Nigerian Christians will join their counterparts across the globe to observe Good Friday tomorrow 14thApril, 2017 as part of the Easter celebrations. The Easter activities will be rounded up on Monday 17th April, 2017 when they will mark Easter Monday.
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) sends fraternal greetings to all Nigerian Christians on this august occasion. We love our Christian neighbours and we wish to coexist peacefully with them. Religion is love, not hatred. Religion is unity and togetherness, not division and rancor. Originally from the Greek word ‘religio’ meaning ‘to link’, or ‘to bind’ religion is expected to bring people together in peace and harmony.
We call on the Nigerian body of Christ to consolidate the nation’s gains under the present administration by heightening its patriotism and its readiness to sacrifice.
We charge Nigerian churches to promote internal justice, equity and fairplay in all its dealings. We appeal to Christian leaders and clerics to guide the nation’s leaders both at state and national levels with scriptural wisdom, to redirect the focus of the youth from materialism to piety and to pay special attention to core family values which are now lacking in society.
In view of the fact that corruption has been identified as the major cancerous tumor afflicting the nation’s anatomy, MURIC urges Christian leaders to give full support to current efforts of the Federal Government aimed at energizing those vital cells in the Nigerian anatomy already affected by the cancer of corruption.
We remind our Christian neighbours that the impact of corruption in the areas of ignorance, disease, bad roads, poverty, poor power supply, technological backwardness, etc know no religion. It affects all of us whether we are Christians, Muslims or traditionalists. We are all victims. We must all stand together in a single file to fight this social cankerworm. No retreat, no surrender. We must speak with one voice and reject those who arrogate our commonwealth to themselves alone without caring whose faith is gored.
Both the church and the mosque have big roles to play in the fight against corruption because corruption begins from the home. It is also an open secret that the corrupt elements in our society are either Muslims or Christians. These anti-social elements also come to the church and the mosque. We therefore charge both the minbar and the altar to demonstrate the political will to stamp out corruption in every home. We must address their consciences.
We must stop idolizing dubious characters. We must publicly appreciate hardworking and honest Nigerians and stop deriding them for their low financial status.
Let us also come together in love and harmony to bring peace to our great nation once again. Christians and Muslims worshipping only one God must desist from seeing themselves as enemies. We are from one and the same God and unto him we shall return. Killing and maiming in the name of that same God is a huge dis-service to Him as our Creator. Let us use religion to fight evil, not ourselves. We all do not have to belong to the same religion as it is by chance that we were born in the South, East or Northern part of Nigeria. We could have been scattered in Siberia, Holland or Trinidad and Tobago.
Finally, we call on Christian clerics and prayer warriors to persistently pray for the survival of Nigeria, for peace and stability. We look forward to the day when our religious leaders will extend dinner invitations to each other and dine together while radio and television stations air the joyous event live. We have no doubt that such an incident will go a long way to promote love, forgiveness and peaceful co-existence. But who will bell the cat?
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)