empowerment (Sarafadeen Olawale Babatunde)
Civil-military And Government Collaborations (Bukar Adamu Ngalda)
Diaspora Relations And Diplomatic Corps (Yusuf Sanusi Umar)
Marginalized And Disadvantaged Groups Collaboration (Gideon Kantiyok)