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Religious crises over soon, says Yar’Adua

By Daniel Idonor
President Umaru Yar’Adua yesterday stated that he was very optimistic that the intermittent flashes of religious crises in the country would soon fade away, given the growing level of awareness among Nigerians.

The President spoke as Pope Benedict XVI has indicated interest in convening a synod on Africa, perhaps in Nigeria, where issues of peace, reconciliation and development on the continent would discussed.

Speaking when he received the outgoing Apostolic Nuncio, Monsignor Renzo Fratini, in his office in Abuja, the President said he was hopeful that Nigeria’s future would be bright and good.

“We are managing our diversity very well,” noting that the intermittent flashes of religious crises would eventually peter out with greater understanding among the citizenry.

According to him, Nigerians as “very religious and generous in helping one another,” stressed that “true leadership is really service to humanity.”

Earlier, Monsignor Fratini, who is serving in Nigeria for the second time, also expressed optimism about the country’s potential greatness given its huge human and material resources.

He also described Nigerians as very religious and generous in building places of worship and helping others, while praising President Yar’Adua’s “leadership by example.”
The Pope’s highest official Representative in Nigeria who had just spent five and half years in the country, commended the existing cordial relationship between Christians and Muslims notwithstanding recent skirmishes.

Monsignor Fratini said that Pope Benedict XVI would soon convene a Synod on Africa where issues of peace, reconciliation and development on the continent would be discussed.

The Apostolic Nuncio wished Nigeria and President Yar’Adua the best as the country marks its 49th Independence Anniversary.


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