President Muhammadu Buhari, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, a former President Olusegun Obasanjo and a former head of state Abdulsalami Abubakar have laid the foundation for the Kaduna Centre for the Study of Christian-Muslim Relations.
The centre, Daily Trust reports, would ensure understanding, mutual engagement, mutual contribution and mutual support aimed at promoting peace among faithful of the two religions.
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Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony of the centre on Wednesday in Kaduna, President Buhari said religious crises have over the years caused untold hardship and suspicion among Nigerians, stressing that the centre would receive government support.
The president, represented by the Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Uwanjiuba, said the centre was indeed a foundation for peace and that completing it would require courage, commitment and resilience.
He called on all and sundry to support the centre adding, “As a government, we will always support any project that will bring about peaceful and religious coexistence.” He also commended the founder.”
Obasanjo, Abdulsalami and the Archbishop of Canterbury, The Most Reverend Justin Welby, in their virtual goodwill messages commended the foresight of the founder and Secretary-General of the Anglican Communion Worldwide, Archbishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon, for ensuring peaceful coexistence among Christians and Muslims through the centre.
Also speaking, the Sultan, who was represented by the Emir of Zazzau, Ambassador Ahmad Nuhu Bamalli, said “Understanding each other’s religion will make us live in peace and not in pieces.
“I pray people will key into the foresight of the founder and support the growth of the centre.”
Earlier in his keynote address, Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai, represented by his deputy, Dr Hadiza Balarabe said, “Archishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon is consistent in his efforts towards enhancing peaceful and religious coexistence in Nigeria and particularly in Kaduna State.”
“The foundation laying we have performed is an acknowledgement of the unique and innovative way the founders of the Kaduna Centre for the Study of Christian-Muslim Relations are making a contribution to mutual understanding and tolerance in our state,” he stated.