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Inter-Religious Council threatened

The Nigeria Inter-Religious Council (NIREC) established to mediate on the incessant religious crises bedeviling the country may crumble if the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) carries out its threat to pull out of the council.

CAN members in the council were reportedly angry at what they termed foul play by other members of the council.

According to sources, the unceremonious cancellation of a meeting of the council scheduled for February 9 in Abuja infuriated the CAN members who had arrived for the meeting.

“Christian leaders had flown into Abuja only to hear that the meeting had been cancelled,” the source said.

It was said that the Sultan of Sokoto had postponed the meeting which was to hold after its last meeting in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State in 2013.

NIREC was set up in 1999 to mediate in the religious crises in the country. It consists of 25 Christians and 25 Muslims and is co-chaired by the President-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) and Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammed Sa’ad Abubakar, and the president of CAN, Pastor Ayo Oritejafor.

It was charged with the responsibility of providing a platform for religious leaders and traditional rulers to interact as a foundation for religious harmony in the country.

Some priests and religious leaders who spoke to Christian Voice on the new development said that the government should do all it can to restore confidence in the council.

According to one of them who refused to be quoted, Nigeria has suffered so much violence based on religion and politics and NIREC is the hope of the common man in restoring peace, especially now that the country is under attack of the dreaded Islamic sect, Boko Haram.

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