By Polycarp Auta
Prof. Ayo Omotayo, the Director-General of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, near Jos, has advised members of the Senior Executive Course (SEC) 44 of the institute to promote peace and religious tolerance in their various domains.
The director-general gave the advice at a get-together organised by the Christian participants of the SEC on Monday in Jos.
Omatayo, who described the NIPSS as ”miniature Nigeria”, said that promoting interfaith and unity remained part of its core mandate.
“I am excited to be part of this event because the issue of interfaith harmony and peace building among Christians and Muslims is not something we should take for granted.
“If NIPSS succeeds, then Nigeria will also succeed because the institute is a miniature Nigeria.
“When we visited Malaysia recently with some of you on study tour, we realised that they have Federal Ministry of Peace and Inter-Religious Harmony; this goes to show the importance of what we are doing here today.
”So, there is nothing wrong if we make deliberate efforts to preach peace among adherents of the two religions and this underscores the importance of this gathering
”I want to, therefore, challenge you that when you leave this place, we should make conscious effort to preach peace and interfaith harmony in our respective communities,” he advised.
Omotayo promised that NIPSS would continue to develop policies that would entrench peaceful co-existence and mitigating violent conflicts in the country.
Earlier, the leader of the Christian participants, Mr Segun Balogun, said that the event aimed at fostering tolerance, harmony and togetherness in NIPSS and Nigeria in general
He added that the meeting would promote elite consensus toward entrenching peace across Nigeria.
”As graduands of NIPSS, we have automatically become peace ambassadors.
”You will recall that our fellow Muslim participants invited us twice to the Mosque for similar gathering.
”This goes to show that we are really passionate about a peaceful Nigeria and by the time other Nigerians see what we are doing, it will send a strong message about the need for interfaith collaboration,” he said
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that there were goodwill messages from the Prof. Funmi Para-Mallam, the Dircetor of Studies of the institute, Muslim participants, among others.(NAN)