Inter-religious harmony, priority in Edo – Oshiomhole




Oritsejafor and Sultan
Oritsejafor and Sultan

Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State says the Government will continue to promote inter-religious harmony as a way of ensuring that peace continues to reign in all parts of the state.

Speaking during a courtesy call on him by the Chairman of the state Musaabaqah organization, His Royal Highness, Alhaji Aliru Momoh, Ikelebe III, Otaru of Auchi and other members of the committee, the Governor said no faith promotes hatred and violence, maintaining that Islam is synonymous with peace.

He said: “I believe that in trying to understand the suspicion between Muslims and Christians from time to time the misrepresentation of what the two religions represent can only be filled by educating our people about the true meaning of Islam and the true meaning of Christianity.

“So I believe that looking at the long term challenge of building inter-religious harmony in Nigeria, the Koranic Recitation Competition is something that should be supported and promoted. It encourages more people to get familiar with the doctrines of Islam, the injunctions in the Holy Koran and all the other revelations by Prophet Mohammed, I believe that a lot of the misconceptions will be addressed.

“I was in the US a year ago and I visited a Catholic School and the Principal told, at the heart of peace study, that he takes some time to study the Koran and he takes time to study the bible and as a Priest of course, he is very much at home with the Bible, but he says that a lot of people, including Americans, Europeans have too little knowledge about Islam and if they truly do understand what Islam represents, their views will change and the only way to promote understanding and deepen the knowledge of people about Islam is to include it in our school curriculum because you cannot talk about something you do not know about

“And so, although this was a Catholic School, they encouraged the students compulsorily to study the Koran because when they study the Koran and they understand the essence of the Koran, they will not see Muslims with suspicion, vice versa. So I believe that in Nigeria, it is something that has to be properly articulated and maybe taken over at some other level because the reality today is that we have two main broad religions in Nigeria. We have Islam and we have Christianity.

“So once the people understand each other, then the sin of one cannot be seen as a reflection of the values of everybody that profess that faith. So I want to thank you sir, for your leadership in this regards, you have devoted your time, not just as a Traditional ruler but also as a religious leader which I think is extremely important. Those combinations are necessary in our society.

“Our commitment in supporting the school and competition is a priority we cannot shy away from and when I am leaving office, one of the things that I would pass on to my successor is the need to sustain the commitment of Edo State Government to promote the competition because it is healthy for our people, it is good for our society and it lays foundation for peace.”

Earlier, the Otaru of Auchi said, “Appreciation goes to you for being able to, in a short period of time in your first and second tenure, you have hosted the Koranic competition in your state. I believe that that enlightenment comes from inspiration and we are profusely thankful for doing this just delivery to Islam.

“I want to specially appreciate you for the work that you have done for us in this state and of course to tell you that progress is on at the Islamic Centre and we have set a target that by January next year, the project should be delivered and they are working there, day and night and work is progressing.

“I want to once again on behalf of Edo State Musaabaqah appreciate you for what you are, because what you do comes from inspiration and inspiration begets your provisions.

“We know you for excellence and that was why you have delivered so much to Edo State from the will of Almighty Allah who gave you that inspiration, who gave you the dreams and who bestowed again the visions. That is precisely why we are here. We do not know of any other state in Nigeria that has have the opportunity that we have had here and of course that is why we have a situation where the first competition in Edo State in 2009 was described as the best so far organised in the whole 23 years of the program in this country.”

The Governor later fulfilled the Government’s promise by presenting three brand new cars to the winners of the Koranic recitation competition.

Yusufu Mohammed Dikku, the male winner was presented with the keys of a brand new Toyota Avensis car, same with the female winner, Hadijat Taminu Abdulahi. The male runner-up, Aliu Lamido got a brand new Toyota Corolla Car.

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