Religious crises has since independent become one of the major headache of leaders and political office holders and it has starred on our faces with seemingly no solution. It is unarguably a fact that peace is very important and non-negotiable.
An atmosphere of civil unrest occasioned by either Religion, Political or Traditional hoopla inherently lead to destruction of life, valuables and economic stagnation. Some states in Nigeria today are still battling one form of religions or tribal tribal. Nigeria, a religious country and Nigerians predominantly Christians and Muslims at every opportunity, sanctimoniously want to prove that they love their God and want to fight for him. We have witnessed religious war in Nigeria most especially in the Northern part of the country, from Plateau State to Kaduna, Nasarawa, Taraba, Adamawa, Borno, Niger, Kogi States. That Religious intolerance has led to the untimely and premature death of many.
In Kogi though, the level of religious tolerance has been appreciably commendable. However, the present administration of Alh. Yahaya Bello of Kogi State has accorded greater impetus to religious tolerance in the State starting from his appointments to his relationship and respect to the sanctity of other religion in the state.
Few days ago, in my engagement with an individual, he asked. What are the achievements of the Alh Yahaya Bello’s Administration?
My first reply, RELATIVE PEACE and he hissed!
People have undermined peace. Everything on earth from the foundation of the world revolve round peace.
Today, the Peace Kogites enjoyed cannot be compared to the previous Administrations. We will not forget in a hurry how a community in Kogi Central, Ihima to be precise destroyed both human and properties for 7 consecutive years out of the 8 years 9 months of Gov. Ibrahim/Philip led Administration.
In this state, some group of terrorists invaded Deeper Life Church in Otite and killed many worshippers. Today, apart from tribal and ethnic peace that the new direction government of Yahaya Bello has instituted and concretized, the governor has also given unbiased attention to religious bodies in the State. A Muslim from birth yet obey and observe the sanctity of the sanctuary at any point opportunity present itself for him to enter the Church. The governor has done this several times. He gave assistance to churches while doing the same to his mother’s religion. For the first time in the history of Kogi State, Governor Yahaya Bello built a place of worship for the Christians in Government House. While the chapel is completed, commissioned and worship has been holding there since 2019, the government house mosque is still under construction till today.
Governor Yahaya Bello religious tolerance shall remain a point of reference in the history of Kogi state. To balance his non sectarian disposition, while appreciating God for the success of the Supreme court victory, the governor on Friday held a Juma’at prayer. On Sunday, he was in the Church dancing and singing to the glory of God. He didn’t stop the traditional believers from doing what they know how to do. This is the leadership attribute that many political office holders do not possess that has led to erosion of peace in their domain.
As all matters regarding his second tenure finally settled, the governor has started this second term on a Godly platform, it is sure that he will definitely do more.
Lawal Ozomata James
Writes from Lokoja.