By Olamide Ogunjimi
Amid current insecurity across Nigeria, Christian and Muslim religious leaders have been urged to desist from demonising any religion.
A Catholic priest of Abuja Catholic Archdiocese, Rev. Fr. Tom-Ave Omiunu, said this at an interfaith dialogue workshop organised by the King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue (KAICIID) and the Interfaith Youth and Peace Building Network of Nigeria in Abuja recently.
Fr. Omiunu said: “It is individuals who have sown this seed of discord. That is why there is no development in our nation today. ”
He also accused politicians of fanning the embers of insecurity in the country under the guise of religion.
In addition, he urged the youths to desist from being tools in the hand of politicians.
“If the youths decide that they will not follow these leaders, and will speak with one mind as young people, they will surely be part of the movement that will bring lasting peace to our country, ” Fr. Omiunu added.
The priest, who insisted that no religion preaches violence also asserted since Nigerians are very religious, the country should be the most peaceful and developed country in the world.
An Islamic scholar, Faisal Umar, who spoke at the forum, also urged Nigerians to move beyond religious tolerance to religious understanding.
He said: “When you talk of religious tolerance, are you saying if given an opportunity you would want to push away the other religions or you intend to respect the value that the other religions stand for?”