Published on Oct 27, 2017 Greenbarge Reporters
The Interfaith Dialogue Forum for Peace (IDFP) has blamed politicians and public servants in Nigeria for instigating religious and ethnic tensions threatening to tear the country apart.
The group therefore called on Nigerian politicians to concentrate on good governance anchored on justice, equity and respect for human rights in order to achieve a conducive atmosphere for development.
The IDFP was formed through the intervention and funding of interfaith dialogue efforts in Nigeria through the support of the International Dialogue Centre, also known as KAICIID, based in Vienna, Austria.
Speaking at a news briefing at the Koch Centre, Abuja, the co-chairmen of the group, Alhaji Ishaq Kunle Sanni and Bishop Sunday Onuoha said that recent events in the country have threatened the peace and unity of Nigeria.
“IDFP observes the recent regional agitation and counter agitation in the country with great concern. We note that the increasing calls for secession and other forms of religious and ethnic cleavages undoubtedly threaten the peace and stability of this country.”
“Fortunately, the IDFP sees a silver lining in the dark clouds and hereby calls on all Nigerians to be hopeful about the future and not give in to the seeming despair that has enveloped the socio-economic and political atmosphere. We believe that destiny has brought us together as people of this great country to live together in one united country,” the group said.
“We want to particularly plead with Nigerians to shun hate and dangerous speeches especially at these trying times. Where regional and group concerns are genuine, we urge that those concerns should be expressed in peaceful language and within the ambit of the law. We only need to work harder to make Nigeria habitable for all and sundry. We have come a long way in interdependence that we must not allow political expediency, greed, pride and selfishness to blind our vision of one united and peaceful Nigeria.”
On conflicts between pastoralists and farming communities, the group expressed concern over the escalation of such conflicts, adding: “these conflicts have been taken to the religious, ethnic and regional platforms and, therefore, have been of very high destructiveness in both lives and property. We call on all stakeholders including the pastoralists, the farming communities and CSOs to be more proactive in the search for solutions.
“The IDFP therefore, urged both parties to embrace dialogue with the goal to resuscitate that mutual relationship between them and the fast disappearing traditional peace making and peace building mechanisms.
“Government should redouble its efforts, even if it means designing alternative methods of animal husbandry for local pastoralists. We particularly call for urgency in bringing succour to internally displaced persons.”
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