The Sultan of Sokoto and head of Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI), Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III has said that there is no crisis between Christians and Muslims in the country.
The Sultan said that the cause of religious tension in the country is nothing but ignorance.
The Sultan said this on Wednesday at the Year 2020 Interfaith Dialogue Forum for Peace (IDFP) 3rd Annual General Assembly and Peace Conference, with the theme: “Interreligious Dialogue: Strengthening the Culture of Peace, Justice and Reconciliation”
The President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Samson Ayokunle, had refused to make a speech during the programme, saying the killing of a CAN chairman in Adamawa state, Rev. Lawan Andimi had overwhelmed him.
He said, “From December till now, we have continued to lose church leaders and others without any array of hope that it will stop. Dialogue with the Boko Haram that abducted him (Andimi) could not yield fruit. I am not in a mood to do a speech,”
Sultan Abubakar, who was represented by the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, however, stressed that the belief that Christians and Muslims are fighting in the country is untrue.
He said, “The poor Muslim Hausa farmer and the poor Christian Hausa Famer do not understand that their problems are the same. The rich Muslim and the rich Christians continue to confuse the poor to continue to fight themselves while the rich, irrespective of their religion are living together, attending weddings and parties together. Communication is an issue. How do leaders handle communication?
“Whoever that takes life whether Christian or Muslim is a criminal and should be treated as such. Everything I heard today is hegemonic. “The traditional and religious leaders that are supposed to hold political leaders to account for the people are been muscled into silence.
“If you are an emir and you talk too much, you get removed. If you are an Imam or a Bishop, you need money for charity, but be ready to do business with the devil so that you can do charity.
“The idea that there is a problem between Christians and Muslims is strange. At the age of eight, my parents sent me to St Ann’s Catholic Church, Kaduna. No one attempted to convert me to Christianity,” Sanusi said while calling for tolerance among Nigerians.