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Inter-faith body moves against extremism, intolerance, disunity, others

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Bishop Garuba Sunday, who spoke yesterday in Abuja after a meeting ahead of the group’s International Conference on Religion, Politics and Ethnicity.

Disturbed by the constant whipping of the nation’s fault lines of religion and ethnicity by the political class and others for selfish ends, the National Inter-Faith and Religious Organisations for Peace (NIFROP) is beginning an aggressive campaign against what it termed “unholy interferences by clerics.”

Its coordinator, Bishop Garuba Sunday, who spoke yesterday in Abuja after a meeting ahead of the group’s International Conference on Religion, Politics and Ethnicity, revealed that measures were being considered against clerics that try to undermine the unity of Nigeria for selfish interests.

He explained that the conference was a component of a wider campaign against religious and ethnic bigotry.

The NIFROP coordinator flayed religious leaders and ethnic groups that succumb to selfish and primordial agenda to directly participate in uniformed political activities in clear violation of codes in an intolerant manner similar to those of politicians.

Sunday explained that the upcoming event was informed by the need to address the growing abuse of religious and ethnic affiliations for politics “even when it is glaring that it is a trend that portends danger to the unity, cohesion, stability and peace of the country.”

The bishop went on: “We had expected that the animosity that peaked during the elections will diminish once a winner was declared. It however, turned otherwise. The opposition to announcement of winners only worsened with the tragic dimension that some clergymen and even religious bodies are in the forefront of deepening division among Nigerians based on politics.

“The conference will address the dangerous situation by attempting to correct the wrong impression Nigerians have about their leaders.”

Sunday warned that history is replete with human suffering occasioned by fusing religion with politics, noting that humanity had advanced beyond the stage where umbrella organisations for Islam and Christianity would be jostling to outdo one another in becoming politicised.


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