Nigeria: Nirec Calms Religious Frayed Nerves

June 22, 2008

Author: Salisu Na'inna Dambatta

Source: Daily Trust/AllAfrica

The Nigeria Inter Religious Council (NIREC) came into being after the dawn of democracy in 1999 to serve as a platform for high-level dialogue between the leaders of Christians and Muslims in this country, thereby promoting public good.

It organises conferences designed to promote understanding, appreciation of one another and the generation of mutual respect between Christians and Muslims. It is made up of 50 members, 25 from the Christian side and the balance from the side of Muslims. The organisation is co-chaired by two eminent Nigerians: the Sultan of Sokoto and President-General of the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Alhaji Muhammad Sa'ad Abubakar, CFR, and the Catholic Archbishop of Abuja and President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Dr. John Onaiyekan, CON.

At the end of its second zonal quarterly meeting recently held in Maiduguri, the NIREC addressed issues of general interest to the people of Nigeria. It said in a communiqué signed by its three leading members, the co-chairmen and its national coordinator, Professor Is-haq Oloyede that, "Peace is a process of ensuring and sustaining justice, fairness and equity in the society." It suggested a peace advancement mechanism by calling on governments at all levels, civil society groups and all Nigerians, "particularly the faith-based organisations to build a systematic platform for peace and religious harmony in Nigeria through the promotion of socio-economic justice, transparency and good governance."