By Ibrahim HassanWuyo
IN a bid to promote peaceful co-existence between the North and the South West, a team of religious leaders have sought close ties with a Yoruba monarch in the North to promote peace and strengthen good relationship among all the tribes living in the North.
The visit was also to encourage understanding among the diverse people in the 36 states of the country, irrespective of their tribe, culture, religion and ethnic background.
During the visit, the Chairman Yoruba Council of Obas and chiefs in Northern Nigeria, Ambassador Mohammed Aribgabuwo, emphasised that Nigeria is home to all and sundry.
According to the team leader of the delegation, Pastor Yohanna Buru, who is the founder of a non-governmental organisation, Peace Revival and Reconciliation Foundation of Nigeria, the essence of the visit was to strengthen good relationship among Northerners and the leaders of Yoruba in the North, to spread the message of love and unity.
He described the visit as an avenue for promoting peace, brotherliness and togetherness, adding: “We must accommodate each no matter the differences in order to live in peace and harmony.”
He said, despite the ethnoreligious, political crisis threatening peace and stability in the region, the people in the region are God-fearing and they listen to their religious leaders and traditional title holders, adding: “Peaceful co-existence and religious tolerance imply the capacity to live together in harmony.”
Buru said they came to meet with the Yoruba leaders residing in the North, in order to promote peaceful coexistence and to pray for lasting peace and unity among all the citizens of the region, irrespective of their tribe, religion or cultural background. He added: “There should be tolerance for ethnic diversity, we should tolerate one another, say ‘no’ to any form of violence, say ‘no’ to any form of inhuman behaviour is the goal of the mission.”
He appealed to religious leaders and traditional rulers from different religious, backgrounds, to continue to support and encourage the spreading of the message of peace and unity.
The Christian cleric decried the happenings in some parts of the southern states of the country and stressed the need for leaders in the region to immensely double efforts to promote peace and unity among Nigerians
“The seeds of peaceful co-existence and religious tolerance should be planted early in the hearts of students at the basic education level in order to raise a new generation of peace-loving citizens of this great country,” he said.
In his remarks, Ambassador Mohammed Arigbabuwo Yakubu, who is the Chairman, Council of Obas and Chiefs in the 19 Northern states and Abuja, expressed gratitude to God for bringing the leaders together in the promotion of peace.
The visit, he said, came at the right time in view of the situation of the country.
Ambassador Arigbabuwo said they would keep sensitizing their people to maintain peace and order.
“There are large number of Yoruba in the North and they are living in peace and harmony with everyone without any form of stigmatization on any Yoruba in the region,” he said.
“We must learn to accommodate and tolerate each other to live in peace and harmony with everyone. Hausa, Yoruba and igbobare all Nigerians, we must forgive each other to live in peace and harmony.”
“There is need for federal and states government to equally engage traditional title holders and religious leaders towards bringing an end to the current security challenges in the country.”
“We are all one Nigeria, and we must double-up effort to promote peace and unity among Nigerians. Nigerian needs prayers, there is need for both Muslims and Christians to keep praying for unity,” he said.
He thanked the delegation that visited him and urged them to keep spreading the message of peace,love and tolerance.