Religious leaders should speak out against violent non-state actors – Osinbajo

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Religious leaders should speak out against violent non-state actors – Osinbajo Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo has said the religious leaders and the government must work together to ensure peace and stability in Nigeria.

According to him, religious leaders and faith communities play a significant role in ensuring fraternity and harmony in the country and West Africa, hence must join hands with governments.

Osinbajo said this at the General Assembly of the Reunion of the Episcopal Conference of West Africa (RECOWA), which took place at the ECOWAS Secretariat, Abuja.

“It’s my hope that you will conceptualize ways of bringing the full weight of the immense moral authority that you possess upon our nations and in the sub-region as a whole.

“The Government of Nigeria remains committed to collaborating with the Church and all well-meaning actors in promoting peace and security,” Osinbajo said.

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While applauding the Catholic Church and the Bishops’ Conference for speaking truth to power, Osinbajo urged the Church as a whole to speak out against those violent non-state actors.

“We’re gratified that the Church has stood out and continues to stand as a powerful voice for ecumenism all over the world and is committed to doing so in the region,” he said.

The Vice President said, *Over the years, the Church has modelled profound approaches in challenging the impunity of some State actors and errant power. But my Lords, I believe the times also call for speaking to the growing numbers of violent non-state actors, some propagating genuine causes but with mindless violence often leading to the destruction of lives and property.”

Religious leaders in attendance were; President of RECOWA, Archbishop Ignatius Ayau Kaigama, who is also the Catholic Archbishop of Abuja; the President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), Archbishop Lucius Iwejuru Ugorji; and the ECOWAS President, Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, among others.

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