The Governor of Sokoto state, Hon Aminu Waziri Tambuwal has called on Nigerians to jettison individual differences for the peace and progress of the country.
He attributed ethnicity and religious intolerance to the recurrence of ethno-religious conflicts plaguing Nigeria as a nation.
Tambuwal also opined that appointment of public office holders and politicians who recognized religion as a veritable tool for peace, progress and sustainable development would solve the current problem.
He said this while delivering lecture on “Religious Tolerance and Challenges of Democratic Governance, during the 4th & 5th Convocation Ceremony of Fountain University, Osogbo.
The former Speaker, House of Representatives, stressed that the phenomena of ethno-religious conflict has plagued and threatened the existence of the nation owing to the insecurity and bad leadership.
“However, the soaring tides of poverty, unemployment, ethno-religious crisis, poor infrastructure, environmental hazards, insecurity and particularly bad leadership have converged to deny the country the potential to reach the benchmark of development in the 21st Century.
“Irrespective of our differences, ethnic and religion, we must continue to understand one another for the benefit of all and our differences should not divide us, but rather strengthen the unity of this country, which a country of many diversity and there lies our strength in diversity.
“Muslim should continue to seek knowledge and understanding of the religion of Islam. Islam is a religion of peace and was propounded on the basis peace.
“Our prophet Muhammad accommodated the Jews and non-Muslims even in his mosque to conduct their own services, so, we should continue to engage and respect one another.
He also opined that mismanagement of natural resources and misrule by elites from all divides, has been the factor, which impoverished and denied opportunities to the majority of Nigerians.
He added that “since independence, religious and ethnic rhetoric has leveraged claims to political representation and opportunities.
“Corruption and incompetent leadership have added another dimension to the ugly phenomena in not only preventing equitable distribution of resources and opportunities but in also making the politics of religious and the ethnic exclusivity more appealing
“The nation therefore needs to evolve a system of leadership selection and accountability, which produces the sort of leaders that would confront the challenges associated with our history, socio-economic inequality, and building viable institutions for democracy and good governance.
He submitted that “in essence, politicians, public officials and political office holders must be those who are not necessarily detached from religion, but who have the understanding that religion is in itself a tool for peace, progress and sustainable development.
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