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  Christian, Muslim Leaders Warn against Secession, Violence

   Christian, Muslim Leaders Warn against Secession, Violence

By Paul Obi in Abuja

Christian and Muslim leaders yesterday in Abuja warned against any plan for secession that will separate any part of the country from Nigeria.

The warning was handed down during a ceremony where Christian and Muslim leaders broke fast at the National Mosque, Abuja.

The leaders also cautioned against the orgy of violence that has engulfed the country in recent times, ranging from Boko Haram terrorism, herdsmen and locals clashes, kidnapping and militancy in some parts of the country.

Speaking at the event, President of the Niger Delta Bishops and Ministers Forum, Dr. Julius Ediwe, warned that God will hold religious leaders responsible in Nigeria is divided.

Ediwe made the assertion when he led a delegation to pay a courtesy call on the Executive Secretary, Abuja National Mosque Management Board, Alhaji Ibrahim Jega, on Friday in Abuja.

He explained that the role of religious leaders in promoting peace and tolerance between Muslims and Christians could not be overemphasised, adding that both Christian and Muslims should unite and pray for the peace of the country.

“I want to say to Nigeria that the texture of violence that is going on in the country is the evident of trouble coming to the country.

“I am calling on all Christian religious bodies that if anything happen to this country Nigeria with the texture of violence we are experiencing all over the places God will hold us the religious leaders.

“So I am using that to say all religion both Christian and Muslims should come together and pray for the peace of this country.

“We want peace for this country and that is why I came here to the National Mosque to meet our brothers to come together and pray for the country,” Ediwe said.

He added that there could never be any meaningful development without peace in the country, appealed to all Nigerians to live in peace with one another irrespective of their religious difference.

The bishop called on all Christian’s bodies to ensure that their followers shun all forms of violence, support the Government of President Muhammadu Buhari and pray for his quick recovery.

“I am here at the National Mosque Abuja to thank God for the month of Ramadan which is going on in the Muslims community”, he said.

Bishop John Peters, the Secretary, United Bishops and Eminent Clerics Initiative (UBECI), said that the initiative support the anti-corruption crusade of President Buhari, stating that, “corruption is the biggest problem of Nigeria.

“One of the reason for coming here is to ensure that Nigeria have sustainable peace and development,” he said.

Speaking, Jega said the visit of the President of the Niger Delta Bishops and the Ministers Forum signified that Nigeria was one entity under the almighty God.

The executive secretary also said that the physical presence of the Bishop at the Mosque in the month of Ramadan signified solidarity as it was not only Muslims that fast, Christians also do fast.

“Nigeria is a country comprising of Muslims and Christians and so God wants us to be and so we shall be, nobody can separates Christian from Muslims or Muslims from Christians in Nigeria.

“Nobody will disunite and bring any crack in Nigeria as a country and we will continue as one indivisible nation as one Nigeria.

“We will also continue as Christians and Muslims living under God with love and respect for one another despite the fact that our worship may be different but we have to respect one another,” Jega maintained.

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