2nd July, 2019
Cardinal John Onaiyekan has called on the Federal Government to defuse the tension that had arisen in the country in recent times, restore peace and security.
Onaiyekan made this call during the Opening/Welcome Dinner of the Second Edition of the Cardinal Onaiyekan Foundation for Peace (COFP) 2019/2020 Fellowship Programme on “Interreligious Dialogue and Mediation Certificate Programme’’ in Abuja on Monday.
“As we all gather here in this peaceful environment, we cannot but draw attention, with grave concern to the ominous and dangerous clouds of destabilisation hovering on the horizon of our nation.
“As a matter of fact, this had been gathering for quite sometime, but it has reached a high pitch in recent weeks.
” It will appear that this is following on some announcement or mere rumours of certain controversial plans of the Federal Government that has been greeted with strong and loud oppositions from many sectors of the nation.
“This goes beyond frightful nonconstructive statements on social media bothering on declaration of war. In the name of God and for the common good and future of our nation, this should not be allowed to continue to fester.
“The primary responsibility to defuse this tension and restore peace rests with the government, which must listen to the deeply felt complaints of all citizens, ” he said
The Cardinal said it was also a time for all lovers of peace to stand up and speak out loudly for peace, harmony and justice in the nation.
He urged religious leaders to make efforts to eschew all forms of religious fanaticism, which rejected others and created fertile ground for violent extremism to grow and thrive.
According to him, religion in their diversities should no longer be considered as a problem to be solved but as an asset to deploy for the good of humanity.