Governor Akinwunmi Ambode has called for cooperation and collaboration among Muslims, Christians and people of other faith at the grassroots to deepen the level of religious freedom and promote tolerance, understanding and spirit of neighbourliness in the State.
Governor Ambode, who made the call today at Ikeja during the inauguration of the Nigeria Inter-Religious Council (NIREC) at the Local Government levels, noted that since NIREC was established at the national level, Lagos has been proactive and in the forefront of promoting peaceful co-existence by establishing the State Chapter of NIREC.
He noted that the Council’s activities had ensured religious harmony across the State and the nation to deserve an enhancement of its operations
Ambode, represented at the event by the State Commissioner of Home Affairs, Dr. AbdulLateef Abdulhakeem, commended NIREC, Lagos State Chapter for ensuring that religious problems are always nipped in the bud, saying that the State has never recorded any religious or ethnic conflict.
The Governor urged all religious leaders to understand the importance of inter-cultural values, adding that NIREC would help in the coordination of religious affairs and conflict resolution among faith-based organisations at the grassroots level.
On his part, the Commissioner for Home Affairs, Dr. AbdulLateef Abdulhakeem lauded the efforts of the present administration in extending the activities of NIREC to the LG/LCDAs, stressing that Lagos State is the only place where the government actively promotes cooperation among religious organisations.
The Commissioner urged members of NIREC to understand the similarities in the two main religions (Islam and Christianity) and the importance of peace in the various institutions, urging all to encourage co-existence and shun religious mediocrity.
In his remark, the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Alhaji Muslim Folami, charged all religious organisations to be cooperative saying that, as a result of religious equality, development will be enhanced at both local and State levels.
The Co-Chairman of Nigeria Inter-religion Council for Lagos State Dr. Tajudeen Olalekan Yusuf remarked that it is a proactive step on the part of the Governor to ensure that such monumental development in the State is not taken for granted.
He urged Muslims and Christians to maintain the prevailing peaceful co-existence in the State.