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Onaiyekan, Sultan, others call for peace, reconciliation

Agency Reporter 

The Nigerian Inter-Faith Initiative for Peace (IIP), under its Tripartite Consultation (TC), has called for reconciliation, peace and national cohesion for a prosperous nation under God.

The group spoke on Wednesday during TC’s joint consultation meeting on the “State of the Nation” in Abuja.

The convener of the meeting, Cardinal John Onaiyekan, expressed worry that as heavy clouds of impending tempest hung over the nation, people should not just sit and complain.

“Nigerians cannot just sit back, complaining or merely waiting for the worst to happen.

“Many are thinking aloud, speaking out clearly, discussing and dialoguing to seek a way out of our impasses quickly.

“This tripartite consultation is one of such many voluntary fora for positive conversations on the state of the nation.

“We must find our way back as a country from the brink of chaos and look forward to reconciliation, peace and national cohesion, for a prosperous nation under God,” he said.

Onaiyekan said the state of the nation called for major concern as the challenges facing the country were many, serious and well known to all.

According to him, Nigerians are talking, often complaining and at times even threatening to quit a dysfunctional state in which they have lost trust and faith.

The eminent cleric noted that in the midst of the voices, the government needs to come out with a clear position and explain why certain things that ought not to happen have happened in a modern and civilised state.

He also said the National Assembly, which is the institutional forum for fruitful dialogue and conversation, should try to measure up to expectation.

Onaiyekan prayed to the Almighty and Merciful God to save and prosper the nation.

The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, who also led the Nigerian Inter-Faith Initiative for Peace, said the National Peace Committee (NPC) would go beyond restoring peace in state elections.

“NPC has done so much in building peace and solving crisis in state elections.

“It will go further in building national peace and reconciliation,” he said.

Former Head of State, Gen. Abubakar Abdulsalami, who led the NPC, said the tripartite consultation meeting was timely.

He said series of meeting had been held over time to restore peace and unity in the country.

The former military leader urged the group not to remain silent over the challenges bedeviling the nation but to lend its voice for Nigeria and for Nigerians.

“Hopefully, we will find a way out of the mess we have put ourselves in this country,” he said.

Also, a member of the Working Group on Peace Building and Governance, Dr. Usman Bugaje, said Nigeria has witnessed more of a moral crisis and decay than any other types of crisis.

“Nigerians are looking up to its moral leaders to help. It is actually time for those with moral credence to come forward and help,” he said.

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