Date posted: June 20, 2016
Notwithstanding the series of conflicts in various parts of the country, there is a high hope that Nigeria is heading towards peace and a brighter future, Initiator of Hizmet Movement and foremost Turkey-based scholar, M. Fethullah Gulen, has declared.
He disclosed this in a message to the Ufuk Dialogue’s 5th Dialogue and Peace Awards Ceremony, held Wednesday night in Abuja.
A major highlight of the occasion was the Iftar (breaking of fast) by Muslim faithful, supported by their Christian brothers and sisters.
The event had in attendance the President’s wife. Hajia Aisha Buhari, represented by Hajia Zainab Bagudu, wife of the Kebbi state governor, religious leaders, including the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar , respected Islamic scholar, Sheikh Ahmed Lemu, Archbishop of Abuja Diocese, John Cardinal Onayekan leading the Christian clerics, representatives of the Civil Society Organisations , media and others from all walks of life.
In a message to the occasion, Gulen observed that “although there had been some recent provocation-based conflicts that appear to be religiously oriented, “I hold the belief that and hope that Nigeria is strongly proceeding towards a peaceful and happy future, thanks to the broad-minded people like you and the educated generations who view the future with hope.”
Speaking on a larger scale, the ideologue posited that “in our contemporary world, we unfortunately witness persecution, despotism, oppression, conspiracy, murder and pressure on individuals’ consciences.
“We also upsettingly, watch the felons and felonies who become the cause of associating religions-which are essentially the sources of security and peace- with violence, savagery and terrorism and terrorism. We are troubled with agony as some massacres are committed in the name of religion, and many people are forced to depart from their homes, countries and beloveds.”
He further said that as the situation prevails on a global scale, “dialogue, mutual respect, meeting at universal human values and instilling security for people have become not a luxury, but a necessity for Nigeria where Islam and Christianity are practiced with their great dynamism.”
Welcoming guests to the event, Ufuk Dialogue President, Kamil Kemanchi, said “the outfit was founded in Abuja to promote dialogue, culture of co-existence , mutual understanding and to establish a common platform“ aimed at information and opinion exchange.
“In dialogue, it is possible to transform conflict into cooperation. For dialogue to succeed, we must forget the past, ignore polemics and focus on our common points. Dialogue and peace have always been and still remain a need , a necessity, a must for us to have a healthy and more productive society.”
Among the awardees are Sheikh Lemu and His Grace, Most Rev. Oche Job in the religious category, a comedian, Chief Chika Okpala (Chief Zebrudaya) in the arts and culture category, Mohammed Kudu Haruna (Media), and the Head of Service, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita Ekanem in the civil service cadre.
Source: Blue Print , Jun 17th, 2016