The Traditional Ruler of the Hausa-Muslim Community in Imo, Alh. Auwal Baba-Sulaiman, has called for ethnic and religious harmony among Nigerians.
Baba-Sulaiman made the call on Wednesday during an interactive session with journalists in Owerri to mark the Eid-el-Kabir celebration.
He said that Nigerians should learn to tolerate one another, saying, “this is the only panacea to peaceful coexistence in Nigeria.”
He described differences in religion and ethnicity as “diversity that spices up life.”
According to him, a proper understanding of this diversity is key to national cohesion.
“Our strength as a people lies in our diversity and we need to be tolerant of each others rights and choices to continue to coexist peacefully with one another,” the royal father said.
Also, the Chief Imam of Imo, Sulaiman Njoku, lauded Gov. Hope Uzodimma for tackling insecurity and uniting people of varying religious backgrounds in the state.
He urged the Muslim faithful in the state to seize the opportunity of the Eid celebration to pray for the state and support the efforts of security personnel for lasting peace.
“This is a celebration of sacrifice and I urge Nigerians to make needed sacrifices for national peace and cohesion,” Njoku said.
The National President of the Muslim/Christian Youth Council of Nigeria, Mr Emmanuel Ifuma, also spoke on the imperatives of dialogue and tolerance as the bedrock for peaceful coexistence.
He urged the youths to embrace dialogue and not allow themselves to be used to promote violence, ethnic or religious acrimony.
Also, the Chairman, Muslim Council of Imo, Mr Basheer Uwakwe, expressed joy that Muslims had lived in the state for over 100 years without any rancour with the indigenes.
He urged the Muslim faithful in the state to remain law-abiding and peaceful in line with the spirit of the celebration.