Members of the inter-faith delegation say the solution to ethno-religious crisis in the zone lies with the people


Members of the inter-faith delegation say the solution to ethno-religious crisis in the zone lies with the peopleAn international inter-faith religious delegation arrived Jos on Thursday to explore opportunities at restoring peace to the state which has witnessed a lot of ethno-religious crises in recent times.

The delegation, which is from the World Council of Churches (WCC) and Royal Aal Al-bayt Institute of Peace, is made up of eminent Christian and Muslim leaders who are working for the promotion of global peace.

Members of the delegation, during a courtesy call on Plateau Governor, Jonah Jang, observed that the solution to the current ethno-religious crises facing Nigeria could be found within.

The 20-man delegation, which was jointly led by the Secretary-General of WCC, Rev Olav Tveit, and Prince Ghazibin Mohammed of Jordan, said its members were in the country to promote peaceful co-existence among Nigerians and they had come to the country to “listen, so as to see where the world could be of help”.

Mohammed said: “We are in Nigeria to meet with the religious leaders about peaceful co-existence and tolerance. We are here also to see if the international community can be of any help to this (crisis).

“This is a joint international delegation, because we are jointly concerned and jointly interested in Nigeria, and we think what happens in Nigeria is connected to what happens in other parts of the world between Christian and Muslims.”

In his remarks, Tveit said: “The joint delegation of Christian and Muslim leaders have come together to express common concern and common solidarity with the people of Nigeria.

“We are also here to listen together and try to understand together what are your challenges and your strength and also in different ways, bring all reflections to those who can also be of help, either through advice or through other processes.”

The delegation said it believed Nigeria and Nigerians have the capacity to lead in providing the solution, and called for concerted efforts to solve the problem.

Responding, Jang said security information had indicted some influential individuals for exploiting religion to sponsor violence against the country for personal interests.

“Security agencies should ensure that those arrested, as well as those indicted in the crisis, must be made to face the full wrath of the law,” he said.

The governor said the crisis had gone beyond Plateau and had spread all over the Northern states.

He however lamented that reports of past committees on the Jos crisis were not implemented by the Federal Government.

Jang urged the delegation to be neutral in its assessment and to interact freely with the various religious and ethnic groups.

He said this would help Nigeria to work towards peace and understanding.

The governor also faulted the reference to the indigene-settler dichotomy in the Plateau crisis, saying the Nigerian Constitution was clear about the rights of indigenes and citizens.

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