By Magnafaith Krimi
Chapter 15 of Ladi Thompson’s “The kingdom gospel’s solution to the Boko-Haram War” referenced Benjamin Franklin’s quote,
“All wars are follies, very expensive and mischievous ones. In my opinion, there never was a good war or a bad peace. When will mankind be convinced and agree to settle their difficulties by arbitration?”
SUPERIORITY AND INFERIORITY
Competitive approaches to finding a solution to a disagreement among parties is not a favourable response to any potentially agitative situation. Competitive responses perpetuate itself and more than likely could lead to destructive results.
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While it is largely admissive that cooperation amongst leaders within society is morally desirable and that it is politically naïve and could be termed almost ignorant to result to a strategy of cooperation to bring about settlements without violence in the year 2020.
Religious freedom as an international norm today is universally recognized as a core principle of liberal democracy. With arguments to show whether religion is increasingly subject to the laws of the State or not. We can all nearly agree that no state can be regarded as free unless it guarantees freedom of religious belief and practice. We have had scholars, clerics, philosophers to include all kinds of speakers and authors put forward how and why the government cannot forbid peaceful religious expression. Even more where it does not constitute to disturbing public order and/or infringe upon the rights of others. President Barrack Obama stated that “there is power in words. There is power in conviction. Beneath all differences of race and region, faith and station we are one people.” He was and is right.
Society must not justify competitive conflict behaviour as shown by leaders of various communities, sects and religion. We have an even greater challenge as a society, should leaders publicly address issues from negative misperceptions. Even worse when there are underlying interests and intentions, manipulatively seeking to satisfy personal needs and interests over opponents. These interests could be respect, power and/or money amongst others. According to the UNESCO Institute for Statistics Nigeria’s Literacy rate, for adults in total ages, 15 and above report 2018 was shown as 62percent. Hence, we must come to terms with the fact that it is of no use to force values on others, try to change others belief systems and not allow for divergent values or beliefs.
Religious leaders must at this time more than ever before develop the ability to articulate religious concerns whether directly or indirectly related to political actions with a broad appeal. Politically religious constitutional arguments will not prevail in this dispensation.
See Martin Luther King Jr’s quote “We must work with determination to create a society; not where black men are superior and other men are inferior and vice versa. But a society in which all men will live together as brothers, and respect the dignity and worth of human personality.”
The theology and statesmanship of leaders who are publicly vocal about sensitive issues should be marked by no massacre of young lives, obliteration of infrastructure, extended loss of time, money and peace as cited by Rev. Ladi Thompson philosophy. One of the most remarkable statements of former President Barrack Obama showed how we are shaped by not one. But, by every language and culture drew from the ends of our land. He stated, “ For those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.” Profound!
Muslim and/or Christian leaders must respect the thought of peace. That compassionate and collaborative communication through the maximizing integration of joint parties respective and not exclusive interests would provide a higher probability of success. An astounding and typical example could be seen as written in the scriptures. An account of Jesus’ arrest that read unfair and a betrayal.
“At this, one of Jesus’ companions drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear.”
The action of the disciple was supposed to be in Jesus’ defence. However, him, Jesus, said;
“Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him. “For all who draw the sword will die by the sword.”
Religious-state relation is a crucial practical aspect of society. We must continue to admonish one another and not assert ourselves unfairly. While our local communities may seem inundated with iniquity and impiety. Let not religion or religious leaders seize and abuse the power of their following for personal ends rather than for the welfare of the people for which they claim to care for. Let the perpetual duties and precepts of love remain. Rather than instigate your followers for political points, religious leaders, yes, you. You should press for conversation and negotiation until a satisfactory resolution is reached. Desist from using a convenient religious cover to further your supremacist agenda. Thompson Gureje stated that “the lethal mix of religion and politics with theology and philosophy is the root reason why the nations of this world are baffled by the new war form.”
As a “People” we have suffered pain together, as” Nigeria” we have suffered unfathomable losses. I suggest that we treat one another with respect, our religious leaders must avoid defensive statements and name-calling. Together, we must give attention to instead to our issues as “Nigeria”. With the resounding lettering of the second verse of our national anthem. Together we would sing, today as we did days before and tomorrow again… religion
“O God of creation,
direct our noble cause
Guide thou our leaders right
Help our youth the truth to know
In love and honesty to grow
And living just and true
Great lofty heights attain
To build a nation where peace
And justice reign.”
- MagnaFaith Krimi is a northern Nigerian journalist who writes articles from the Washington Metropolitan Area in the United States of America.
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