There is need for rigorous preaching of religious tolerance going by the aftermath of the Post Election riot and violence in Nigeria, and as part of our effort and work on religion and peace building, we must see to solvable or the curbing of heightened tensions and provocative acts that create communal and National divides over religion through provocative statements by individuals, organizations and suppose ‘’Enlightened’’.
Nigeria is a country blessed with multi-ethnic and diverse mixture of both Christians’ and Muslims and the engagement of religious leaders and communities leaders in conflict and peace-building have yield little but no results and that is why there is need for Donors Institutions, bodies or even countries to re-strategize on both funding and reach out programmes or campaigns to people . Sometimes, provocative acts which mostly not only bring distrust but also hostilities, stimulates injustice and create greater intolerance and misplaced anger among people.
Problems Endangering Nigerian Peace
Media: It’s been noticed that the government needs to tighten its grip on media houses by Enacting ‘’The Peace Act’’ which would regulate properly the views and images propelled by media houses in Nigeria. Recently, we have seen media houses in the country with un-balance news and representation through using their organization to propel the interest of a certain group (Ethnic /Religious) which is not healthy to the polity of the nation.
Corruption: This has also been a bane towards non achievement of objectives and goals of programmes on peace as funds from peace preaching institutions from Developed countries end up in the wrong hands Religious Leaders(Clergies) whom are suppose to be Ambassadors of Peace even without any compensation, they abuse their office and trust that People have in them as this leaders were recently known to have embezzled funds channeled towards such campaigns and enshrined Illiteracy of religious tolerance among people of different faith in this country through their selfish and unpatriotic act.
Underestimation of need for peace and underfunding for programmes on interfaith tolerance: There is need for Government to focus more on peace and channel more funding for Religious literacy amongst scholars of respective faiths, through campaigns, jingles, public enlightenment seminars, catch them young campaigns where children are educated on religious tolerance.
Sentimental Preaching’s amongst Religious Clerics: The need for government to establish effective bodies to monitor and ensure befitting and Liberal clerics are the only individuals allowed to carry out the act of preaching as this would go a long way in curbing extremism among scholars who see these religious clerics as icons or models to emulate. Clerics affiliated to political parties or religious bodies with political affiliations should be banned from public appearances or utterance and severe punishment should be carried out on unguided statements that can bring crisis or destabilize economy polity of the country.
Eradication of illiteracy and re-modeling of our Law enforcement agencies officers into Crisis management, crisis analysis, negotiation and interfaith studies professionals: There is need for mandatory training and embankment of courses of our law enforcement officers to empower them manage crisis properly and become professionals in interfaith studies. This is to enable professionals manage crisis and conflicts properly.
Establishment of enactment of ‘’The Peace Act’’. The Peace act should be established and enacted as a law and establishment of a Peace Institute saddled with sole responsibility of promoting peace, training professionals in peace and enactment of laws that would ensure peace and stability, promote religious tolerance. The IPCR under the Presidency should be evolved into a more effective and functional body where its does not operate as an Arm OF MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS but a proper establishment empowered by an act to function properly with separated funding.
Conclusively, Crisis in Nigeria can be very genocidal with its Populace and the world cannot afford another Rwanda again.
There is need for world leaders and international bodies to see or sponsor peace in the most populous Black Nation in the world as a result of its importance to the world. There is need to reinvigorate aggressive heavy campaigns to see to Peace in Nigeria as its has multiplier effect on other economies in Africa, and the world entirely because of its current position and holding the status of Giant of Africa coupled with its various positions at i.e Ecowas, AU, OPEC,and also one of the major/biggest market for any product in the world ,as we all believe that crisis in Nigeria would affect markets for goods from all over the world , fuel prices and so on.Thereby investment in Peace in Nigeria is a great investment to the entire bilateral partners all over the world.
Idris Muhammed Abdullahi (AIPMA)
Pdg. Islamic Banking and Insurance (In view)
Bsc. Ed (Hons) Economics
Certificate in Conflict Analysis from United States Institute of Peace
Certificate in Conflict Negotiation and Management United State Institute of Peace