Friday, 30 January 2015

COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF THE INTERFAITH FORUM FOR PEACE AND SOCIAL TRANSFORMATION ORGANIZED BY KAIROS NIGERIA HELD AT THE INSTITUTE OF CHURCH AND SOCIETY,SAMONDA, IBADAN ON THE 28TH -30TH OF DECEMBER 2014 FOCUSED ON THE NEED TO BUILD YOUNG INTERFAITH VOICE TO ADDRESS THE RISING RELIGIOUS TENSION AMONG CHRISTIAN AND MUSLIM FAITHFUL IN NIGERIA.



Nigeria with its diversity of culture, over 250 ethnic groups and tribes is better described a ‘Nation of many nations’. While some of us view this diversity as an advantage from which the country can greatly benefit if our resources (human and material) are carefully harnessed, selfish politicians have over the years exploited the prevalent poverty, illiteracy and ignorance of many, to use our diversity as a people, to foment strife, distrust among the various tribes, ginger religious intolerance and perpetrate corrupt acts.

The core of our national challenges as a nation is the growing religious extremism been introduce by politicians and some religious leaders, the creation of gap and disunity between the two major faiths ( Muslim/Christians) which for example manifest at every time of selection of candidates for the highest political office in Nigeria, as seen by the tension raised on speculation of  Muslim-Muslim ticket as it affected the main opposition party All Progressive Congress (APC) was so disturbing that one can clearly see the danger and fragile religious sentiments in Nigeria.

Now, as we project into the near future as a people, we must accept the fact that the only geographical space we can easily lay claim to is Nigeria, therefore, we as young people, Students and future (religious or political) leaders have decided to chart the course of religious harmony and tolerance, to rescue what remains of our inclusiveness as a Nation.  We draw strength from the location of our worship places at the University of Ibadan where the central mosque and the Chapel stood side-by-side and ever since we have not recorded any clashes. This points out to us that we can worship and relate as a people in the larger society.

The interfaith forum for peace and social forum that held between 28-30 December, 2014, among Muslim and Christian students of the University of Ibadan as organized by Kairos Nigeria, therefore identified the followings as remote cause of religious intolerance and violence in Nigeria


·        Hate Speech
·        Unguarded Sermon
·        Un regulated Practice of religious functions
·        High rate of Un employment
·        Loss of morality in preaching
·        Ethnic and tribal segregations
·        Influence of foreign religious sects that breeds groups such as the “Boko Haram”
As a way forward and response to the above listed, the forum considers the followings:
·        That the  government should create a religious regulatory body to monitor speech and help to combating intolerance
·        That government must register all religious training institutions in Nigeria; this will reduce the proliferation of institutions that teach heresy and hard-beliefs.
·        The law of Nigeria must be explicit enough on Insurgency and related vices
·        That utilization of the new curriculum on Religion and National value must be re- visited, the core theme of : Security Education, Civic Education, Social Studies and Religious Education must be made compulsory at all levels of education in the country
We therefore call on all to help in the task of explaining the difference between Education and Westernization. Magnification of our collective value will push Nigeria in a way of Peace; therefore religious leaders should champion Media orientation to achieve stability.
The Interfaith forum concluded with a decision to continuing action without any further delay and achieves the followings as a matter of urgency:
·        Publish the communiqué in a national newspaper
·        Spread it on Social Media platforms
·        Embark on Advocacy visit by the combine team under the leadership of Kairos Nigeria to prominent Islamic and Christian religious leaders, with the aim of bringing them together to address a joint sitting of Christian and Muslim youths at a forum
·        Immediately produce a joint IEC materials with Christian and Islamic quotes on peace and tolerance
·        Intensify shift to lectures on Transformation at addressing collective challenges such as corruption and un employment.

ATTENDANCE
S/N
NAME
FAITH
1
SANUSI Saheed Bello
Islam
2
OREKOYA  Adefolurin O.
Christianity
3
SALAM  Taofeek  O.
Islam
4
AKINLEYE  Hassan K.
Islam
5
SODOLA Nurudeen G.
Islam
6
ADELAKUN Adeyemi
Christianity
7
ADEBAYO Kehinde Anthony
Christianity
8
ADELAKUN Oluseyi Esther
Christianity
9
SANNI Alliu Ademola
Islam
10
RAJI Nasirudeen Kolawole
Islam
11
OWOLABI Stephen
Christianity
12
ADESANYA Adenike
Christianity
13
ANI Matthew Chibuzor
Christianity
14
ALADE Elijah
Christianity
15
SHAKIRUDEEN Zakariyah Akintade
Islam
16
AROWOLO Yetunde
Christianity
17
ABUBAKAR Tijani
Islam
18
QUADRI Aminat
Islam
19
FADAHUNSI Kolade
Christianity

Prepared by Rev. Kolade Fadahunsi.
This project is sponsored by the Karibu Foundation Norway.

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