BY: VITALIS UGOH, Calabar
The Federal government has been advised to as a matter of urgency draw 6out a national peace policy that will bring lasting peace and unity in the country.
The call was made by Christian and Moslem scholars at the 2020 peace march and International Peace Conference organised by the Association of the Brotherhood Academic Scholars in Abuja.
They also noted that the solution for peace in Nigeria is for Mr. President, Muhammadu Buhari to make his way to Calabar and pay homage to Leader Olumba Olumba Obu of the Brotherhood of Cross and Star (BCS), Calabar and thereafter “Nigeria’s problems will be over”.
In their various submissions made available to some news men in Calabar yesterday, the spokesman of the BCS, Christ Shepard Edet Archibong after the 2020 Association of Brotherhood Academic Scolars (ABAS) Peace March and International Peace Conference in Abuja, they said “all religions must come together and stop the killings in Nigeria and embrace peace”.
In his paper entitled “the quest for sustainable Peaceful Coexistence as a tool for National Development:The Islamic Perspective “the Executive Director, Inter-Faith Mediation Centre, Kaduna, Dr Mohammed Ashafa, said what Nigerians need most is coexistence .
While thanking the Brotherhood Cross and Star (BCS) as organizers of this Peace Conference for this noble innovation of spiritual re-reawakening as part of the organization Corporate responsibility and all collaborating institutions, he said, “peace begins with me. Working for the peace of others is working for yourself. Peace policy in Nigeria is not signed yet we are going for peace missions in the World but with the national peace march we believe Olumba can start this journey”.
Ashafa who is an Imam in Kaduna said, “the National Peace Policy of this nation needs to be fast tracked from the presidency to National Assembly (NASS) and out in public domain and in public schools as soon as possible. There is the need for a clear road map vision for Nigeria”.
“If African Union had vision 2063, and Nigeria had failed vision 20:2020, then today we need to have a clear perhaps vision 2050 with a comprehensive National Peace Architecture. A peace architecture that places our youth at the driver’s seat as pilot of our nation development and destiny, he added”
“As believers, we must learn to say no to politicization of religion and religionization of the political process. As people of faith we must learn to promote the theology of liberation and Communication and embrace the culture of nonviolence as instrument for actualization of our vision and goal. Believers must learn to say no to any form of hate speeches”.
He said ” the Interfaith Mediation Centrer is willing to collaborate with the Brotherhood of the Cross and Star in promoting and defending our Nation peace and security architectures through interfaith approach as one of the oldest interfaith peace building organization across the nation.
Like Indonesia with different languages he said, “As Nigerian, we must define our principles of coexistence within our historical and cultural context. Islam encourages dialogue across faith as tools for peaceful coexistence. In Nigeria there are many wolves in ship clothing. In the Global Peace Index out of 163 countries in the world, Nigeria is not among the best 20 but among the worst 20. In corruption Nigeria is among the red line countries using health, education, security, access to justice as the indicators or parameter.
“We are fighting corruption yet we are among the most corrupt countries in the world, yet the most religious country in the world. I see religion as a tool for peace. Let us work together as a nation”.
On his part, the National Director, Heavenly Tribal Messiahs (HTM), Dr Rapheal Oko, said ” there is no kingdom of heaven in the sky, the messiah is born on earth and we need to tell ourselves the truth.
“On earth our resources are not effectively utilized for development. We need a national culture of peace in the country and we need a national peace college. We must move away from funding war to funding peace and we must not reward violence but peace. Without God at the centre, there is no sustainable peace. We should pray and watch out. Every religion talks of peace and we should together as brothers and sisters. We must take responsibility to put Nigeria in proper position”
The Directorate of Evangelism and Senior Lecturer with Kogi State University, Prof David Irefin, said “the Federal Character is a source of disunity and not peace. In every government offices we give land for church and mosque yet no peace.
“Our leaders should sit down and think. Our presidential system is even worse than the parliamentary. No strategy will work unless we approach God. Olumba said we should come here and match for peace in Nigeria. Buhari should make his way to Calabar and the problem of Nigeria will be solved. Tell all religious leaders to recognize God and that is Olumba Olumba and they should bury their pride and arrogance and they will receive their blessing” .