Christian clerics in Kaduna State have thrown their weight behind the National Board for Arabic and Islamic Studies (NBAIS) and encouraged Christians to learn Arabic language.
Speaking when they paid a courtesy visit to the board, the General Overseer of Christ Evangelical Intercessory Fellowship Ministry, Pastor Yohanna Buru, who led the delegation said the study of Arabic by Christians will strengthen peaceful co-existence between Muslims and Christians.
Buru said: “Arabic is a language like English, French, German and so many other languages across the planet which can be used for normal communication and interaction for commercial activities across the African continent.”
The Christian cleric urged Nigerians to study Arabic as a course and not to see the language as a religion saying, “Many Christians and believers of other faiths think Arabic is a religion, not knowing that it is a language.”
He said many Christian scholars have learnt how to read and write Arabic language for normal communication in Nigeria and some parts of West Africa, and urged others not to ignore the language due to its links to Islam.
Responding, the Acting Register of the board, Professor Shafi’u Abdullahi, said at inception, the board had 17 schools under it, but now has over 1,542 across the country.
He stressed that a Christian facilitated the establishment of an Arabic department in Ahmad Bello University saying, “we learnt Arabic in the hands of Muslims and Christians.”
Shafi’u, who noted that Nigeria is losing a lot due to lack of Arabic language, said Arabic study is very important in the world today and called on Christians and Muslims to learn the language for effective communication.