By Usman Usman Garba
Kano State governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, has called on all religious leaders (Muslims and Christians) to desist from any form of campaign sentiment as Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has banned any political campaign in Mosques and Churches.
The governor stated this during the National Inter-Religious Conference with a theme ‘Harnessing Nigeria’s Religious Diversity for Sustainable Peace and National Development,’ held at Coronation Hall, Government House, Kano, yesterday.
He said: “With the 2023 general election just few months away, the electoral body, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) banned political campaign in Mosques and Churches.
“It is therefore very important to know that while choosing your candidate, you should desist from campaign sentiment in the course of our political campaign.”
He also informed all the participants to brainstorm and come with workable solution towards religious harmony, peace and development in the country.
He assured that, the state government was ready to assist and work on that. Governor Ganduje similarly expressed that the interface dialogue holding in the state had greatly assisted in fostering unity among Muslim and Christian faiths.
Governor Ganduje also commended all members of the committee for accepting to serve and also for coming up with befitting method of the conference that is expected to bring workable solution that would promote religious understanding, tolerance, peace and harmony in the country.
“Our future life and security lie together rather than apart, then, we must to come together to understand the power of faith, to bring possible solution to the world,” emphasized the governor.
He however, quoted from the two religions, where the Holy Books say: “None among you is a true believer until he desires his brother which he desires for himself. “So we have no excuse than to keep peace from one another.”
In his welcoming address, the chairman of the Inter-Religious Conference Committee and Chief Imam of Sahaba Juma’at Mosque, Kundila, Kano, Sheikh Muhammad Bin Uthman, highlighted that peace is one of the most priceless commodities as the nation is created in diversity with a lot of cultural differences.
He also emphasized that: “We should all learn how to live together and such kind of conference is of great value to the nation, which will take it to the high level.”
Ibn Uthman appreciated the giant effort of Governor Ganduje for creating an avenue for the conference in the state, which is one of the most peaceful and populous states in the federation.
Most Reverend Peter Ogunmuyiwa, as the co-chairman of the conference, expressed that the event was a laudable initiative by the governor who established good relationship between the two major religious faiths not only in Kano, but the nation as a whole.
During the conference, Reverend Matthew Hassan Kukah, represented by Most Reverend John Olurunfemi Onaiyekan, presented a paper entitled: ‘Religious Tolerance as a Tool for National Unity,’ and Prof. Salisu Shehu on ‘Unity is Power,’ Dr. John Ngamsa on ‘Language and Communication as Tool for Religious Tolerance,’ and Prof. Juwairiyya Badamasi on ‘Religious Tolerance and Unity: The Legal and Constitutional Framework,’ respectively.
The conference was classified to be one of the first national interreligious ones in the state by inviting religious leaders from other parts of the country with the sole aim of strengthening religious dialogue in building the national trust between the two dominant religions in the country.