By; AMOS TAUNA, Kaduna
Determined to ensure peaceful and harmonious relationship, before, during and after the 2019 general elections among Nigerians irrespective of tribe, religion or political affiliation, KAICIID Dialogue Centre in conjunction with Youth With a Purpose, organized a one day sensitization programme on, ‘Concept on promoting interreligious and inter – cultural coexistence’, bringing together religious, traditional leaders, political parties, youth and women to fashion a common ground of understanding.
The programme organized for participants from Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State had resources persons drawn from Christian and Islamic scholars to educate participants on the reality from the two Holy books and for them to strictly adhered for an enhanced interreligious and cultural coexistence in the various communities.
The convener, Samaila Yahaya, said as a member of KAICIID international fellow African region 2018, the objectives is to provide religious views on peaceful coexistence, true politics and civic responsibilities of all and sundry as well as to equip participants with religious injunctions as it concerns their roles in fostering peace.
Other objectives of the sensitization programme is to disabuse the minds of the participants on the wrong use of religion divorcing it from politics, increase voters’ apathy, prevent post – election violence and expose the evils of violence and both the legal and spiritual implications to the perpetrators and their environment/fellow humans.
He added that the sensitization programme is to provide a common ground for discussion of differences, challenges and fears, which will give room for dialogue and give birth to an advocacy group that will go to the grassroots and remain a contact between the people and the leaders for subsequent meetings and IRD activities.
He said the programme is to sensitize the religious and traditional leaders, politicians and the law enforcement officials to their roles in ensuring peace.
He recalled that the 2015 general elections was peaceful, stressing that there was the need to further educate the people not to allow politicians use them for their selfish desires to kill and destroy in the name of politics.
Samaila Yahaya noted that the centre preaches peace globally, saying that the message is peace and unity as the only weapon that could fight enemies of progress that have nothing to offer the people but to devise their selfish means of actualising their evil schemes.
Earlier, Imam Dr. Muhammad Nurayn Ashafa, co-executive director interfaith mediation centre enjoined people to be aware of politicians that have nothing to offer the people but come in the name of religion to cause disaffection among the electorates.
He explained that Nigeria is the most religious nation but the most corrupt country in the world, stressing that there was no practical adherence to the Holy books.
“We will continue to deceive ourselves with all that we are doing until we come to our senses of the reality of life. In every street in Nigeria, you find Churches and Mosques with people calling unto God but yet our attitudes to one another does not portray what we are learning in our various places of worship,” he wondered.
He added, “Until such time that we practically apply what the Holy books demand from us, we will continue having problems as a people in all spheres of life because we lack knowledge and understanding of the Holy books.”
Rev. Bitrus Dangiwa, who spoke on the role of dialogue in the electioneer process, noted that the only way for Nigerians to get it right is through dialogue with one another, adding that until we come to a round table in accordance with the Holy scripture for there to be better understanding of the way forward for peaceful coexistence among Nigerians.
Imam Sani Isah Mohammed who spoke on dialogue also emphasises on respect and understanding for one another irrespective of religion, tribe or political affiliation as the only panacea for peaceful coexistence among Nigerians.
Other speakers who spoke enjoined Nigerians to always be minded of politicians have nothing to offer the people but advised that the electorate should always vote people of integrity that could be held accountable.