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Hate Video: NIREC, Religious Leaders Must Meet, Foundation Says

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Hate Video: NIREC, Religious Leaders Must Meet, Foundation Says

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The Gideon & Funmi Para-Mallam Peace Foundation (TP-MPF) has called on the leading religious leaders, through the Nigeria Inter-Religious Council (NIREC) to meet over a threat to the Nigerian first lady, Sen Remi Tinubu.

Recently, a video of an Islamic Cleric speaking in Hausa against Nigeria’s First Lady, Oluremi Tinubu for being a Christian went viral on social media. In the video, the cleric declared that the First Lady deserves to die for not just being a Christian but also a pastor.

Even though the cleric apologized for the video on Monday, TP-MPF said religious leaders in Nigeria needs to meet and address issues of haye speeches.

A statement issued by the President and CEO of the Peace Foundation, Dr Gideon Para-Mallam said such hate speeches should be addressed and tackled headlong.

“This should be addressed and tackled in the open and not through a back door approach.

“Mr President should give priority to peace building and conflict transformation approach on a national scale.

“A National Peace and Reconciliation Commission should be set up to promote peaceful coexistence among Nigerians.

“Respect for Freedom of Religion and Belief (FoRB) should be elevated to the level of national discourse and social action as a conversation, practice and structural framework,” Para-Mallam said, adding that the public use of words that depict religious intolerance such as arne (infidel) and kafir (pagan) amount to hate speech and should be outlawed not only in Criminal and Penal Codes, but also in the Constitution.

“Religious diversity should not be a source of grief for Nigerians. True religion should be an instrument of peace not destruction and death. Like Maya Angelou said, “We all should know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry, and we must understand that all the threads of the tapestry are equal in value no matter what their color.” She added: “Prejudice is a burden that confuses the past, threatens the future and renders the present inaccessible.” And as the current UN General Secretary, Antonio Guterres, said: “We have to transcend our differences to transform our future.” Nigerian religious and political leaders need to instill these social and religious truths into our national consciousness and discourse in word and practice,” Para-Mallam added.