Adherents of various religion in Nigeria have been asked to intensify their quest for lasting peace through Inter-religious harmony.
The wife of the President, Dame Patience Goodluck Jonathan, gave the advice at the book presentation: seeking common grounds inter-religious dialogue in Africa, authored by his eminence John Cardinal Onaiyekan,held at the Nicon Luxury Hotel,Abuja.
Dame Patience Jonathan commended Cardinal Onaiyekan for the book which she described as a reference material for inter-religious harmony.
The first lady commended the Cardinal’s painstaking efforts in preaching peace.
The first Lady called on other Nigerians to emulate the peaceful initiative of the Cardinal,urged other Nigerians to see peaceful coexistence as the bedrock for national development.
Also speaking,Yomi Awoniy,Deputy Governor Kogi State,described the Cardinal as a worthy son of the state and praised his peace role.
The Deputy Governor assured that the solution proferred to interfaith. Peace through dialogue will be put into good use by the state,and described Kogi as a peaceful state where adherents of various religion have coexisted in harmony.
On why he was motivated to write the book,Cardinal Onaiyekan,described Nigeria as a very religious country that should be proud of.
While disclosing that political extremism and corruption have been the nation’s major challenge,he called on Nigerian’s not to take the peace been witness in the country for granted.
The Cardinal called on Nigerians to also put to best use the teaching of true religion by seeking ways to discover grounds for the basis to face the challenges facing the nation.
In his opening remarks, Amb T.B. Hart who was Chairman of the occasion, said interfaith religion and dialogue should continually be encouraged.
He described the author as an intellect, very hard working and courageous in proferring vital solution that will create peace in the country through his book.
Also speaking,Anselem Umoren,who spoke on behalf of the planning committee, said the world will be a better place if adherents of various religion face and serve God as a common God. He called on Nigerians to strive for unity and peace of the nation.
The book reviewer,Rev.Fr.Prof.Paulinus Ikechukwu,said the twenty chapter book is divided into four section, dwelt extensively on the three major religion in Nigeria with the author having discussion with several stakeholders on inter faith religion. He concluded the review by describing Nigeria as a unique nation with great number of moslem and christians living in peace and harmony.
There were several goodwill messages from prominent Nigerians as highlight of the book presentation, unveiling of the book by wife of the President, Dame Patience Goodluck Jonathan, and cutting of the 70th birthday cake and toast to His Eminence, Cardinal Onaiyekan.
The book Seeking Common Grounds Inter-Religious Dialogue in Africa is a collection of essays, lectures, speeches, interventions, which John Cardinal Onaiyekan has written over the years.
The book deals largely with the with the nature and role of religion, especially as it relates to lives in modern world.
Addressed to various audiences around the world,the book argues that when religion works towards the attainment of the common good, it could facilitate love, unity, peace and justice.
The publication highlighted certain aspects of peace building among people of different religions. Drawing from his experience as a pastor and teacher, Onaiyekan convincingly stated that in spirit of the founding principles of religions,we must work tirelessly to ensure that there is a common ground.
John Cardinal Onaiyekan an indigene of Kogi State is the Archbishop of Abuja and the Nigeria’s fourth Roman Catholic Cardinal. He has served in different. Leadership positions within the Catholic Church and beyond.
The book presentation was attended by governor’s of Rivers, Kogi, Anambra, Kaduna and Osun states.
Also in attendance were Ministers, National Assembly Members and people from all works of life, who showered praises of the peaceful disposition of the author over the years.