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Christian/Muslim group visits Sheikh Zakzaky (H)

The Christian/Muslim Youth Peace Initiative who are out to foster peace and understanding among adherents of the two major Nigerian religions have paid a Sallah visit to the revered leader

 of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky at his home in Zaria on 20th August 2012.

Speaking at the occasion, the leader of the delegation Mr Diji Haruna, who is also the chairman youth wing of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) said that they were there to pay a Eid visit to the revered leader of the Islamic Movement and to extend the message of their association which is to promote peace and understanding among the various adherents of the two major religions in the country.

He said, “We want to be our brother’s keepers because without peace one cannot practice his or her religion perfectly. We therefore resolved to come together to do everything possible to restore lasting peace, not only in Kaduna but in Nigeria at large.”

He explained that their program will cover the entire nation where they hope to have branches in all the state capitals. He said, “After Kaduna state, the next state to benefit from this program is Plateau state. Again we will make sure we have branches in all the states of the federation.”

Addressing the delegation, the revered leader of the Islamic Movement, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky (H) expressed gratitude for the visit and described their effort as commendable.

Mr. Diji Haruna hands over wall clock to the Leader

In a brief speech he delivered the revered leader of the Islamic Movement described the difference between man and animal as the sense of reasoning possessed by man. He said “the difference between man and animal is the sense of reasoning possessed by man and man differentiates himself from an animal when he uses it rightly.”

Touching on the Nigerian state he mentioned that Nigeria was founded by the colonialist not for Nigerians but for their own economic interest. He explained how the composition of the Nigerian state is being exploited by some interest groups to achieve their personal whims while he condemned tribalism as one of the tools they exploit.

He said about tribalism, “I hate the term tribal. No one has chosen to belong to any tribe. He only found himself belonging to the tribe and so there is no reason one should fight on the basis of tribe. I am detribalized.”

He said, “there is rivalry in the way Nigeria is due to its composition. Rivalry could be useful and could be destructive as well. It could be useful when it brings competition and development and it could be destructive when people use it to fight one another.”

He also spoke on how the differences among Nigerians, including religious differences is being exploited by interest parties that include politicians to achieve their personal whims. He said, “The issue of religion has the concept of ‘we are right and every other person is wrong.’ And this is due to differences. In the past the politicians have used these differences for their personal benefits. They used these to build themselves while they make people to believe that those who profess a contrary faith are their enemies.” He added that the differences between the adherents of the various religions is being exploited by enemies abroad in order to achieve their whims as well. He said, “also our enemies from outside use the same thing to achieve their interest. There are those who exploit the religious differences to achieve their benefits. Like the so-called Boko Haram is a program from outside. They are exploiting the religious differences to create tension in order to achieve their selfish goals.”

The revered leader called for understanding among the adherent of the religions as no one could live on his own. He mentioned that since it is impossible to live apart, then there should be an understanding of how to live together adding that we are connected in one way or the other.

He said, “there is a saying of imam Ali AS that there are two types of humans, they are either your brothers in religion or your brothers in creation.

No man is an island and so everyone has to live with the other and not alone because it is virtually impossible to live alone. There is an example in Lebanon that is similar to Nigeria they have gone through a lot of hardship and crises due to their composition and have finally reached the consensus and understanding of how to live together and are now living together despite the differences.

“If we know that we have to live together why then don’t we stop the fight and  come and understand how to live together.”

The leader of the Islamic Movement Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky (H) wished the association success and also said that they will be accorded the necessary support they desire in their mission and prayed for their success. 



By Bello Hamza and Abdul Mumin Giwa