The Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Kayode Adetaona, has declared support for the 30-day-Global Prayer for Peace in Nigeria.
The prayer which begins on September 1 is the brain child of Prince Ayo Manuel Ajisebutu, a US based musician, peace activist and social entrepreneur.
Declaring his support for the initiative in a statement Thursday, Oba Adetona said, “we owe it to our people that were taken away as slaves to the America and other parts of the world to make Africa more peaceful and investment friendly in order for them to have a sense of belonging”.
He appealed to all Nigerians to denounce violence and embrace each other with love, adding that , “God is love and we are all children of the same Creator.”
The monarch urged Nigerian leaders to carry the youth and other neglected members of the society along in the task of putting the nation back on track of development and prosperity.
“The leaders must listen to the cry of the youths and every members of the society that feel neglected. We must work together to lift the poor. We must make education a priority for our children.”
“The religious leaders, be it Christians, Muslims or traditionalists , all have vital roles to play in making Nigeria a harmonious society. They must come together as a body of God, love and protect their followers, ” he said.
Oba Adetola also appealed to members of the armed forces to be more humane in dealing with civilian population.
“Every citizen of this country deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. They should allow the court to decide the fate of every accused person,” he added.
The King, a devout Muslim, who respects all religions, calls on every member of the society to become an agent of love and peace in order to create a prosperous country that will be an inspiration to the rest of the world.
Prince Manuel on his part , noted that Nigeria would be a better place if citizens of the country lived together in peace.
According to him , “Our mission statement is to unite humanity for the common good of all. I am concerned about the spate of killings by unknown gunmen, herders/farmers crises, kidnappings and ethnic unrest which can lead to a full-blown genocide. The calls for the dissolution of Nigeria, especially by the Southwest, Southeast and South-South ethnic nationalities should be handled with love.”
Ayo Manuel stated further that he believes in the power of prayer to calm the growing tension in the country.
“My goal is to continue to bring together Christian, Muslim and other religious leaders in Nigeria and around the world to call on their followers to pray for peace in Nigeria for the entire month of September . The program will be followed by some practical initiatives to promote love, peace and unity in the country. “