The President of Catholic Women Organisation (CEO) Lady Charity Ohadiugha, has called on Nigerians to shun all forms violence and embrace peace.
Ohadiugha made the call at the King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz International Centre (KAICIID) fellows roundtable inter-religious and intercultural dialogue on the protection of Holy sites in Abuja.
She said there was need for more enlightenment on peaceful coexistence, saying ignorance and wrong perception had allowed rancour in the country.
“This country has to move forward, we must work together at all levels to promote peace, we should dwell on those things that unite us rather than those things that separate us. We need to respect one another’s religion, geographical location, and culture.
” If peace prevails, all would work together to bring about economic, political and social developments,” Ohadiugha said.
She said that absence of peace triggers violence which starts from an individual through conflicting behaviors that is often caused by other people’s actions and attitudes.
Ohadiugha said the importance of peace to all could never be over-emphasised as it touches all ranging from businesses, farming and government could not provide social amenities if projected areas are not in peace.
She said the youths in the country had a major role in promoting peace as they constituted the largest in the country, urging them to use their potentials and skills to help develop the country rather than seek greener pastures abroad.
Earlier, the Co- President of Interfaith Youth and Peace Building Network of Nigeria, Rev. Father John Okonkwo, urged religious leaders not to relent in ensuring peaceful coexistence.
He also advised political minded authorities not to use religion as a means of dividing the country, adding that they should acknowledge the diversity in the country as a blessing.
Meanwhile, Vice President of the Muslim Society of Nigeria, Umar Lawal, said there was need to respect one another by ensuring the law works for everyone irrespective of the affiliation.
In his address, Convener of the Programme, Stella Francis, considered the elements of violence as enemies of human dignity mocking the level of civilization, knowledge and academic breakthroughs, stressing that dialogue remained the effective tool by which the country can silence the voices of violence and hate.
“We hope to have a community more strengthened and matured in understanding, sharing respect for one another’s difference,” she said.