Emir advocates religious tolerance among Nigerians
THE Emir of Potiskum in Yobe, Alhaji Gidado Ibrahim, has called for the setting up of institutions on comparative religious studies to deepen understanding and tolerance among adherents of various religions in the country.
The Emir made the call last week in Kaduna, Kaduna State, when he visited the president of Interfaith Dialogue, Peace and Reconciliation Foundation, Pastor Yohanna Buru.
Alhaji Ibrahim stressed that deepening understanding of the various religions would break existing barriers and misconceptions as well as promote peace and mutual respect among Nigerians.
The Emir urged youths to be peaceful, law-abiding citizens and help government to ensure peace and stability in their communities.
He said religious leaders also have an important role to play in peace building through the promotion of peaceful coexistence and reconciliation among communities.
According to him, they also have a prominent role to play in tackling extremism by preaching tolerance and brotherliness at all times.
“Tolerance is the beginning, the first stage in a longer, deeper process of developing a culture of peace. Without tolerance, peace is not possible,” the Emir stressed.
Ibrahim thanked the pastor for his contributions to peace building among different faiths in the country and urged other Muslim and Christian clerics to commit themselves to promoting peaceful coexistence and interreligious tolerance.
Responding, Buru said all well-meaning Nigerians must join hands in sensitising the people on the importance of peace and unity.
He said both the Holy Qur’an and The Bible condemn killing of innocent souls and urged the people of Kaduna State and other crisis-prone states to forgive one another.
Buru noted that ethno-religious crisis that claimed lives and properties was a serious setback to peaceful coexistence not only in Kaduna but across northern Nigeria.
He therefore urged religious leaders to engage their followers to embrace peace, love for humanity, tolerance, sacrifice and forgiveness.
He also supported the setting up of institutions on comparative religious studies, saying it would promote better understanding, religious tolerance and forgiveness, reduce blasphemy and continuously preach peace and harmony between Muslims and Christians.