…Ewhrudjakpo Receives, Reassures Muslim Ummah of Support
Bayelsa State Government, has identified religious intolerance as a major causative factor of conflicts, wanton destruction of lives and property as well as lack of sustainable development in the country.
The state Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, made the assertion when the leadership of the Association of South-South Muslim Ummah of Nigeria, paid him a courtesy visit in Government House, Yenagoa.
Senator Ewhrudjakpo, in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Mr Doubara Atasi, lamented that Nigeria ranks among countries in the world with an unenviable record of high religious intolerance where the sanctity of life has been reduced to almost nothing.
He insisted that several lives and property were being lost on a daily basis to conflicts caused by religious fanatics, who had veered away from obeying the commandment of love as espoused by the founders of the religions they profess.
The Deputy Governor opined that the Almighty God and Creator of the Heavens and Earth recognizes religious diversity, otherwise He would have compelled man to practice only one religion all over the world.
According to him, the Governor Douye Diri-led Administration would continue to provide and maintain the enabling environment for all religions to thrive in the state within the confines of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
To this end, Senator Ewhrudjakpo assured that the state government would not discriminate between Christians and Muslims in the sponsorship of pilgrimages to their respective Holy lands.
Responding to their requests of having a State Muslims’ Pilgrim Board as well as a central mosque in Yenagoa, the state capital, he promised to brief the Governor on the issues.
He said: “For us in Bayelsa, we believe that we must provide a level playing ground for all faith-based organizations to practice their various religions. That is why we treat you (Muslims), the same way we treat Christians and even traditionalists.
“The same will apply if we have Hindus and Buddhists; we will treat them equally because it is not our place to judge who is righteous and who is not. That is God’s work. Man should do the work of man, and allow God to do His.
“So, we will continue to sponsor Muslims to pilgrimages within the limits of available resources. We take that as our duty and responsibility because they offer prayers for themselves and the state.
“One of the issues causing problem in this country, is the very high level of religious intolerance, which is not true worship of God. If God doesn’t want any religion to exist, He has the power to stop it.
‘So, we should stop the unnecessary competition among our various religions and collaborate with one another in preaching and practising love for this country to move forward.”
Earlier, the Chairman of the Association of South-South Muslim Ummah of Nigeria, Alhaji (Amb) Nasir Uhor, commended the present administration’s efforts at fostering peace and harmony among the various religions in the state.
He explained that the creation of a separate pilgrims board for the Muslim Ummah in the state would make for greater efficiency in the management of pilgrimage activities.