By Abolade Ogundimu
Reverend Paul Sani and Malam Muhammad Manga have enjoined clerics to promote common views in the scriptures rather than differences in their evangelism for peace, stability and progress to reign supreme in the country.
Sani of the Straightway Gospel Mission, Jos, and Manga of the Centre for Multi-faith Dialogue, made the call on Sunday at the end of a two-day inter-faith dialogue in Lugbe, a satellite town of the FCT.
The sixth edition of the event was jointly organised by the Lugbe Muslim Ummah Islamic Trust and the Centre for Multi-faith Dialogue in the FCT.
Addressing the joint congregation, the clerics quoted relevant verses from the two holy books of Qur’an and Bible to buttress their convictions.
Both clerics affirmed that healthy dialogue by notable clerics of the two religions will deepen unity and prosperity in the country and the world at large.
According to Sani who quoted severally from the Bible and Qur’an, God is one and therefore there is no need to claim superiority while sharing conviction.
“The two holy books, Qur’an and Bible unite on oneness of Almighty God; worshippers from the two faiths should focus on that.
“Believers (Christians and Muslims) should listen to each other with open minds so that they can learn about God from one another.
“I will suggest this type of peaceful dialogue comes up more often in every part of the country, it will foster unity among people,’’ he said.
For his part, Manga, who freely drew references from the Qur’an and various versions of the Bible, shared complimented Sani’s position.
“This is the sixth edition of this programme and the objective is getting better realised, exploring common views among people of different faiths.
“It is not a debate but dialogue with one another on what we should do as human beings to have a better society.
“Through this annual dialogue, some believers in both faiths have realised their ignorance about each other and openly express their new discovery about worshipping God.
“I urge clerics of both religions in Nigeria to emulate the organisers of this programme by replicating the dialogue more often across the country,’’ he urged.
Miss Salome Nweke, a civic education teacher, who attended the last two editions, told NAN that she was impressed.
“I was invited last year and the lecture from scholars from both sides was impressive.
“Both Muslim and Christian attendees were asking questions and they got responses with scriptural backings from scholars.
“That gave me the courage to come again and the two scholars were really gifted. I now know that both religions encourage kindness to one another.
“I wish this type of dialogue is done all over the country from time to time so that we can further live freely together as a nation, not as enemies,” Nweke said.
Also, Mr Muhammad Ndagi, a civil servant, said “this annual dialogue will further open our hearts to one another as a people created by God, worshipping Him according to our convictions in the two scriptures.
“It should be supported and emulated by all religions so that we can have a more united nation,’’ he said.
Alhaji Muhammad Yabagi, the 1st Deputy Chairman and Director, Education Committee of the Trust, gave assurance that the event would be consistent and thanked those that honoured the invitation
Yabagi also enjoined the media to promote issues that would strengthen the bond of Nigerians rather than fanning the embers of hate, violence and disunity.