The Muslim Media Watch Group of Nigeria (MMWGN) has commended the peace accord, signed by leaders of the two prominent faiths (Islam and Christianity), in the country, describing it as patriotic, harmony-driven and a proactive action to ensuring sanity in our body polity.
The peace accord, signed by both Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar and Rev Samson Ayokunle, aimed at ensuring peace before, during and after the 2019 general elections.
According to the MMWGN) the peace agreement will douse anxiety, tension and rancour among the political gladiators and other stakeholders, especially the Muslim and Christian groups, who have unnecessarily become rivals.
In a statement, issued by Alhaji Kamaldeen Akintunde, the Ogun State Coordinator, the group noted that the proactive initiative would check ethnic hostilities, religious bigotry, political violence and hate speeches that have characterised Nigeria’s political landscape.
“The two religious leaders who signed in their respective capacities as President-General of Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) and President of Christian Association of Nigerian (CAN) were reported to have put pen to paper at a Peace Declaration Summit in Abuja, staged by the Nigerian Interfaith Action Association and with local and international bodies as partners.
“The Media Watch posited that electing people into political offices should be devoid of religious, ethnic and other sentiments capable of undermining free, fair and credible elections, asking Nigerians to eschew emotions and elect credible people into offices,” the statement, made available to The Renaissance on Thursday in Lagos read in part.
MMWGN implored the two leaders to translate the peace bond into action by charging significant others and followers to shun provocative and inflammatory utterances that may constitute a threat to the enthronement of the next republic.
It emphasised the need for religious leaders and preachers to preach the virtues of love, peace, tolerance, patriotism, justice, participatory and qualitative governance to their followers and political leaders.
It opined that such virtues could be incorporated into the Friday “khutbah”/sermon and Sunday service and other veritable platforms and/or fora.
Meanwhile, MMWGN has called for a similar protocol for political gladiators and critical stakeholders as a build up to the initiative for an enduring peace and unhindered democratic process.
It charged the electoral umpire, security and other relevant agencies to ensure fair-play attitude in the discharge of their duties, asking the security operatives to handle their assignment with utmost dexterity in order not to derail the process nor heat the polity.
MMWGN commended the Nigerian Interfaith Action Association and similar bodies like the Sultan Abubakar and Bishop Onaaiyekan – led Interfaith Initiative for Peace (IIP), for their patriotic concerns at nation-building.
By Oluwashina Iyanda
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