The Chief of Army Staff, COAS, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, has urged religious leaders to always preach peace and promote unity and cohesion among Nigerians of diverse religious and ethnic affiliations.
Mr Buratai made the call when officials of the National Inter-Faith and Religious Organisation for Peace, NIFROP, paid him a courtesy visit on Thursday in Abuja.
Mr Buratai, who was represented by the Chief of Policy and Planning of the Nigerian Army, Lt.-Gen. Lamidi Adeosun, said that religion was the most perfect and veritable platform to unite and bring Nigerians of various classes and backgrounds together.
He called on NIFROP and other religious leaders to endeavour to preach messages of oneness, love, and togetherness, instead of gospel of division and animosity.
The Army chief commended the organisation for its efforts at seeking divine intervention on national challenges , asking them not to relent on interceding on behalf of the country.
“I want you to also use your religious platforms to educate Nigerians on the essence and virtues of peace, love, compassion and true brotherhood among themselves,” he said.
Earlier, the National Coordinator of the association, Bishop Sunday Yayi, commended ”the great leadership ability and wisdom” of the army chief.
Mr Yayi said that Buratai had been able to keep the Nigerian Army intact, while also protecting the territorial integrity of the nation.
He said peace was a precondition for progress and stability ,pointing out that even religious leaders would find it difficult to preach the gospel if there was no peace.
According to him, NIFROP is an organisation that believes in the co-existence of the human race, despite the religious differences.
“God put Nigerians, both muslims, christians and other worshippers in this country, because He expects us to co-exist together and live in peace, rather than antagonising and killing one another,” he said.