The Secretary General,Anglican Communion Worldwide, and founder of Kaduna Centre for the Study of Christian Muslim Relations, Most Rev. Josiah Idowu-Fearon, at the weekend, supported Governor Nasir El-Rufai’s efforts to end violent conflict in Kaduna State .
Speaking at the graduation ceremony of Diploma and Certificate students of the Kaduna Centre for the Study of Christian Muslim Relations, held in Kaduna,Archbishop Idowu-Fearon,called on Christians and Muslims to join hands with the Governor El-Rufai’s administration to solve the security challenges in the state.
Archbishop, Idowu-Fearon,who came from United Kingdom, said:”We are all losing in Kaduna State because the governor is now spending huge money to solve the security issues in the state. The money he suppose to use to develop the state”
“There are good things happening in Kaduna State too. I have a passion and I am committed to the administration of Governor Nasir El-Rufai and President Muhammadu Buhari for them to succeed. We have not seen anything yet except there will be a paradigm shift and I am happy governor El-Rufai is doing that to end the Kaduna crisis. All Christians and Muslims should come together and join hands with Governor Nasir El-Rufai to bring peace in the state ” the archbishop maintained.
On his part,Kaduna State Governor,Mallam Nasir El-Rufai,called on Muslims and Christians to come together and declare never again to violence and bigotry saying thousands of people have unjustly died in last 37 years in the state.
El-Rufai,said his administration will never watch violence entrepreneurs who are enemies of humanity promote conflict and walk around free.
The governor noted that, government is vigorously investigating and prosecuting purveyors of hatred and conflict and will not relent until peace and justice replace division and hatred in Kaduna.
According to El-Rufai, his administration commitment to upholding the equality of all persons before the law, and promoting of peace, harmony above the strife that has hobbled the state is not negotiable.
His words:”Our state has borne too much suffering. Over the course of the last 37 years, thousands of people have died in outbreaks of violence across the state. Let us say enough is enough, mourn all our people who have died, comfort those who have suffered and, in their memory, say never again to violence, never again to bigotry.
Our message to conflict entrepreneurs is that we will not allow anyone to entrench the narrative of hate and the attitude of belligerence and vengeance, when what our people need is peace, harmony and security”
“Religion should therefore not be used as a platform to negotiate special privileges, either for the leaders of faiths and sects, or their followers, whether those be skewed access to public goods or contracts, or compliance with the laws of Kaduna State”
El-rufai added that:” Neither should leaders of faith claim an unfettered right to spread falsehood and feed the flock with hatred, and incite them to view others as unfit to share this planet with them. The responsibility of all persons of faith is so immense, including the obligation to uphold truth, and to promote ethical conduct and respect for others”
Anybody that wishes to be magisterial, to issue statements laden with certainty to their followers must first ensure that what they are saying is not only factual but does not violate our laws. Across the world, the hateful use of religion has created too many disasters”
The rights of the citizen are clearly outlined in the Constitution, and they apply equally to all persons. We need to cure people of the dangerous illusion that they can use religion to acquire preferment for themselves while derogating from the rights of those of other faiths”
One feature that seems common to our diverse state is that our people claim to be very religious. Yet that devotion to religion has more often been reflected in strife, bitter division and murderous violence as if people of faith are oblivious to the fact that none of us can be wiser than the Almighty who created humanity in different colours, shapes and sizes, and with many tongues and creeds”
“Can we truly proclaim to love God when we so severely despise his other creations who worship differently from us? This government believes that religion should be a private matter.
On our part, we will never as the State Government watch these enemies of humanity promote conflict and let them walk around free.My message to all of the graduating students today is that you should use your knowledge to advance peace and harmony. Let us all resolve to strengthen a constituency of religious people that is strongly committed to upholding the rights of every citizen, celebrating our diversity and upholding peace and harmony in our dear state” the governor said.
Also speaking, chairman Kaduna Centre for the Study of Christian Muslim Relations, Most Rev.Josiah Idowu-Fearon, commended Governor El-Rufai,for his steps taken to address the reoccurring crisis in the state.
In his goodwill message, His eminence Cardinal John Onaiyekan, urged Christians and Muslims to continue to preach and practice peace:” The challenge facing Kaduna State and the north is also facing the country as a whole. We must build bridges not war. I have no regret to the efforts I made for peace”