Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu (left) exchanging greetings with Sultan of Sokoto and Co-Chair of NIREC, His Eminence Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar (right) during the third quarter meeting of the Inter-Religious Council of Nigeria (NIREC) on the theme “Working Together for Justice and Peace”, at the Lagos Continental Hotel, Victoria Island, on Monday, September 26, 2022. With them: President of the Christian Association of Nigeria ( CAN) and co-chairman of NIREC, Bishop Daniel Okoh (second from right), followed by Etsu of Nupe, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar and Emeritus Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, His Eminence John Cardinal Onaiyekan.
• As governor urges people to be wary of words and actions regarding 2023 election
Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu; The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha, and the leaders of the Nigeria Inter-Religion Council (NIREC) called on Nigerians, regardless of their religious and ethnic differences, to work together for peace and justice in the country.
Sanwo-Olu, Mustapha and NIREC Co-Chairs – Sultan of Sokoto and Head of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), His Eminence Mohammed Sa’ad Abubakar and President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. (Dr.) Daniel Okoh, made the call on Monday during the 3rd Quarter 2022 meeting of the Inter-Religious Council of Nigeria held at the Lagos Continental Hotel, Victoria Island.
In his address, Governor Sanwo-Olu urged religious and traditional leaders to continue to make preaching and promoting unity, peace, justice and tranquility in Nigeria a collective responsibility.
Speaking on the theme of the meeting, “Working Together for Justice and Peace”, Governor Sanwo-Olu said that promoting unity, peace, justice and tranquility in Nigeria will lead peaceful coexistence between peoples.
“I believe that with the NIREC case that we have today and have seen consistently, this country will not be put to shame. I hope that the conversations, discussions and decisions at the NIREC meeting will further reinforce this thing that we have all sworn to; to ensure justice, peace and equity in this country.
“We are at a time when this country needs all of us, now more than ever before and therefore, we should not allow hate speech. We cannot afford ethnic bigotry. We cannot afford to be divided. We are going to the elections; let us see the commitment and nationality in all of us,” Governor Sanwo-Olu urged Nigerians.
The Governor also expressed his administration’s commitment to distributing the dividends of democracy in Lagos State. “As a political leader, the only way not to disappoint our people is to ensure good governance. I am here as your 15th Governor of Lagos State and I want to reiterate that the ‘Greater Lagos’ agenda is something we have committed to and signed onto,” he said.
Speaking on the ongoing strike of the Academic Staff Union of the University (ASUU) and the union’s confrontation with the federal government, Governor Sanwo-Olu said that although none of the three state-owned universities from Lagos is on strike, it is painful that children from other universities have been home for the past seven months.
Sanwo-Olu, who called on ASUU to call off the strike and get students back to school, said the university union and the federal government should quickly resolve the lingering issue requiring a strike lasting more than seven months “to not to jeopardize the future of our children.”
Mustapha, who was represented by the permanent secretary in the office of the secretary to the government of the federation, Dr Maurice Nnamdi Mbaeri, said the meeting was a call for the national duty to take an active part in the renewal of struggling communities.
He instructed people, especially religious leaders, to work for justice, peace and fair play to create the change needed so that Nigerians can always live in unity and harmony.
“I want to charge each of us to work for a peace that will endure and outlive us by creating functional structures for generations to come. This structure must have the ability to be proactive in responding to emerging issues while reinforcing a longer and broader process of change. We cannot give up when we see problems emerging,” he said.
The Sultan of Sokoto, co-chairman of NIREC, said the role of religious leaders is to be fair and just to gain the trust of the people. He also urged Muslims and Christians in the country to unite in pursuit of peace and justice as they are inseparable.
He pleaded with ASUU to call off the ongoing strike, saying the federal government and the university union should find common ground to resolve their dispute in the interests of students, who have not been to the school in the last seven months.
CAN Chairman and NIREC Co-Chair Reverend Daniel Okoh urged people to embrace peace, refrain from hate speech, live in peaceful coexistence with each other, be responsible, elect capable leaders in the 2023 general election and to abhor tribal sentiments. , among other vices.
In his speech, NIREC Executive Secretary Cornelius Omonokhua said the meeting was aimed at changing existing narratives to allow justice and peace to reign in Nigeria.
He said there was a need for mental re-engineering, change in values and attitudes as well as radical emancipation to tackle the root cause of various calamities of national concern. Also speaking, the Commissioner for Home Affairs of Lagos State, Prince Anofiu Elegushi called on the religious leaders to continue preaching peace and unity to foster the development of the country.