Musdapha Ilo, Maiduguri
The Bishop of the Anglican Communion in Borno State and Leader of the Northern Christian Forum, Bishop Emeritus, Emmanuel Kana Mani, has called on Christians and Muslims in the state to work towards ensuring peaceful coexistence and harmonious living.
Mani made the call when he led a delegation of the forum on a condolence visit to the Shehu of Borno, Abubakar Ibn Umar Garbai El-Kanemi, who is the deputy chairman of the Nigerian Muslim Ummah, over the death of the Emir of Kano, Sarkin Ado Bayero, the Emir of Gombe, Shehu Abubakar and the Emir of Gwoza, Muhammad Shehu.
He said it was important for Christians and Muslims in the state to live together and that the forum had set up an inter-faith committee that would help to interface between the two religions whenever there is a crisis.
The Bishop also advocated the establishment of the state beach of the inter religious council.
“Your royal highness, I recall that you have continued to agitate for the establishment of the Borno state Branch of the Nigerian Inter-Religious Council, NIREC. We are therefore, here to also let you know that, if we ever needed NIREC in Borno state, we need it now more than ever before,’ he said.
On the abduction of the Chibok girls, Bishop Mani observed that for over two months, the families of those affected have lived with high expectations of the safe return of their daughters and called on security personnel to double the efforts in finding them.
Bishop Mani also expressed dismay that some Muslims still refer to Christians as “arne” or ‘kirdi”, terms which refer to people of no faith.
He noted that this was a major cause of quarrels and clashes between Christians and Muslims and said that there is a need “to disabuse the minds of our adherents through awareness and enlightenment campaigns.
He also observed that in northern states like Bauchi, Kaduna and others, calling anybody “Arne” is a crime and offenders could go to jail. Same, he said, should apply in Borno State.