Religious leaders, police seek Nigerians’ peaceful co-existence

Religious leaders and the police in Oyo State have urged the citizens to continue to work toward peaceful co-existence in the country.

They also called on the people to accept the fact that different people with different religious backgrounds would continue to exist in the country.

This is contained in a communiqué signed by the Catholic Bishop of Oyo Diocese, Most Rev. Emmanuel Badejo, and Director for Inter-Religious Dialogue, Oyo Diocese, Rev. Joseph Ogundipe.

The communiqué made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Ibadan was also signed by the Mufashir of Akure land, Sheikh Kewuyemi and the Chief Imam of Oyo land, Sheikh Adebayo.

NAN reports that the communiqué was issued at the end of the Oyo Catholic Diocesan annual symposium with the theme: ‘’Inter-religious Dialogue in the Service of Personal and Public Security”.

The event held at the St. Paul’s Pastoral Center, Awe-Oyo.

The symposium had in attendance Most Rev. Badejo, Rev. Robert Chipumbu, Director, Commission for Justice, Peace, Integrity of Creation, Encounter and Dialogue, and Archbishop Ayo Oladigbolu (Methodist).

Also in attendance were representatives of the Congregation of Missionaries of Africa, representatives of the Nigerian Police and unit leaders of all traditional religions in the diocese, among others.

The religious leaders urged Nigerians to learn to love and cooperate with members of other faith for the benefit of building bridges of trust, respect and understanding across cultures and faiths.

“It is important that people of different religions should do unto others as they want others to do unto them; respect is reciprocal.

“We should know tenets of other religions to avoid moral and social delinquency in the society.

“This will also enhance peaceful interaction and collaboration among Christians, muslims and traditionalists.

“All religions should relate and always speak with one voice to the government and security agencies, of public needs.

“All religions should adopt the attitude of not discriminating against anybody on social mobility and access to job and opportunities to avoid generating rancour,” they said.

The also said that religious education should focus  on tolerance and peaceful co-existence.

They said that religious leaders should always clear misconceptions, accept and give insights into other religions and allow room for mutual engagement to promote harmony.

They said that there was the need for children and the youth to be taught the essence, ethics and tenets of other religions in the church, mosque and other religious gatherings.

“Government agencies in charge of security should deal fairly with all classes of people without consideration for religious, tribal or political affiliations.

“Justice, merit and fairness should dictate the allocation of jobs, resources and opportunities,” they added. 

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