Oyo State governor, ‘Seyi Makinde, said on Saturday, that Nigerians must imbibe peaceful coexistence and religious harmony to enhance development in the country.
The governor, who spoke at the Government House, Agodi, Ibadan, during a visit by the former Emir of Kano, Sheikh Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, who now leads the Tijaniyya Islamic Sect of Nigeria, said that without peace, justice and harmonious living, development may elude the country.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, quoted the governor as praising the former Emir for being courageous to champion the course of peace, unity and harmonious existence at this critical time in the nation’s history.
The governor said: “In the South-West, we are so interconnected religious-wise that there is no family you won’t see a Muslim or a Christian in there.
“It, therefore, comes to nothing for any vested interest to want to divide us using religion.
“I usually tell my people here that those who think they can create divisions among us using religion should look for better things to do because it will not work in here.
“Just as we in Yorubaland have learnt to live peacefully together, I will recommend that you preach religious harmony to all parts of Nigeria, because that is a win-win situation for us all.
“As you journey through the country, preaching peace, in your role as leader of the Tijanniya Islamic Sect, please endeavour to always impress it on our people to imbibe religious harmony.”
The former Emir of Kano, Sheikh Sanusi, in his speech, told the governor that he was in the state to meet with members of the Tijaniyyah sect.
He said that he has taken it as his duty to do everything within his powers to preach peaceful coexistence among Nigerians.
According to him, the Tijaniyyah sect, which he now leads, has a 70 million strong population, adding that the sect will continue to work for peace, unity and development in Nigeria.
Some of the dignitaries who graced the occasion include the Speaker of the Oyo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Debo Ogundoyin, Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Chief Bayo Lawal and the chairman, Oyo State Advisory Board, Senator Hosea Agboola.
Others were Islamic clerics and top government officials.