The Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, has emphasised the need for religious tolerance and harmony in the country.
The Governor, in a message to Nigerian Muslims on the occasion of the Eid-el-Maulud celebration said that the current times call for greater emphasis on religious harmony, tolerance, and peaceful co-existence.
He said: “We are at a time where religious harmony is a necessary ingredient of our daily life. This is because a number of revisionists are trying to hide under the passion that is usually inflamed by religion to cause disharmony and disrupt the peace.
“We must resist such revisionists and tell them in clear terms that ours is a society that values peaceful coexistence, brotherhood, and unity. Like the Motto of our Dear Country, Unity, and Faith, we must continue to remain united even when we practice a different faith.
“On behalf of the government and the good people of Oyo State, let me congratulate all our Muslim brothers and sisters on the turn of another Eid-el-Maulud and reiterate that we all remain faithful to the teachings of the Holy Quran, which emphasis tolerance, respect for one another, humane conduct and love for fellow human beings.
“We can only build a great nation when we are truly our brothers’ keepers and adhere to the teachings of the prophet who emphasise love as a golden virtue among humanity.”
Vice president Professor Yemi Osinbajo has called for religious tolerance among all Nigerians as a prerequisite for the country’s socio-economic and political development.
He made the call on Sunday, while speaking at the 66th edition of a religious event – Ahamadiya Muslim Jamar, in Ilaro, Yewa South Local Government Area of Ogun State, where he was the special guest of honour.
The Vice President commended members of the religious group for promoting peace and unity among Nigerians and people of the world.
He also singled out traditional rulers for their support for government policies and programmes.
“Our country is one where many times, people want to create division between Muslims and Christians, they want to create division between tribes, the want to create division between different people but God sees us as one.
“He does not see us as tribes, he sees us all as one people and I want to thank you in particular because you have continued to preach that message of peace and at this particular event, I want to say especially that what I will leave with you is that our country can be great and will be greater because of people like you who are here,” Osinbajo said.
Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, has condemned the killings in some parts of the country, which he believes have occurred in the name of religion.
Soyinka made this comments in Abuja on Thursday at a book presentation on religion and the making of Nigeria, written by Professor Olufemi Vaughan.
The event which was also attended by the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, attracted a lot of other dignitaries.
Soyinka believes that in order for Nigeria to move on, and to ensure national development, there must be religious tolerance.
In the last few years, Nigeria has witnessed an upsurge in the level of insurgency with the likes of Niger Delta militants, armed herdsmen and Boko Haram Terrorists especially, whose activities were believed to have a strong religious undertone.
The abduction of over 200 girls, from Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, a town in Borno state, on April 14, 2014, appears to have been one of the most disheartening acts carried out by the insurgents.
Also, herdsmen attacks in the southern Kaduna region, terrorist explosions in the northeast, as well as attacks on oil installations in the Niger Delta are all events that have continued to threaten the peace of the nation.