Gov. Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State has called on Saudi Arabia and Iran to find common grounds to end the proxy conflict between them.
Aregbesola made the call while playing host to the members of the Muslim Media Watch Group (MMWG) at the Government House, Osogbo, the state capital.
He said senseless conflict, orchestrated by the superpowers’ divide-and-rule tactics, by the two powerful Muslim countries had claimed thousands of lives and displaced millions in recent time.
The governor said the bombings of the innocent and the sufferings of the masses could only portray the two countries in a bad light – hence the need to embrace peace, tolerance and love.
Aregbesola, who described the cold war between the two countries as ‘unchecked acrimony’, maintained that if not quickly nipped in the bud, the crisis could escalate to other parts of the world.
He posited that a crisis spells doom for the entire Muslim world because of their strategic positions of the major gladiators.
He condemned a situation where people are persecuted for their beliefs, saying such acts could only lead to intimidation which will, in turn, lead to revolt and resistance, chaos and further violence.
The governor tasked religious intellectuals and major stakeholders to explore means of mediating between the two nations of Islam to prevent the crisis from spreading.
“There is no way you will show disaffection to people of other faiths or beliefs that it would not lead to resistance because they will feel persecuted and resort to violence.
“Many Muslims all over the world look to these two giant countries for the way they do things, hence the need to avert anything that could cause disaffection.
“I urge us to be more tolerant to one another because that is what God preaches. No religion preaches against tolerance as God Himself preaches love and we can only serve God by showing love to one another,” he said.
In a remark, the National Coordinator of the group, Mallam Ibrahim Abdullahi, applauded Aregbesola for promoting religious tolerance in the state.
Abdullahi also lauded the massive infrastructural developments which Aregbesola’s administration has achieved in the last seven and a half years, describing him as a pride to Islam.
Mallam Abdullah noted that the achievements made by Aregbesola’s administration in virtually all sectors were unprecedented since the creation of Osun.
He said the visit was in recognition of success which the state has recorded since the inception of the administration as well as for the support extended to MMWG during the inauguration of its Board of Trustees in March in Osogbo.
By Adeyinka Aremu, Osogbo