Brief Remarks By Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu At The Seminar On “Let Peace Reign” By Alliance Of Muslims And Christians

Brief Remarks By Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu At The Seminar On “Let Peace Reign” By Alliance Of Muslims And Christians


Brief Remarks by Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu at the Seminar on “Let Peace Reign” By Alliance of Muslims and Christians. Tuesday September 30th, 2014. Eco Multi-Purpose Hall, LTV8 Lagos Nigeria

PROTOCOL

“ Pursue Peace With all Men and Holiness without which no man will see God”-Hebrews 12:14

The very fact that we are assembled here today on an inter-faith platform to deliberate on the need to Let Peace Reign is in itself an admission that peace has eluded us as a people and as a country.

This gathering is also in the same breath a bold step to confront the issue and chart a course that will bring peace to our troubled land.

Admittedly, no religion can exterminate the other. Through history, we have seen failed attempts by either Islam or Christianity to eliminate or subjugate the other. Rather, the two world religions, which you represent, have moved from direct confrontation to some sort of silence alliance of crucial accommodation interlaced with break out of riots from time to time.

During Abacha’s time, a body of inter-faith called NARECON with the President of Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs, SIA, and the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, started some measure of regular interactions. However, the world all over including Nigeria must appreciate that there is a polarization within the Islamic religion and the other religions combined. Consequently the state of the world as an enclave of humanity is extremely divided and is just trying to grapple with what it can do.

This current United Nations Assembly provided a forum for the Western powers and Europe to brainstorm as to how confront Islamic fundamentalism in its violent and bloody campaign to take possessions.
The current establishment of ISIS in Iraq and Iran has dangerous consequences because religion is fundamentally an emotional thing.

Not withstanding the rise of fundamentalism in religion helped along by fanatics who see nothing good in the other religion, the world has rarely gone to war over religious differences. Any nation that allows its people to descend into religious animosity will remain on the path of ruination and its people forever fractured.

From Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria to Turkey and Libya, we continue to see the destructive effects of intra-religious disagreements. In Egypt, a mixture of religion and politics has produced a volatile society and led to numerous deaths.

Both Christianity and Islam preach peace as one of their core principles. Unfortunately rather than promote peace amongst all men, we have sacrificed peace for the promotion of selfish aggrandizement. From the Maitasine Riots to the current Boko Haram mayhem, Nigeria has managed to avert a total religious convulsion. We have been able to keep at bay the destructive hands of a full-blown religious war. But we may not be able to do that much longer, unless those in positions of leadership become more responsible and patriotic.

The killings in Jos continue unabated over a decade when it began. The government has found no answer. Boko Haram continues its devastating attacks on innocent Christians and Muslims and other innocent Nigerians. Yet without a coherent and altruistic response by the government of the day, lives are being lost daily. Religion continues to drive us apart. We cannot remain on this path for too long. Something must give, else we risk a major religious convulsion.

Nigeria today is confronted by a divisive leadership ready to use religion as a political tool to rule and divide and to score cheap political advantage. Rathan than promote religious tolerance and harmonious living, Jonathan’s presidency believes its electoral chances are enhanced by promoting religious suspicion and using religion as a manipulative tool.

As religious leaders, you have a key role to play. I need not educate you on what your responsibility is both to your followers and the nation. Above all, what God requires of you. You must above all else fear God whom you serve and be bold to speak truth to power with the same boldness you preach your sermons to your congregation. Through the holy books, we have read how men of God spoke truth to power and how liberation was brought about. There is no better time to speak up than now against injustice, the corruption of the pulpit, and the entrance of politics into religion and the unholy romance of the religious leaders with people in charge of the affairs of this country.

This forum must deliberate on an agenda that will let peace reign in our villages, cities, states and country. The forum must self examine, criticize and dissect the problems that have made men of peace become men of violence. It must come up with sanctions for so-called religious leaders who use the cassock for politics and use the Bible or Quran as the talisman to get wealthy. This forum of religious leaders must come up with a vision that seeks to promote and sustain peace at all times. Without a vision, the people will perish. Nations will perish.

I trust that at the end, we would have reached a new resolution to work for peace to reign in our country.

I thank you and wish you a successful deliberation.

Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu

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