Monday, 24 November 2014

Write Boko Haram to Stop Attacks, Oritsejafor Tells Sultan
Ayo Oritsejafor
The President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, tuesday urged the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, to write a letter to Boko Haram to stop their attacks just as he did to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

This came as President Goodluck Jonathan said the threats posed by Boko Haram insurgents masquerading  under the guise and toga of religion to perpetrate lawless acts cannot distract his administration’s quest to positively transform the lives of Nigerians.
Oritsejafor made the call in Abuja at a two-day roundtable with Senior Special Assistants on Religious Affairs from the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
“His Eminence said he wrote a letter to ISIS, I have to truly congratulate you for that because that was a very good move.

‘‘I didn’t know about it until today and I am so glad it happened. But I want to appeal that you also write to Boko Haram because Boko Haram is worst than ISIS.
‘‘They have killed more people than ISIS, they have caused more atrocities than ISIS; they need to be written to as well, it is very important it will help.

“I have made an appeal several times that there are some of our leaders who must come together, religious, political and traditional. They must come and discuss.’’
He also enjoined religious clerics, particularly those in the ‘good book’ of the militant sect to reach out to the leadership of the sect so that the real Islam could be presented to them instead of allowing them to continue to be misrepresenting Islam.
According to him, the militant sect will not listen to him, he will have joined the clerics in preaching peace to members of the terror group and the need to practice real Islam.
Meanwhile, at the event, Jonathan said the threats posed by Boko Haram insurgents masquerading  under the guise and toga of religion to perpetrate lawless acts cannot distract his administration’s quest to positively transform the lives of Nigerians.
He equally noted that his administration’s transformation agenda had positively impacted on the lives of Nigerians.

Jonathan stressed that he was committed to the continuous delivery of democratic dividends and good governance to Nigerians.
The president, who was represented by his deputy, Alhaji Namadi Sambo, urged participants to make deliberate efforts at synergising and supporting the federal government’s programmes and its commitment to ensuring unity, peace and progress of the country.
“We should strive towards promoting inter-religious harmony and dialogue at all times for peace and development to thrive as there is no gain saying the fact that no meaningful development can be achieved without peace and security.

“I urge us all to live according to the noble tenets and dictates of our religions. We should continue to assist government with prayers and positive counseling and desist from making inciting statements and comments capable of causing disharmony and breach of peace. It should be noted that, by the teaching of our faiths, we shall all account for our deeds in the hereafter.
“I therefore admonish you to live by example always and to do good for the development of our country and humanity,” Jonathan said.
He said the conference was imperative in view of the role religion plays in promoting peace and harmony in human society.

The president added that the interface would deepen understanding of the nation’s common values, as well as serve as a stepping-stone in overcoming its challenges.
He commended his Senior Special Assistants on Islamic and Christian Affairs for the laudable feat at convening the all-important conference that brought together special advisers on religious affairs from all the states of the federation to forge a common front aimed at fostering peace, understanding and harmony among Christians and Muslims.

“The theme of this event ‘Towards Synergising and Interfacing in the Religious Sector for National Development’ has aptly captured the essence of governance and indeed this administration’s transformation agenda, which greatly recognises the need to accord religion its rightful place in our steady march to national development
“It is this belief and understanding of the great importance of religion to our daily activities and governance that informed the creation of these two offices of the Senior Special Assistants on Islamic and Christian Affairs.”

“In his remarks,  Senior Special Assistant to the President on Islamic Affairs, Barr. Tahir Umar Tahir  said the interface has become critical, given the challenges facing the nation.
“We are witnessing a situation where religion is being used as a vehicle of creating disharmony, discord, restiveness and bloodshed, all in the name of religion we all believe that the two major religions preach peace, stand for justice and fair play” he said.
The chairman of the occasion, and former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Yayale Ahmed, urged participants to speak devoid of pretenses.

He called on them to  work together as brothers and sisters.
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