The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello, has reiterated the administration’s commitment to peaceful co-existence among different religious faiths in the territory.
Bello stated this in Abuja on Thursday when he received the Archbishop of Abuja Catholic Archdiocese, Dr John Onaiyekan.
The minister urged religious leaders to curb the incessant hate speech, which has posed a challenge to peaceful co-existence among Nigerians.
“I want to urge you to use your position to fight the menace of hate speech, especially among the youths,” Bello said.
He decried the use of the social media to propagate hate speech and regretted situations where religious preachers are also involved in the harmful practice.
“This was not the case when we were growing up. Back then we were each others’ keepers and that is how it is supposed to be,” he said.
The minister described Onaiyekan as a man of peace and commended him for championing inter-faith cooperation and promoting peaceful co-existence through dialogue.
He also pledged the continued support of the FCTA to the Archbishop’s activities in engendering peace among the citizenry.
Bello also commended Onaiyekan for pursuing the building of the church’s Daughters of Charity Hospital, Bwari.
The major part of the old hospital had to make way for the Abuja-Kaduna railway line.
Responding, the archbishop commended the FCT Administration for its support of the church’s activities especially in the area of education.
He solicited partnership of the FCTA in the management of some schools that would ultimately benefit the under-privileged in the society.
The archbishop also drew the minister’s attention to the establishment of the John Onaiyekan Foundation for Peace.
The foundation he said, “is involved in a lot of activities all geared towards promoting peaceful co-existence and inter-faith cooperation.
“The foundation is also involved in the training of several religious stakeholders cutting across the major religions in the country on peace and unity and plans to also hold an inter-faith football tournament,” he said.