The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, and other leaders have called on leaders to preach peace and shun violence.
The Sultan made the call at a conference organized by the International Dialogue Centre (KAICIID) in collaboration with the Institute of Peace and Conflict Resolution.
President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev Dr. Samson Supo Ayokunle said “I wrote the Sultan telling him of CAN’s to work with Muslims in order to promote peace in the country.
“Lack of trust and mutual understanding must be dealt with.
“There are more common issues that unite us than issues that divide us.
“In the atmosphere of destruction, there will be no progress from both sides.
“We must seek for peace and attain it for the development of our country,” the CAN President stated.
In his response, the Sultan of Sokoto cautioned that the consequences of a religious war will be severe and will have negative effect on the nation.
He said Nigeria cannot survive a religious war.
He said: “We have seen what religious violence has done to other nations.
“We must do everything to encourage our Muslim and Christian members to embrace peace.
“No nation can survive any form of war that is waged in the name of religion. Both religions preach peace.
“As religious leaders, we should be seen encouraging peace for development.
“I hope that after this conference, we shall continue to remind ourselves on the need for peace and forge a common front toward religious understanding.
“We have no option, but to live in peace.
“Our religious leaders must teach their followers on the need for peace.
“We cannot continue to live in violence and bloodshed and expect development,” the Sultan added.