The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, on Thursday charged the Nigeria Inter Religious Council (NIREC) to continue to support government by preaching peace and promoting youth engagement.
Mustapha, who disclosed this at the 4th quarterly meeting of NIREC in Abuja, also regretted that Nigeria was still faced with insecurity in spite of government’s efforts.
Mustapha, who hailed the theme of the conference: “Questing for peace in the challenges of insecurity and COVID-19”, noted that it was very apt considering the fact that peace and security were very critical ingredients for growth and development.
“Despite all efforts including the deployment of enormous resources, our country is still facing a measure of insecurity which is impacting negatively on our economy, social life, education and investment and remains a threat to lives and livelihood.”
He, however, urge NIREC to use its traditional and religious capacities to further escalate it’s outreach to all Nigerians, especially the youth at the grassroots.
The President, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. Samson Ayokunle, who is also a co-convener of NIREC, said the development that led to #EndSARS protest was very unfortunate.
“The development that led to #EndSARS protest was quite unfortunate, and one of that development is police brutality which ought to have been addressed before now.
“We have never witnessed such mass action in Nigeria before.
“People were frustrated and those in power didn’t respond appropriately until it degenerated to that level,” he said.
He, however, called on the government to address the concerns of the #EndSARS protesters instead of clamping down on them.
“I will still call on the government to address the problems that led to the situation, than to be clamping down on the people that participated in the #EndSARS protest,” he added.
The Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar, called for an urgent meeting for the deliberation of some of the critical issues bothering the nation
“We need to sit down and look at some of the issues in the country, the most recent being the hike in level of food prices in the country.
“The most humorous being the high cost of onions. Let’s stop destroying our property and think that someone will fix it for us.
“They cannot and will not do so.
“We need to sit down in a very serious national dialogue to discuss these issues.
“We have not run out of patriotic, distinguished Nigerians who can proffer solutions to the problem.
“What we lack is implementation. We do not like doing the right thing, we always cut corners. That is our problem.
“The insecurity in the North is another issue. It is so high that people are scared to travel.
“It is so bad that people leave foodstuff in their houses for bandits,” he said.