As the country prepares for 2023 general elections, religious preachers in Kano State have been urged to support the Civil Society Organization for Conflict Resolution in Nigeria (CS-CRIN) in it’s efforts at building peace and resolving conflicts within the various inter-religious faiths and the general community by using their sermons to promote peaceful coexistence and shun hate speeches.
Mr. Adeniyi Aremu, National Coordinator CS-CRIN made the call Tuesday during a 1 day training workshop on interfaith and religious conflicts management in Kano under “strengthening community engagement towards peace building and conflict management in Kano, Nigeria“(SCEPAC-Project) funded by the European Union -Agent for Citizen-Driven Transformation (ACT) program of the British Council and implemented by the CS-CRIN.
He said, cognizance to political periods in the country often characterized by violence and hate speeches which are already making the rounds necessitated the training for the religious leaders whom are known to have great influence over their adherents and also community leaders with the view to further cement the good relationship between the various groups.
” We want to see how our religious leaders can use their messages on the pulpits to sensitize their followers on the need to shun hate speech and violence as as we approach 2023 election.
Now is the time we have to agitate for peace, if we don’t lay the foundation for peace now, then what we would see thereafter is, we would not be able to curtail the voilance that may follow.
With such early move, we can curb excesses like hate speech, political violence and urban violence,” he added.
In another development, a 150 Man Community Peace Advocates were inaugurated during the workshop training with the mandate of ensuring peace within 12 selected local government areas of the state.
Aremu explained that the advocates will work within their communities to provide intelligence for the police and community leaders and report silently to relevant authorities any person or group of persons attempting to cause unrest in that community.
Admonishing the peace advocates shortly after he inaugurated them, Prof. M.B Shittu of Bayero University Kano tasks them to dedicate themselves towards peace building in their various communities.
According to him, it is a task that comes with sacrifices and as such, must redouble their efforts in order to achieve the desired goals.
A religious leaders, Hadi Ibrahim, Imam Hotoro Juma’at Mosque stated that the various differences that exists between the various groups of the country should be things to admire and unifying factors which other countries can emulate.
He stressed that people must focus on things that unites them so that the State and country can witness more development.