The Gbong Gwom of Jos and Chairman, Plateau Council of Chiefs, His Royal Highness, Da Jacob Gyang Buba, has identified what he described as religious criminality as responsible for the continued crisis on the Plateau.
The Jos monarch said insincerity and hypocrisy have made the resolution of the crisis almost an impossible task.
“Our attitudes are not helping us in the search for peace. We have refused to embrace forgiveness and have continued to pay back those who offended us in their own bad coins. In times like this, we must not only be talking about peace and dialogue, but we must also be willing to live peacefully with our neighbour.
What is plaguing the state is religious criminality. By that I mean that when criminals commit offence; they often resort to religious sentiments to escape justice. That is not good for our system. We must deal with criminals wherever they are found.
“It’s unfortunate that religious leaders who should know better are the ones behind these crises. It may surprise all of us that those who are neither Muslims nor Christians will be admitted to Heaven before some of these religious leaders,” said the Gbong Gwom.
Calling on religious and traditional rulers, including politicians, to rise up in defence of the humanity of the Nigerian people, he thanked IDFP for deeming it fit to embark on such advocacy for peaceful resolution of conflicts in various states of the Federation.
“Like I have always maintained, no security agency can restore peace; the best they can do is to enforce law and order. For us to have peace, we all must agree to follow the path of peace. While we have growing number of churches and mosques, but the spirituality level of Nigerians is declining every day. The building is not looking for salvation,; it is we who need salvation.
“What is really behind this crisis is hinged on lack of sincerity and we must end this lack of sincerity in order to hand over a peaceful nation to future generations” he said.
Speaking earlier, leader of the IDFP advocacy team informed the Gbong Gwom that members of the forum were in Jos on a fact-finding mission in order to ascertain the real cause of the crisis.
“IDFP is supported by KAICIID Dialogue Centre based in Vienna, Austria, in its programmes to encourage the use of dialogue in resolving conflict. Our existence as a group was initiated by the Vienna-based group and IDFP comprises of 100 clerics whose number is equally shared between the two religions of Islam and Christianity. Membership of the forum includes various sects and denominations in both Islam and Christianity,” Mohammed said.
Chairman of the Local Organising Committee of the visit, Rev Zaka Ahuche thanked the monarch for granting them audience and assured him of the forum’s willingness to partner and collaborate with groups in search for peace.