Northern Religious, Academic Leaders Converge For Peace Talks
A two-day Northeast Conference on Peace and Scholarship, themed True Legacies of Kanem Borno and Sokoto Caliphate, has begun in Damaturu, the Yobe state capital.
The conference, which is aimed at highlighting and sensitizing the people on the true peace and scholarship inherent in the religion and culture of its people, drew together religious scholars across the country and beyond.
It is geared towards fostering peace in the region engulfed by the Boko Haram insurgents.
The programme was deliberately organized to showcase the return of peace in the troubled northeast geopolitical zone of Nigeria and to enshrine the true culture of peace and scholarship, integral in the culture, tradition and religion of the Kanem Borno and Sokoto caliphate.
Declaring the conference open, the Yobe state Governor, Ibrahim Gaidam, urged religious scholars, participants and citizens generally, to wage serious war against the use of religion to spread violence and falsehood in the region.
He called on everyone to fight against the spread of falsehood that could trigger violence in the region.
The Governor, who expressed sadness over the Boko Haram insurgency, however said that he appreciates the efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari, which according to him, has subdued the strength of the militants.
“We must be grateful to the Almighty Allah that peace has returned to the northeast.
“We must also thank the President Of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, for the commitment in ensuring that the Boko Haram terrorists are completely defeated.
“This course of action is further reinforced by Islamic scholars and Islamic institutions the world over, who are unanimous in their views that Boko Haram and groups like them have nothing to do with Islam nor does Islam have anything to do with them. They are purely terrorists and terrorism has no religion,” the Governor said.
While calling on the resource persons, religious scholars and participants alike to ensure the tenet of the conference are well adhered to, Governor Gaidam stressed the need for the return of permanent peace in the region.
“The convening of a conference of this nature will undoubtedly contribute to ensuring the attainment of our socioeconomic objectives and promotion of unity for the overall development of our citizens and it is our hope that the outcome of the conference will be for the mutual benefit of all the people of the northeast and the country as a whole,” he added.
The Sultan of Sokoto and Chairman Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Alhaji Mohammed Sa’ad Abubakar II, represented by the Emir of Bauchi, Alhaji Rilwanu Suleiman Adamu, also appreciated the organizers and described the conference as a very timely one that would go a long way in restoring permanent peace in the region.
“The Fityanul Islam and the Jama’atu Nasril Islam have been engaged in the peaceful propagation of Islam in Nigeria for a long time now.
“It is gratifying that all these organizations and agencies have joined forces to kick-start the long and odious process of re-orientation and rehabilitation in post-insurgency in north eastern Nigeria” the Sultan said.
Professor Abdullahi Okene, Dr. Zaji Bunu and the Emir of Dikwa Alhaji Shehu Masa’a, expressed happiness over the idea of the conference, saying it will reiterate the inherent values of the north in the minds of the people thereby restoring peaceful coexistence among the diverse cultures, tradition and religion in the country.