BY REMILEKUN DARAMOLA in Maiduguri•
The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) has advocated for an urgent need for the convocation of inter-faith dialogue in most communities in the country to checkmate the explosion of religious extremism
Speaking on Wednesday after the close of a year long programme on inter-faith dialogue and social events in Gwoza, the former caliphate of Boko Haram, the Project Officer of CDD, Steve Amuda, said situation across the country has made it imperative for inter-faith dialogue to be held.
He noted that this would broaden the understanding about various religions and make Nigerians to see themselves as brothers and sisters across religious lines rather than enemies.
He said on the commencement of the programme in Gwoza, Borno State, the faithful of the two major religions, Islam and Christianity, see themselves as enemies and there was an allegation that it was the Muslims that sponsored the killings of the Christians in the town.
He said in the course of the programme 20 youth and 20 traditional and religious leaders were carefully selected for training and mentoring and today they live like families with respect for each other religion.
“Since the beginning of the inter-faith dialogue they are able to come together as one, there has been no discrimination between Christians and Muslims. Though they were living in peace before the insurgency but the inter-faith dialogue has shed more light on the teachings of the Holy Books in context of love.
“The inter-faith dialogue has made Christian pastors and Muslim Imams to exchange visits which was not encouraged before.
“They have agreed to be coming together every month to clean the Market Square and the Central Primary School, churches and mosques in Gwoza.”
He said if such activities is replicated across the country, there will be promotion of religious tolerance and some of the issues promoting insecurity would be tackled.