Kaduna — The Emir of Fika and Chairman, Yobe State Council of Chiefs, Alhaji Muhammadu Abali Ibn Muhammad Idrissa, has called on religious leaders in the country to rise up to their responsibility of maintaining peaceful co-existence between their adherents.
He made the call yesterday when members of the Yobe State correspondents chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists paid him a courtesy visit at his palace in Potiskum.
He said it was the responsibility of religious leaders to identify and report to relevant authorities any existing religious group in their domain that is out to cause trouble.
He lamented that such groups have been left to grow until they become strong enough to cause violence in the community.
To buttress his point, he cited the example of the Boko Haram group which caused a lot of bloodshed in Maiduguri and its environs.
He said the group did not just emerge from nowhere, stressing that they had been existing unchecked until it became strongly entrenched in the state.
The emir noted that the teachings and beliefs of the group contrasted sharply with the teachings of Islam, adding that Islam was a religion of peace and neither teaches nor encourages the shedding of human blood as displayed by the group.
"Their action was a shame to Islam". He pointed out that such activites was allowed to happen, because they were not checked earlier so as to control their teachings which would have saved the ugly incidence from occuring.
He therefore urged all religious leaders to take up the challenge of identifying all religious group in their domains so as to be able to check their teachings from deviating from the truth so as to avoid bloodshed.