The Nigeria Inter Religious Council (NIREC) has expressed worry over the persistent loss of lives and property occasioned by acts of terrorism, religious intolerance, communal strife and pipeline vandalism in the country.
This is contained in a communiqué issued at the end of its 2013 first quarterly meeting of the council held in Uyo, Akwa Ibom. The communiqué was signed by the trio of Alhaji Sa'ad Abubakar, Sultan of Sokoto and Co-Chairman of the council, Pastor Ayodele Oritsejafor, President of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, the National Coordinator of NIREC.
NIREC stated that since no religion teaches violence, the sacredness of human lives must be safeguarded at all times.
It noted that the outbreak of political violence was associated with poverty, underdevelopment and unequal distribution of resources and called for equity and justice as the basis for peace in any society.
While condemning the attack on Alhaji Ado Bayero, Emir of Kano and killings of health workers, the council called on government at all levels to detect, expose and prosecute those responsible for the acts. "The Federal Government must exhibit the political will to tackle all forms of security challenges using its relevant agencies.
"Police-Community Relations Committees should be established where they do not presently exist and encouraged at the grassroots level to strengthen security and peaceful coexistence," the communiqué stated.
NIREC reiterated its appeals to political, religious and traditional leaders at all levels to desist from making offensive and divisive comments capable of heating up the polity. The council equally appealed to the National Assembly to let the will of the people prevail in the ongoing review of the constitution and make laws that would ensure that no Nigerian was made a "settler" anywhere in the country.
On corruption, NIREC condemned its increasing rate and urged governments at all levels to put in place strategies that would ensure that corrupt people were punished. The council also called on governments and private sector to create more jobs for the teeming youths to reduce poverty in the land.
It, however, urged the Federal Government to expedite action on power generation to facilitate the employment of more Nigerians, ensure economic development and reduce restiveness in the land.
NIREC congratulated the Archbishop of Abuja Diocese, His Eminence, Cardinal John Onaiyekan, on his recent elevation to the status of Cardinal as well as all Nigerians on the recent victory of Super Eagles in South Africa.
The council commiserated with a former member of the council, Dr Lateef Adegbite and prayed for the repose of his soul.
NAN reports that NIREC is an inter faith council composed of 50 members with Christians and Muslims having 25 members each.