Kaduna Family House Inaugurated – Gov El-Rufai
On behalf of the Kaduna State Government, it is my pleasure to inaugurate the House of Kaduna Family, a platform for leaders of faith to dialogue, interact and assume collective responsibility for messages that assist people of faith to live up to the highest ideals of our two main religions as peaceful, law-abiding citizens.
I thank all of our respected religious leaders for this sacrifice by agreeing to serve as members of the House of Kaduna Family. I am most grateful for the nuggets of wisdom that I have picked personally from the brief interactive session. We will support this initiative in the interest of the wellbeing of the people of Kaduna State.
Here are my remarks at the event:
1. I wish to welcome you all to this event. Religious fervour is a common trait among Nigerians. Yet, the legacy of communal and ethnoreligious conflict in our state betrays the absence not only of respect for the rule of law but also any adherence to the common values of our two dominant religions – which are peace, compassion and fairness to others. We have no doubt that our leaders of faith can help both the Christian and Muslim faithful to more consciously practise these values.
2. The decision to gather leaders of faith in a joint endeavour for peace and harmony in our state reflects our belief that religion does not have to divide. It is our view that the diversity of faith can be a vehicle for unity when adherents respect the right of every human being to life, liberty and livelihood, as creatures of God.
3. No one can be wiser than Almighty God who created everyone and the universe we inhabit, who decreed diversity in biology, race, gender, religion, geography, and much else. Belief in God ought to compel people of faith to cherish common humanity and to stand up for everybody, not just the people with whom they share a common religion.
4. The House of Kaduna Family is convened as a platform for leaders of faith to dialogue, interact and assume collective responsibility for messages that assist people of faith to live up to the highest ideals of our two main religions as peaceful, law-abiding citizens.
5. This is an important assignment in our state. In 1987, we witnessed riots that were sparked by a religious event. Repeated instances of violent conflict since then have inclined many of our citizens to construct their positions on religious and ethnic lines. Things do not have to stay that way. We have to work together to ensure that widespread adherence to faith translates into a broad constituency for peace, upheld by people whose faith in God also helps them to be better citizens. Division and conflict amidst intense religiosity is not our destiny.
6. The frequency of ethno-religious violence in our State in the last 40 years has had negative consequences on peaceful co-existence, development and public finances. In the last five years, we have spent billions supporting, equipping and sustaining federal security agencies to improve the situation. These are resources that can be better applied for investment in reducing the human and physical infrastructure deficits the state suffers from.
7. Kaduna State looks forward to your contributions to helping advance peace and harmony in our communities so that it can be said of us that we live in concord because we are religious.
8. I assure you of the government’s full embrace and support for this initiative, and I thank all of you, our respected religious leaders for this sacrifice by agreeing to serve. I thank you most sincerely for the nuggets of wisdom that I have picked personally from the brief interactive session.
9. My Lords Spiritual, Your Excellency the Deputy Governor, ladies and gentlemen, it is therefore with all humility, my privilege and pleasure to inaugurate the House of Kaduna Family and to wish all its members successful service in the interest of the people of our state.
10. Let me conclude by expressing the appreciation and gratitude of the people and government of Kaduna State to the Chairman, Governing Board and Management of Kaduna State Peace Commission for various initiatives and interventions that contributed to improving the security situation in our state.
Thank you for listening.
Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai, OFR
Governor of Kaduna State
September 3, 2020