The leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, and the Muslim Council in Taraba on Sunday began a joint tour of the state to promote peaceful coexistence among warring communities.
Addressing the people in one of the peace meetings for Taraba North Senatorial zone in Zing, near Jalingo, the CAN chairman, Ben Ubeh, urged them to always shun violence and stay at peace with one another.
Mr. Ubeh said that the decision to embark on the joint tour was informed by the need to tackle persistent herdsmen/farmers clashes and other ethno-religious conflicts in the state.
He called on the people to expose those who had been hiding under religion to perpetuate crime in communities across the state.
“We are all people of the same family, worshiping the same God; so, religious or ethnic affiliation should not divide us.
“There is no need to kill one another in the name of religion or ethnicity; we must employ dialogue in resolving issues rather than taking to violence,” Mr. Ubeh said.
On his part, Inuwa Musa, the Chairman of Muslim Council urged the people to rise up together and fight against criminality instead of fighting against each other.
Mr. Musa urged the people to always monitor the movement of strangers in their communities with a view to quickly detecting those with criminal behaviour and report them to security agents.
“You have to watch out for strange people, who are coming into the state from neighbouring countries, with the intent to create unnecessary setback and tension.
“All of us must rise up to the challenge by checking the activities of people around us and report suspicious movements to the security agencies for appropriate action,” Mr. Musa advised.
In his remarks, the Chief of Zing (Kpanti), Suleiman Bala, thanked the religious leaders for the initiative, saying, “it would help to put an end to incessant killings and destruction of property in the state.”
Mr. Bala called on other traditional rulers and the people of the state to promote and maintain peaceful coexistence in their communities and in the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that Governor Darius Ishaku of Taraba, at a security meeting with religious leaders recently, raised alarm over influx of herdsmen from neighbouring countries into the state.