Nigerian Clerics have organised reading and writing competition amongst inmates, to encourage religious tolerance.
The Leader, Kaduna based Clerics and Non-Governmental organization, Pastor Yohanna Buru, said the competition was part of activities to mark the 2018 UN interfaith harmony week.
While leading a team of volunteer Imams and pastors to Niggers Rehabilitation and skill acquisition centre at Rigasa in Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna, he said, the reading and writing competition was to encourage inmates’ studies of religious books and to promote better understanding of religious tolerance.
“So as to enable them have the fear of God; as well as sensitizing them on the need for peaceful co-existence, tolerance and harmony amongst people regardless of their religious inclinations, culture and tradition”, he said.
According to him, “this is the 5th time they are organizing such competition to inmates, which they believe will help them to leave in peace and harmony with one another”.
“We decided to extend our visitation to inmates so as to spread the message of peace, tolerance and the importance of forgiveness amongst everyone at the centre as well as award winners of the competition”.
“Empowering them with Religious studies will make them shun the bad attitude to drug abuse which has caused them a great set-back”, he stressed.
“Apart from organising this competition, we are also visiting other scholars of different faith to strengthen relationship between them, so as to teach the followers the essence of living in peace with one another, in which we believe, will promote unity, tolerance, forgiveness”.
He emphasised that, it is in a bid to encourage genuine reconciliation and devise a means of addressing all forms of ethno-religious-political crisis bordering peace and stability in the Country.
Many religious Books were given to the Inmates at the end of the competition, which include, Hadith, Fiqhu, Sirra and Bagadadi, while for the Christians, the Daily prayer Books with other religious Books were given.
Receiving the Books, leader of the centre, Lawal Maduru, expressed appreciation over the kind gestures.
According to him, the centre has existed for over 13 years, and has been helping in transforming mentally challenged and drugs addicts youth to normal, saying, that it lacks financial support to carry out more awareness.
Majority of the inmates are young people including women who are affected mentally, drug addicts, as well as some faced with spiritual challenges that need assistance.