Buhari, Obasanjo, Abdulsalami lay foundation for centre for Christian-Muslim relations


The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd); former President Olusegun Obasanjo; former Head of State, Abdulsalami Abubakar as well as the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rev. Justin Welby; were among the dignitaries that laid the foundation stone of the Kaduna Centre for the study of Christian-Muslim relations and the promotion of peace.

They all harped on peaceful coexistence among the adherents of the two major religions in the country – Christianity and Islam.

The President noted that laying the foundation for the centre signified the entrenchment of peace not only in Kaduna State but the entire north and indeed Nigeria that had over the years suffered religious crises.

Buhari, while congratulating the founder of the centre and Secretary of the Anglican Communion Worldwide, Archbishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon, on Tuesday, urged all well-meaning Nigerians to support the centre for the good of the country.

He said his regime would continue to support the centre and other efforts geared toward the promotion of peace, understanding and cooperation between the Muslim ummah(community) and their Christian counterpart in the country generally and within the Northern states in particular.

Buhari, who was represented at the event by the Minister of State for Education, Hon. Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, said, “I thank Archbishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon too who has devoted his life to the work of peace between Christians and Muslims, Nigeria, particularly in our Northern States.

“Today is an important day for the centre and indeed for the entire Nigeria religious community. As you lay the foundation stone, you are putting down a new foundation for peace in the North of Nigeria.

“I called on all here present today and those who may not be present, to support this effort to promote peace, understanding and cooperation between Muslim ummah (community) and the Christian community in our country generally and within the Northern states in particular.”

Obasanjo, in a virtual goodwill message to the gathering, preached peaceful coexistence among Nigerians irrespective of their religious affinities.

According to the former President, adherents of the two major religions worship the same God, adding that there should be no antagonism or acrimony in worshipping the same God.

Also, in his virtual message, a former Head of State and Chairman, National Peace Commission, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, congratulated the centre, saying it was a good initiative for establishing the centre for the promotion of peaceful co-existence in the country.

Abubakar assured the centre of the National Peace Commission’s support.

Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai, represented by his Deputy, Dr. Hadiza Balarabe, said the state government was proud to support the centre for the promotion, religious tolerant that would ensure peaceful co-existence in the state.

The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, represented by the Emir of Zazzau, Alhaji Ahmed Bamali, commended the founder of the centre, saying that Nigerian Christians and Muslims would immensely benefit from the centre.

The Sultan, however, stressed the need for the people to understand each other, pointing out that “if we should understand each other, we shall live peacefully with each other.”

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rev. Justin Welby, commended the founder of the centre, Fearon for devoting himself to the promotion of peaceful coexistence among Nigerians.

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