…Advocates poverty eradication, empowerment, education

From TONY JOHN, Port Harcourt

The Principal Investigator, Interfaith Dialogue As Tool To Promote National Integration (UIDPNI), Prof. Afis Oladosu, has accused the elite in the society of being responsible for the political violence in the country.

Professor Oladosu of the Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies, University of Ibadan, spoke at data yielding workshop on ‘Using Interfaith Dialogue to Promote National Integration’, organized by the University of Port Harcourt, in partnership with TETFund/National Research Foundation 2020 Grant CYCLE in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

He said Nigerians should be wise and not allow themselves to be used by the elite, whose children reside abroad, to destabilize the country.

The university lecturer believed that once the citizens are educated and empowered, they would not make themselves easy tools in the hands of the political class to cause violence for their selfish interests.

Oladosu said: “Political violence is a product of the elite to dominate or try to control the minds of ordinary citizens. We believe that education, eradication of poverty, empowerment will mitigate political violence in Nigeria. 

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“When people become enlightened, why would you want to kill yourself for somebody to be in government. Those who want to be governor, president don’t use their children to commit political violence. Their children are in safe havens, in Canada, US or UK. 

“So, by the time people are educated, empowered, that will begin to insulate them from some of all these crisis and Nigeria is going to be better for it.”

The Principal Investigator of UIDPNI noted that Islam and Christianity as a religion, are not against each other; rather, the adherents, out of ignorance behave as the two religions are at conflict.

According to him, not much has been done in the campuses in enlightening students on the need for a peaceful coexistence to achieve national integration.

He expressed: “We realise that neither Islam or Christianity are in conflict. It’s usually the adherents of Islam and Christianity that we always see engaged in conflict, based on ignorance and other factors, not religious.

“We further realized that over time, most efforts at promoting peaceful interfaith relations have always neglected the campuses, neglected the undergraduates. 

“We felt the need to begin to plug that gap, link varsities undergraduates together, share with the ideals of peaceful interfaith relations, carry out projects along that line, with a target at promoting national integration.”