Sultan, Oritsejafor lament failure of Muslims/Christians parleys

The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar (III) and the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor on Monday decried past inter-religious meetings that have failed to implement the peaceful resolutions.
They maintained that greater peace and harmony would have been achieved among the various religions in the country if lip-service had not been paid to the various resolutions of such meetings.
The duo spoke at a two- day roundtable meeting with Special Advisers on religious affairs from the 36 states of the Federation and the FCT held at the Banquet Hall of the State House, Abuja.
Oritsejafor said: “But if we would come together there must be sincerity, equality, fear of God and genuine love for one another. The problem with gatherings like this, is that if we are not careful it becomes an occasion for good photographs, we shake hands, we talk very nicely, we are all politically correct. We don’t want to offend each other. Please let’s offend each other, we need to. Because if we don’t offend each other, we will not tell each other the truth and that is part of Nigeria’s problem.”
“If you come out to say certain things there are those who feel you are rocking the boat, but God is in the boat, the boat will not sink. Let us talk to each other, let’s tell the truth to each other and let’s not sweep it under the carpet. When we finish the opening ceremony and you go into the close door session, lay all the cards in the table.”
He went on: “It is truth your Eminence that Christianity and Islam have no problem but I’m glad you said, they could be problem between Christians and Muslims and the reason is because probably we are not going deep enough.”
Likening Nigeria to the boat in the Holy Bible, that wanted to sink with Jesus Christ on board but did not sink, he noted that many things have happened in Nigeria that have rocked the boat, but the boat has remained standing.
He said: “Some are religious, political, tribal, but different things have happened that have rocked the boat. But let me still thank the Lord that the boat is still floating.”
Querying why a church in the North in the last 30 years have not been able to get a Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) for land, he said that any mosque or church should be able to get C of O anywhere in the country.
He charged the Sultan to also write a letter to Boko Haram to stop their attacks and not just the letter to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
He said: “His Eminence said he wrote a letter to ISIS, I have to truly congratulate you for that because that was a very good move. I didn’t know about it until today and I am so glad it happened. But I want to appeal that you also write to Boko Haram because Boko Haram is worst than ISIS. They have killed more people than ISIS, they have caused more atrocities than ISIS. They need to be written to as well, it is very important it will help.”
The Sultan noted that the fact that they had gathered to talk on the issue is a very important step to have peace and harmony in the country.
According to him, there is no problem between Christians and Muslims in the country except lack of education on the religions.
He said: “If we don’t tell our leaders the truth, they won’t know the problems. If we hear something here and go back to do something different, then we have failed.”
“We must tell our leaders the right thing and not what they want to hear. Muslims and Christians at all levels must sit together and discuss and we must implement what we discuss. We must work with our Holy scriptures.”
He also disclosed to the gathering that he has written a letter to those pushing for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) on why their action is against Islam.
Source: The Nation

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