Clerics urge Nigerian leaders to emulate Mandela’s virtues

Christian and Muslim leaders meet to discuss peace in Plateau

Some Muslim and Christian leaders in Plateau State, during a two-day meeting, challenged Nigerian and other African leaders to emulate the leadership qualities of late Nelson Mandela in order to ensure peace in the country.

The meeting was held at the Dialogue, Reconciliation and Peace Centre in Jos.

The state secretary, Jama’atu Nasir Islam JNI, Alhassan Shuibu, during his address on Tuesday, noted that most African leaders lacked the necessary qualities of a true leader. Mr. Shuibu said these qualities in Mr. Mandela were what earned South Africa the peace the country experienced. He appealed to Nigerian leaders to rule the country with the fear of God.

Mr. Shuibu advised leaders at every level of life – religious and the secular – to emulate South Africa’s first black president, who, he said, lived for the people. According to the Islamic scholar, Mr. Mandela forgave those who jailed him, while agitating for the rights of his people and made life meaningful for all.

The representative of the Catholic Archbishop of Jos, Ignatius Kaigama, Blessed Agwom, encouraged persistent preaching of peace among the people as a means of encouraging peaceful coexistence.

The president, National Tranquility Movement, NTM, Mohammed Ibrahim, in a presentation on the history of Plateau’s civil unrest, blamed the prolonged violence on lack of forgiveness among warring factions.

He also blamed the non-implementation of recommendations derived from studies on previous crisis. He said that most African leaders were only concerned with their personal gain rather than fighting the cause of the people.

In his four-page presentation titled, Throwing the Devil Back to Hell, Mr. Ibrahim observed that the fury provoked by some of the incidents ended up spilling to other parts of the state. He asked for true forgiveness and reconciliation between the two faith and other none believers.

This was the fourth time the religious leaders were gathering to deliberate on ways to consolidate the relative peace in Jos and some parts of Plateau State. The meeting was organised in collaboration with the National Tranquility Movement/ Dialogue.

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