Chairman, Kaduna State Peace Commission, Bishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon, has said for Nigeria to succeed in religious tolerance, it must go back to the era of premier of Northern Nigeria and Sardauna of Sokoto, Sir Ahmadu Bello.
Bishop Idowu-Fearon noted that both Christian and Muslim communities leaders at that time worked tirelessly for the progress of the country without allowing their religious differences to set them against one another to the detriment of the nation.
In his remark yesterday, in Kaduna, at a lecture with the theme, “Christian and Muslim learning together the challenge and opportunity for religious leadership today,” the bishop specifically extolled leadership quality of the then president-general of Nigeria, Nnamdi Azikiwe and other regional leaders. He recalled how Sir Ahmadu Bello advised Azikiwe that it was better for them, as leaders, to understand their political and religious differences than to forget it, as a panacea for peaceful co-existence among the people.
“I remembered vividly how Sardauna and Azikiwe discussed Muslim population in the North and Christian population in the East, and the need to use such populations for the development of the country.
“Perhaps, out of enthusiasm Azikiwe told Sardauna, let us forget our differences and forge ahead, but Sardauna said no, we should not forget our differences, but we should rather understand our differences to move on as one united country.”