Minister harps on religious tolerance as Church marks Centenary

Front row: Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed (middle); Coadjutor Bishop of Ilorin Diocese, Most Reverend Paul Adegboyega (second from left); the Catholic Bishop of Ilorin, Most Reverend Ayo-Maria Atoyebi (second right); the APC Governorship Candidate in Kwara State, Alhaji Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq (extreme right) and the Parish Priest of Saint Andrew’s Catholic Church, Oro, Reverend Father Joseph Awoyale (back row second to the right) at the centenary celebration of the Catholic Church in Oro, Kwara State on Thursday.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has stressed the need for peaceful co-existence between Christian and Muslim faithful in order to engender peace and unity in the country.

The Minister made the remarks in Oro, Kwara State, on Thursday at the centenary celebration of the Saint Andrew’s Catholic Church Oro, saying that the massive socio-economic development that has been witnessed in Oro over the years is largely due to the religious harmony in the town.

He said the lessons learnt from the 100 years of the existence of the Saint Andrew’s Catholic Church in his hometown of Oro is that of tolerance and peaceful co-existence between Christians and Muslims.

Alhaji Mohammed, who attended the centenary Mass in the church, recalled that the premises of the Church was the venue, for three consecutive years, of his Annual Ramadan Lecture.

“Not only are we witnessing 100 years of Catholicism in Oro but actually we also witnessed 100 years of peaceful co-existence between Christianity and Islam and I think to me this is the most significant mark of this particular event.

“I think the lesson to learn is that no religion preaches violence, no religion preaches hatred, every religion preaches peace and we should all borrow a leaf from what is happening in this small town so that all Nigerians can live together in peace,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Minister has reiterated the commitment of the Federal Government to ensuring the safe release of Leah Sharibu, the remaining hostage from the Dapchi kidnap.

“As for Leah Sharibu, our message to Nigerians is that they should appreciate that as far as we are concerned, any of our citizens, whether boy or girl, whether Muslim or Christian, is dear to us. We do not look at Leah Sharibu from the prism of religion, we look at her as a daughter of this country. We are doing our best to ensure the safe release of Leah Sharibu,” he said.

Segun Adeyemi
SA To Hon Minister of Information and Culture
Oro, Kwara State
2 Nov. 2018