The director-general of Voice of Nigeria, Abubakar Jijiwa has pleaded with Nigerians to adopt a non-discriminatory approach to issues of religion.
He stated this at a seminar organised by Eckankar Nigeria in conjunction with the National Orientation Agency of Nigeria at the international conference center, Abuja.
He said that the Prophet Mohammed worked out the first written constitution which guaranteed religious freedom and harmony. “They lived side by side and engage in commerce. The rules of engagement were clearly stated and only offenders were brought to book’.
According to him “our peculiarity can be attributed to glorification of religious crises and inability to drive to the root the required precision, inability of security personnel to envisage and track religious crises before it breaks out, over zealousness and lack of restraint on the part of some security personnel who embark on killing innocent people during crises, inadequate security manpower training and equipment which makes security personnel easy preys in the hands of hoodlums, failure to research into the root causes of crises and plan to forestall them, inability of government to implement white paper on previous crises, which would better situate the country to manage future occurrence and deliberate use of religion for personal gratification by public and political office holders”.
Earlier, the area director, Eckankar FCT, Nassarawa and Niger, Engr. Emeka Ezeh stated that” both organisations are steering Nigerians to the path of rectitude especially with reference to issues of religious tolerance and respect for the freedom of others. These informed the theme ‘religious harmony in a secular state’.
He further stated that, his understanding of the theme is that, in a secular state, no faith is a state religion, although all faiths are welcomed, provided they do not break the country’s laws or inconvenient adherents of other faiths.
On his part, the director-general of NOA, mike Omeri who advocated for the scrapping of state sponsored pilgrims said” states should have a rethink about its involvement in religious matters, which by our constitution are private matters”.
He further urged Nigerians to adopt a non- discriminatory prayer acceptable to all religions citing the national anthem as an example.