*Says if you don’t report hate preachers you are part of Nigeria’s problems
The Sultan of Sokoto and Leader of the Muslim Ummah of Nigeria, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, has called for the arrest and prosecution of people who preach hate in the country.
The Sultan, whose position on what should be done to hate preachers was corroborated by representative of President of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Bishop Steven Ayorinde, said preachers of hate had brought friction between Christians and Muslims in Nigeria.
According to the Sultan, while all pray for peace there was need for both religions to report preachers of hate to the security agencies for proper investigation adding that no external people can bring peace to the country.
Sultan stated this today at the opening ceremony of a 2- Day event organised by International Dialogue Centre (KAICIID), an inter-governmental organisation that promotes dialogue to build peace in conflict areas that is based in Vienna, Austria.
The programme is supported by the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR), in collaboration with the Inter faith Mediation Centre (IMC), which brought together 100 key actors from diverse Nigerian communities, both Christian and Muslim, to find common ground to build and support a platform for inter religious dialogue in Nigeria.
“There is friction between Christians and Muslims which is caused by preachers of hate. While we pray for peace and dialogue preachers of hate must be reported to the security agencies.”
“I will not hesitate to add here that no outsider can bring peace to us. The outsiders can only help us. We must work hard for peace and leave in peace,” the Sultan said.
“All of us believe in dialogue that is why we are here. Some of us are outside Abuja and we have to travel in such a distance to this place. This shows what we want.”
“Some people call for violence, killings which is contrary to our holy books. We are not here to teach ourselves the holy books, but to use them appropriately.”
“How do we engage with people that profess Christianity and Islam but preach hate? We must support the security agencies to deal with them. If we want to resolved issues, we must tell ourselves the truth. Those who don’t want peace, we must collaborate with authorities to deal with them,” the Sultan said.
He said because of insecurity, people from some part of Kaduna did not came out to celebrate Christmas as a result of curfew.
“More than 80 percent of the people that were kept indoor knows nothing about the problem. When you keep quit, it means you support what other individuals are doing and the masses will suffer.”
“I have not lost hope in this country. I have never lost hope in my relationship with Christians. If you did something wrong, I will call you and advise you. We must continue to show love as our religion ordered us,” the Sultan said.
While speaking on the need for the group to implement all the recommendations of the programme, Sultan Sa’ad said: “The problem is not coming to seat down here. We must go out and implement it them.”
He said by February, the National Inter religious Council (NIREC) will meet and talk on the prevailing issues in Nigeria.
“Let’s be careful on what we say to our followers. When you encourage people to take up arms, you should be called to order,” Sultan added.
Represented at the event by Bishop Steven Adegbite, President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Dr. Supo Ayokunle, said there was no better time of Nigerians to unite than now.
He said no religion encouraged people to kill and called on the Nigerian leaders to come together and design a road map.
“We have to be in Kaduna and Adamawa states to see what we can do to help the people that have been displaced,” he said.
The CAN President called on Nigerians to be their brothers’ keeper adding that, “Only God give and take away life.”
Speaking to pressmen after the event, Adegbite said hate preachers should be arrested by security agents.