In a bid to stem the tides against a building Ethno-Religious tension in Nigeria, Religious Scholars, Academia, Civil society groups as well as the Media converged on Abuja for a one day round table interactive session organized by the Centre for Social Justice, Equity and Transparency (CESJET) with a view to proferring lasting solutions to the many conflicts that have plagued the nation recently. The Summit with the theme:
“Love not Hate, A Symbol of Any True Religion” featured mind blowing sessions with erudite scholars from across the nation urging participants to embrace peace and intensify national cohesion.
On of the hosts, In a keynote address, CESJET Ambassador to the UN Comrade Philip Agbese, recognised the prominent role played by clerics and religious bodies in ensuring peace and tranquility in our nation. He equally recognised the role of women particularly the mothers in every society to ensure proper upbringing and instill discipline in the child geared towards peace and a thorough bred mannerisms.
Comrade Agbese highlighted the aims and objectives that inspired CESJET to organise the event which is timely as a result of the incessant Boko Haram activities, the killings of the Fulani herdsmen, sectional killings in Southern Kaduna, fake news reportage and “the growing murmur of making Nigeria practice one religion”. He frowned at religious and political leaders instigating religious crisis due to many unguided remarks.
Also speaking, former Director in the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution Dr. Udenta O. Udenta enjoined all participants to encourage interfaith dialogue in the context of democratic dialogue to ensure peace.
In his words “democracy incarnates conflict in every society because it paves way for liberal agitations but it is a paradox that democracy still have the mechanisms to settle disputes”.
He maintained religion is one of the diversities in the country and it should be a wheel to propel peaceful coexistence.
Another invited guest Bishop Elijah Ogar preached the doctrine of love. He admonished participants to practice peace, love and unity and made allusions to the Bible quoting from Psalm 127.
In the course of the event, an academic interactive session was anchored by Dr. Mahfouz Adedimeji, a Director in the Center for Peace and Strategic Studies, University of Illorin, Kwara state.
In his paper titled “The Role of Religious Leaders in Peace Coexistence” he highlighted and discussed the message of peace as enshrined in the dictates of all religions because “ we are all equal before God”.
The event witnessed the honour of resource persons which cuts across the academic, religious and political sector prominent among whom were Prof. Emmanuel Onneh the Head of Department Philosophy, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Shiek Farouk Umar and Prof. Damian Anyam from the Benue State University. Others are Prof. Emmanuel Omeh the HOD Philosophy University of Nigeria Nsukka, Prof. Uguanyi from the University of Abuja, Mr. Johnson Onumah and Prof. Eugene Aliegba who delivered a short paper titled “How Religion and Politics can Function in the Society”.
The session agreed that President Muhammadu Buhari is a gift to the nation and requires the appreciation, support and commendation of all Nigerians to do more. It was agreed that an inter-faith concert featuring prayers for the country’s leadership be held to thank God for the defeat of terrorism in Nigeria.