BY CHRISTIANA T. ALABI, 21 APRIL 2014
Kaduna — Christians and Muslims in Kaduna came together on the evening of Good Friday to dine together in the spirit of Easter.
At the gathering, adherents of both religions sat together without discrimination, ate and interacted for over two hours on how to achieve lasting peace in the state and country.
The meeting was organised by the Christian, Muslim Peace Initiative in Nigeria in collaboration with Peace Revival and Reconciliation Foundation and other non governmental organizations working on peace in the state.
In his opening remarks, president and founder of Peace, Revival and Reconciliation Foundation, Pastor Yohanna Buru, said the essence of the gathering was for people to sit together regardless of their differences and speak with maturity and understanding.
“We don’t want relative peace but lasting peace that will come to stay in Northern Nigeria, Nigeria and in Africa. We are not asking anyone to compromise his/her faith but if we can understand one another, we will live in peace. We expect you to extend this gospel of peace to people in your communities when you get back home.
Co-chairman of Christian, Muslim Peace Initiative in Nigeria, Garba Muhammed, on his part, said the idea of the meeting was conceived two years ago when Muslims joined their Christian counterparts to break fast during the Lenten period.
“When it was time to say the Magrib prayers, the Christians offered us a place to pray in their premises. The prayers we offered that day became a symbol of peace. The impression out there is that Christians don’t like Muslims and vice versa, there is suspicion everywhere. We promote dis-unity in our places of worship, yet we go to the same market and our children go to the same schools. Our findings have shown that there is nothing like religious killing, but that some elements and criminals are using the situation which we generated ourselves to perpetrate terror against innocent persons,” he said.
Also speaking, chairman of the Fulani Peace Initiators of Nigeria, Sale Bako, said Fulanis are peace loving people and that anyone who says otherwise is lying.
“I am a Fulani man, but was born and brought up in Southern Kaduna. I was the only Muslim in my primary school but I was appointed the Head Boy because of the peace that existed at that time. The people who are behind the crises are succeeding because they are taking advantage of our ignorance,” he said.
Leader of the Yoruba community, Alhaji Mohammed Arigbabuwo, who was also present at the event, blamed Nigeria leaders for the crises.
“Greed has covered the eyes of our leaders and that is why we have problems. Some people want us to break up but God will not allow them. Religion is between you and God and nobody can fight for the Almighty,” he said.