How to achieve peace in Northeast, by Anglican Archbishop-elect

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By Onimisi Alao, Yola

The Anglican Communion Archbishop-elect for Jos Province, Most Rev Markus Ibrahim, has called on top Christian and Muslim leaders to strengthen the unity of Nigeria.

The Anglican provincial head whose province, Jos, comprises 137 church branches in the six states of the Northeast and Plateau State, said the leaders must live by example.

According to him, their followers must see them living in harmony to follow suit.

Speaking with newsmen in his home at the Adamawa State capital, Yola, Markus Ibrahim, who had been functioning as the Bishop of the Yola Diocese before his elevation, said: “I pray and advocate: let our religious leaders at CAN and JNI unite.

“If our leaders come together at the national, state and lower levels, if the bishops, imams or sheikhs and are seen to be in harmony, our followers will take their cue.

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“Much of the problem is the head. If our leaders can come together and are known to be friends, will their followers go into fighting? No.”

He lamented that this is not the reality at present, saying, “Our tolerance level is very low. We take up arms over small issues.

“Leaders should preach to the people how to maintain peace. Unfortunately, some of us leaders, our utterances are not helping matters. We tend to steer our people into rioting, killing and destruction.”

He reiterated the need for a change of the order, with leaders truly leading the way to reconciliation and peace in their spheres of influence.