This Day (Lagos)

Nigeria: Arcbishop of Jos Preaches Peace

In his pursuit for peace the Catholic Archbishop of Jos, Most Rev. Ignatius Kaigama, Thursday paid a courtesy visit to the Chief Imam of Jos Central Mosque, Sheikh Balarabe Dawood, at the Central Mosque in Jos, where he presented assorted relief materials to the Muslims who were of late displaced by flood in Rikkos Town of Jos North Local Government Council of Plateau State.

No fewer than 50 people died in the fierce flood that also washed away some houses and personal belongings.

According to Kaigama, the visit was to "dispel the fears that Muslims and Christians cannot meet. You can see, we are here to show that these are our brothers and sisters. Yes, sometimes we have disagreements and tensions but it is not by being afraid of each other that the problem will be solved. It is by coming together.

"So, today we have come to dispel that fear that Muslims and Christians in Plateau State cannot meet. We can meet because there are good Muslims and there good Christians and they can meet.

"It is only the bad ones that are causing the trouble. We have come also to share in the tragedy of our brothers and sisters, mostly who are of the Muslim faith due to the flood; they lost property, lost houses and even lost lives. We just came as a symbolic gesture to the Chief Imam here and together we are going to visit them and we have brought a few articles, food and other materials to help the victims. This is why we have come and you can see how we are well received in the mosque."

The cleric added that in a larger Nigerian society, he will continue to appeal to the conscience of both the Muslims and Christians to embrace one another because sentiments sometimes take over where people fail to see what needs to be done.

Kaigama presented a letter to the Chief Imam, suggesting how Christian youths and Muslim youths should be joined together in the issues of justice.

"They should learn to appreciate one another. This is what it should be. But unfortunately sentiments take over. We will not fail to preach that the only way to harmony is when we come together. We have our differences. We worship differently. But that is not enough to cause all the evil, all the violence and hatred that we witness. It is not good. I think we have the same God and we should behave as children of God."

Responding, the Chief Imam, who spoke in Arabic, thanked the Archbishop for his kind gesture, praying to God to end the insecurity that is facing the state and the country at large.

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