Religious Tolerance And Better Understanding Is Key To A United Nigeria – Saraki
Senate President, Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki has identified tolerance, harmony and better understanding of religious tenets by adherents as long term solution to the problem of insurgency and other conflicts facing the nation in particular, and the world in general.
Speaking while receiving the leadership of Nasrul-Lahi-l-Fatih Society Of Nigeria (NASFAT), who paid him a courtesy visit on Wednesday in Abuja, Saraki, according to a statement by the Special Assistant to the Senate President on Public Affairs, Mohammed Isa, stressed that though President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration is winning the war against insurgency in the North East, the long term solution to the issue is to preach, entrench and sustain religious tolerance and harmony not only among Muslims but among adherents of all religions.
“Yes, the government of President Buhari is winning the war against insurgency, but that will be a short time solution. The long term and sustainable solution is to make people understand the teachings of their religion and have respect for the beliefs which others hold dear.
“That responsibility is not for the government. It is for religious leaders and organizations such as NASFAT. We need to educate the people on the importance of peace, tolerance and harmony as enjoined by the teachings of all religions.
“It is my belief that the root of religious conflicts not only in Nigeria but across the world is the lack of proper understanding of the teachings of religions, as no religion encourages violence and other forms of aggression against other people.
“This is where you and other religious groups like yours come in. You need to preach to people on the importance of peace, the need to accommodate other people’s views, obey the laws of the land and treat one another as brothers and sisters”, he said.
Saraki commended the organization for making peace and harmony the corner piece in its preaching and other activities, noting that, “our generation must preach peace like our forefathers did, and ensure that the next generation do not witness what we are witnessing today”.
Saraki congratulated NASFAT on its numerous achievements in its 21 years of existence and pledged the support of the National Assembly for the organization to realize its objectives.
Earlier in his remarks, NASFAT President, Kamil Yomi Bolarinwa said the visit was mainly to extend an invitation to the Senate President and other Senators for the organisation’s 21st anniversary beginning from Friday.
Bolarinwa said NASFAT made religious tolerance a centerpiece of its Islamic propagation based on the teachings of Islam that enjoined its adherents to coexist with all in peace .
He said, “our religion has taught us to live in peace with ourselves and with our neighbours, and that is what we have been preaching and doing in the last 21 years.”
Islam, he said is all about peace, and recalled that all the wars fought by prophet Muhammad were on self defense, adding that, “we are taught that we are not complete Muslims until we like to others what we like to ourselves”.
He assured the Senate President of NASFAT’s support and encouragement for him to succeed in discharging his responsibilities, particularly in the area of finding a lasting peace for the nation.
Among the achievements of NASFAT, according to Its President, were establishment of a university, nursery and primary schools and 25 branches of the association outside the world, apart from the branches spread across the country.
SA to Senate President on Public Affairs