IDFP Nigeria News

The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Abubakar III and the Archbishop of Abuja, Cardinal John Onaiyekan will on Jan. 16, lead religious leaders in a two-day interfaith conference on peaceful elections and national security.

Determined to ensure peaceful general elections, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III and the Archbishop of Abuja, Cardinal John Onaiyekan will Wednesday lead religious leaders across the nation in a two day conference on role of interfaith communities during the polls.

Coming under the auspices of the General Assembly of Interfaith Dialogue Forum for Peace [IDFP], the conference slated for Abuja will also discuss the imperative of National Security in the conduct of the elections according to a Press Statement signed by the body’s Co-Chairmen, Alhaji Ishaq Kunle Sanni and Bishop Sunday Onuoha.

IDFP is a national interfaith and intercultural dialogue forum that has the peaceful co-existence of all government recognised religions as well as ethnic groups in Nigeria as its central objective.

“ As religious leaders, we should be careful about what we say to our followers in churches and mosque bearing in mind that we will all one day stands before Allah and account for our deeds.

“ We should never allow ourselves to be used by any political party or candidate. If you want to support any party or candidates do it personally,“ … Sultan

He stressed the need for spiritual leaders to continue to preach the word of God with honesty and sincerity for the good of humanity and sustainable peace in the country.

He admonished politicians to be responsive and uphold national interest by playing politics according to the rules and be ready for free, fair and credible elections.

The sultan also appealed to the security agencies to discharge their responsibilities diligently by ensuring peaceful atmosphere throughout the election period.

In a paper titled, 2019 General Elections and National Security: the Role of Interfaith Communities, Prof. Sani Lugga, said Interfaith communities have a critical role to play in ensuring credible elections.

Lugga said Muslims and Christians had the ultimate duty and responsibility of making Nigeria peaceful and progressive by putting the religiosity into practice in daily private and public lives.

“ Nigerian Muslim and Christian leaders at all levels must take up the challenges of seeing to religious peace, understanding and accommodation.

“ This is the most important role that interfaith community in Nigeria can play towards the attainment of peaceful, free, fair and credible 2019 elections,“ Lugga said.

Mr James Igwe, SAN, urged interfaith leaders to exercise restraint in putting to public domain, persuasively optimistic views in form of prophesies that declare who would win or lose the 2019 elections.

“ Nigerians are yet to cast their votes, yet some religious leaders are seen as biasing the minds of voters and swaying votes from one candidate to the other.

“ I urge interfaith leaders to use prophesies to promote peace and love as well as act in manners consistent with tolerance and harmony,“ Igwe said.

Other participants are heads of security agencies, traditional rulers across all the geo-political zones, chairmen of all registered political parties, labour unions, student bodies, NGOs, socio-cultural and women organisations.

Keynote addresses will be delivered by Mr. J. U. K. Igwe (SAN) and the Wazirin Katsina, Prof. Sani Lugga while all KAICIID Dialogue Centre Fellows in Nigeria will be Observers at the conference.

The Vienna based KAICCID is the only intergovernmental organisation with a Board of Directors made up of representatives from major world religions and founded by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Republic of Austria and Kingdom of Spain. The Holy See is admitted as a Founding Observer to the centre.

The establishment of IDFP in February 2016 was funded and facilitated by KAICIID Dialogue Centre, Vienna in partnership and collaboration with Interfaith Mediation Centre [IMC], IPCR and Kukah Centre.

Resource from & Upshot Reports

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