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NSCIA, CAN unveil code of conduct for clerics, say Nigeria not battleground

Muslim and Christian leaders across the country under the aegis of the Interfaith Dialogue Forum for Peace (IDFP), have said that Nigeria should not be…

Muslim and Christian leaders across the country under the aegis of the Interfaith Dialogue Forum for Peace (IDFP), have said that Nigeria should not be treated as a battleground and that there is no alternative to a peaceful coexistence of adherents of the two religions in the country.

They said this weekend in Abuja during the unveiling of the Interfaith Code of Conduct, for religious leaders in the country to deepen peaceful coexistence and religious harmony between Christianity and Islam in the country.

The President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Archbishop Daniel Okoh, represented by the former President of the Christian Council of Nigeria (CCN), Rev. Dr. Benebo Fubara-Manuel, noted that the 20-page Interfaith Code of Conduct, initiated by the IDFP in 2020, outlines measures to dispel misunderstandings surrounding shared values, thereby fostering unity among the religious communities.

“The document addresses many issues faced by both religions and helps dispel misunderstandings surrounding shared values.

“The influence of religious leaders, groups, and sacred places on people’s identities not only reinforces community trauma but also adds a profound symbolic dimension to the conflict,” he said.

Also, Imam Yusuf Arrigasiyyu, the co-chair of IDFP, said, “Nigeria is not a battleground and the Interfaith Code of Conduct was created to demonstrate that the two faiths can coexist and collaborate harmoniously.”

He noted that the code of conduct, a voluntary action, serves as a guideline to discourage hate speech and extreme views while promoting unity and respect for one another.

Bishop Sunday Onuoha, former co-chair of IDFP, reiterated the need for accountability in practicing faith.

He said, “Our request to the government is that individuals who speak irresponsibly, regardless of whether they are religious leaders or not, should be held responsible and accountable. Without holding people accountable and responsible, we cannot achieve a peaceful society.”

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