Religious leaders chart path for Africa’s development
The Archbishop of Sokoto, Bishop Hassan Kukah, has said that Africa is currently facing combining two extremely difficult situations, which are the issues of extreme hunger and the genuine hunger arising from the failure of government and governance across the continent, thereby making Africa vulnerable and creating a very combustible environment.
He argued that a lot of the problems people are facing, which have nothing to do with religion, are being baptised as religion.
But the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammadu Saad Abubakar 111, has stressed the need for government at all levels to involve religious leaders in addressing crisis and social injustice on the African continent.
Speaking at a joint press briefing to conclude the Conference of World Religious Leaders in Abuja, Kukah noted that there is an upsurge to meet the thirst for peace in the continent, adding: “Now that we are holding hands together, our job should be much easier.
“We are not unaware of the challenges we face as a nation, but there is no country in the world like Nigeria, because nobody has the responsibility that we have of managing a 50-50 percentage of Muslim toxic wars. We are enslaving ourselves, in many cases, we are the ones.”
Secretary General of Religions for Peace International, Dr. William Vendley, observed that trust is the pre-condition for adding that societies that have high trust are able to have small government, small jails, small police and have flourishing relationships in business.
“We are building trust which is the soil of development , if you have no trust, you may have all the money in the world but you wont develop. The biggest resource of any nation is the human resource.
“We are building the soil of development, we have to let the justice speak but there shall be no justice without mercy. We have to repent and stand before one another with honesty.
“As people from the religious community, we need to assist people ravaged by conflict”.
Catholic Archbishop of Abuja Diocese, John Cardinal Onaiyekan, in his remarks, said the whole focus of the discussions by the religious leaders centre around partnership between religious institutions, government and non-governmental organisations and the need to cooperate and ensure sustainable peace in the African continent.
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