The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, has decried the danger posed to the nation’s unity by hate speeches being promoted by religious leaders and youths across the country.
The minister, who spoke when the Archbishop of Abuja Catholic Archdiocese, John Cardinal Onaiyekan visited him in his office in Abuja, called on religious leaders to curb incessant hate speech which, he said, is posing a challenge to peaceful co-existence amongst Nigerians.
“I want to urge you to use your position to fight the menace of hate speech, especially among our youth.”
. He bemoaned the fact that the social media is being used as a platform to propagate hate and regretted a situation where religious preachers are also involved in the harmful practice.
“This was not the case when we were growing up” he continued. Back then we were each other’s keeper and that is how it is supposed to be.”
The Minister described Cardinal Onaiyekan as a man of peace and commended him for championing interfaith cooperation and promoting peaceful co-existence through dialogue.
He pledged the continued support of the FCTA to the Archbishop’s activities in the pursuit of peace.
Malam Muhammad Bello also commended the Cardinal for the successful relocation of the church’s Daughters of Charity Hospital, Bwari to its new location.
In his remarks, Archbishop Onaiyekan commended the FCT Administration for its support to the Church’s activities, especially in the area of education even as he solicited partnership of the FCTA in the management of some schools that will benefit the less privileged in the society.
The Archbishop also drew the Minister’s attention to the establishment of the John Onaiyekan Foundation for Peace, adding that the Foundation is involved in a lot of activities geared towards promoting peaceful coexistence and interfaith cooperation.
They include the training of several religious stakeholders cutting across the major religions in the country on peace and unity and plans to also hold an interfaith football tournament.