Federal government has been charged to declare the rampaging Fulani herdsmen as Criminals with a call to bring the perpetrators to book.
The Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun who gave the charge on Monday at the 2019 Toyin Falola Conference On Africa and African Diaspora (TOPAC) at Babcock University, Ilisan -Remo, Ogun State, attributed religion beliefs to the spate of terrorism which has truncate the peaceful coexistence of states in the country.
The governor noted that, religion which should have been a unifying factor has suddenly become a dividing factor.
He maintained that, rather for Nigerians to see themselves as one entity, they have allowed religion to dictate their conscience against human beliefs.
Governor Abiodun further added that, the recent terrorism confronting the global community have been tied to religion.
He therefore expressed shock at the acts of terrorism supposedly sponsored by politicians against the state, saying the ugly incident within the country determines its global perception.
Governor Abiodun who condemned the rampaging security threats of Herdsmen-farmers clash and kidnapping across the country, urged the federal government to treat them as criminals and not spared any efforts to bring the perpetrators to book.
“In Nigeria, we have had more than our own fair share of acts of violence which some quarters have tied to religion, and even the State. We have the Boko-Haram issue in the Northern part of the country, which has been linked to a religious terrorist movement, ISIS; there is also the rampaging security threats of Herdsmen-Farmers clash and Kidnap which some people have linked to a grand plan by a particular tribe to take over the rest of the country. I find these acts condemnable and no efforts should be spared to bring the perpetrators to book. If you ask me, these are common criminals and should be treated as such.
“It is also not out of place to state that all these developments within a nation also determines its global perception. In the past, we have had the Western and Eastern Blocs, based on political cum economic philosophy; and we have also had the Non-Aligned Movement. However, recent events have also shown that more nations are forming alliances, not just on geographical location, but also, on religious ideology.
“We have continued to see international organisations which have religion as its basic credential for membership. It is no surprise that membership of such organisations raise serious discourse amongst citizens of such nations.
“In our contemporary geographical landscape, therefore, we cannot afford to ignore issues of religion, with particular reference to religious freedom and tolerance on one hand; and, on the other hand, violence and oppression. And, in the light of this, State policy makers, Scholars, and all Stakeholders will have to think out of the box and come up with improved and more practical approaches in dealing with our diverse religious ideologies so that religion will be a unifying factor that will provide impetus to socio-economic development of Nigeria.
“That is why I will state once again that this conference and its theme could not have been more apt because it provides us another veritable platform for cross-fertilization of ideas that will foster religious tolerance and peaceful co-existence for all-round development of our dear country.”
Governor Abiodun therefore applauded religious leaders in Ogun State for their role in promoting the growing socio-economic development of the state.
He equally assured of his government’s readiness to map out strategies in engaging religious leaders in order to see religion as tool of spiritual fulfillment and vehicle that drives economic viability of the state.
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