Insecurity: Interfaith cautions Nigerians on incitement, profiling | Dailytrust

Insecurity: Interfaith cautions Nigerians on incitement, profiling

L-R: Elder Uzoaku Juliana Williams, co-publicity secretary, Interfaith Dialogue Forum for Peace (IDFP); co-Chairman IDFP, Alhaji Kunle Sanni Ishaq; co-Chairman IDFP, Bishop Sunday Onuoha; and Alhaji Ibrahim Yahya, co-Secretary IDFP during the press conference on the state of the nation on Friday in Abuja. Photo by: Abbas Jimoh
L-R: Elder Uzoaku Juliana Williams, co-publicity secretary, Interfaith Dialogue Forum for Peace (IDFP); co-Chairman IDFP, Alhaji Kunle Sanni Ishaq; co-Chairman IDFP, Bishop Sunday Onuoha; and Alhaji Ibrahim Yahya, co-Secretary IDFP during the press conference on the state of the nation on Friday in Abuja. Photo by: Abbas Jimoh

The Interfaith Dialogue Forum for Peace (IDFP) has cautioned Nigerians, especially the leaders, against aggravating the tension in the land over insecurity and other socio-economic challenges.

The co-chair of the forum, Kunle Sanni Ishaq and Bishop Sunday Onuoha, gave the warning on Friday in Abuja at a news conference.

They urged ethnic, religious groups and leaders across the country to desist from inflammatory utterances that could incite fellow Nigerians based on the insecurity concerns and other agitations across the country.

According to them, the unwholesome security situation in the country was initially domesticated to the North East and to some extent, the North Central; and that it is worrisome that it is steadily moving to the other part of the country.

“However, we should not throw the baby with the bathwater as some provocative, stereotypical, profiling and criminalization of a tribe or religious group is unethical to peacebuilding.

“We have said it several times that there are criminals in all religious and tribal groups in Nigeria. As religious and community leaders, we should be able to undertake internal cleansing of all by checking any negative coloration in the society,” the forum said.

They said that the federal, state and local government authorities must have synergy on how to handle cases of banditry, kidnapping and other forms of criminality with the security agencies working in with the local vigilantes to flush out the criminals across the country.

While expressing concern over the safety of all Nigerians, the forum stressed the need to imbibe and act responsibly for everyone to conduct themselves in the best interest of peace in and around the country.

They also commended President Muhammadu Buhari for appointing new service chiefs towards reinforcing and reinvigorating the security state of the country, and charged the new security heads to be committed to discharging their responsibilities to forestall all the security challenges in the country.

They said, “Our religious institutions should continue to play a vital role in facilitating justice and peace in the country by ensuring they continue to educate their membership and followership properly so as to be patriotic. As people of faith, it is our religious duty to make the difference by promoting peace messages and encouraging the culture of faith in action.

“It is painful that some religious leaders who are respected are now harbingers of peace, making provocative statements that can fuel religious and ethnic crisis. We are calling on all Nigerians not to be used as political tools of violence against each other or as agents of hate through misuse of various social media platforms.”

They also urged all Nigerians to maintain and on their observance of the COVID-19 protocol, to reduce the spread and impacts of the second wave of the pandemic in the country.

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