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Cardinal John Onaiyekan Calls for Peace Ahead of 2023 Elections

JOEY Anzaku

Cardinal John Onaiyekan has called on Nigerian youths across religious lines to embrace peace and tolerate one another ahead of the twenty-twenty-three general elections and beyond.

Cardinal Onaiyekan made the call at the Inauguration of Youth Peace Club by Cardinal Onaiyekan Foundation for Peace and Abe-Eslah African Initiative at St Peter’s College, Garaku, Kokona Local Government Area of Nasarawa State.

Addressing youths and students on the importance and roles of peace in societal and human development, Cardinal John Onaiyekan represented by Reverend Sister Ijeoma Okonkwo, stressed the need for youth to be peace ambassadors and treat one another as human beings regardless of ethnoreligious differences, ‘Religion has divided us; Let’s put human being first before religion. Whether Muslim or Christian, we forgot that we are created in the image of God.’

Principal, St Peter’s College, and Imam, Abu Ibrahim Masjidi, Garaku, Reverend Father Sa’aondo Marcellinus and Mallam Idris Ibrahim Ewa said nothing could be compared to Peace and co-existence hence parents and guardians should instil discipline in the upbringing of their children and wards to be responsible and peaceful adults.

Guest Speaker, Dr Solomon Timothy Anjide explained that there’s no reason to justify conflict or blame historical antecedents hence the need for youths to avoid Socio-political and religious leaders who instigate them into war, rather, be united to promote peace and development of the society, especially in the forthcoming general elections.

Convener of the Youth Peace Club, YPC, and Vice Principal, St Peter’s College, Garaku, Reverend Father Augustine Ashigabu said the initiative was to groom Nigerian youths and students on the need to always preach peace and live in peace with one another towards making the society a better place to live and invest, ‘The active players in any conflict are not the elderly; are the young people. So, if we can get young people, to change their mindsets, and equip them with the necessary skills, they would not be open to all kinds of manipulation by those who have selfish interests, would go a long way to make a difference.’

Some students including Yusuf Isah and Benshima Nandekar promised to live peacefully with their loved ones, classmates and neighbours regardless of their ethnoreligious beliefs.

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Written by Binta Nuan

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