Leadership (Abuja)

13 February 2013

Nigeria: Christians Not Target of Bombings in the North - Sultan

The Sultan of Sokoto , Alhaji Abubakar Sa'ad, has said that Christians are not the target of bombings and killings in the North. This was even as he said that dialogue was the best option for any conflict situation and urged religious leaders in the country to always speak the truth.

The royal father spoke during an interactive session with religious groups at Ibom hall at the ongoing first quarter meeting of the Nigeria Inter-religious Council (NIREC) in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.

The Sultan said that Nigerians should not depend solely on what they read on the pages of newspapers in analysing insecurity in the north.

The royal father said, "It is not true that Christians are target for killing and bombings in some parts of the North, even those who are targeting churches are said to be from other religious beliefs.

"Criminals carry out their criminal activities because they are criminally minded and we must fish them out and deal with them in accordance with the laws of the land. And unless we all rise up to deal with them, we will not achieve what we want to achieve."

He urged religious leaders to be sincere in their discussions and contributions to issues affecting National Security in order to bring to an end the problems affecting the country.

Also speaking, the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, commended the muslim leaders for their role in resolving the crisis that had engulfed some parts of the North, but urged them to do more.

He said that NIREC as a body is an important and veritable organ that could build bridges across religions in this country.

"NIREC is the best platform that can be used to foster unity and promote peace in this country. I believe that with the Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs the Christian Association of Nigeria, we will continue to partner with each other and Nigerians of goodwill for the collective desire of our countrymen and women to enthrone a befitting and united country that we can all be proud of.

"If we can genuinely foster the unity that we so much desire and talk about, we can together speak the truth and demand accountability for our appointed and elected officials in government. In this way, Nigeria will be better for it," he stated.

Oritsejafor also urged government at all levels to also strive effectively to manage the economic unit of the country and bring to book those found to be corrupt and polluting the transparent system already in place.

He said, "The federal government must appreciate that it has the upper hand in this fight to unite the country and her people. They must remember that equity and justice are the bases of peace in any society" he stated.

Highlight of the meeting was the inauguration of the Akwa Ibom state branch of the Nigeria Inter-religious Council and was attended by His Eminence the Sultan of Sokoto, Abubakar Sa'aid, President of CAN, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, and the Etsu Nupe, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar.

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