By Tony Obiechina, ABUJA
The Executive Secretary of Nigeria Inter-Religious Council (NIREC), Rev Father (Prof) Cornelius Omonokhua on Thursday said the major cause of violence in Nigeria is not religion but hunger.
According to him, hunger has turned some people to slaves, thugs, and hero worshippers adding that “even the devil knows the danger of hunger and how food can make some people worship the creatures in preference to the Creator”.
The Catholic cleric was speaking at the public presentation of a book titled, ” Shun Violence and Embrace Peace”, written by Amina Tukur Othman, head of Public Communication of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), in Abuja.
His words, “The major cause of violence in Nigeria is not religion even though, some of our leaders have politically raped the society and blinded their victims with the garment of religion. Religious leaders must deliver religion from this abuse.
“Even the climatic change in the world today is the effort of the human person to turn stone to bread. This has affected green vegetation, aquatic life, and the environment. The search for green pastures has led to violence between the herdsmen and various communities in Nigeria”.
Speaking further, Father Omonokhua said, “hunger is a product of injustice in the distribution of resources. This is why it is very sad that injustice in Nigeria has taken a ‘structural form of conflict and violence”.
According to him, greed for power and governance has made politics appear like “a very serious divider at all levels of human existence in Nigeria”, while “desire for positions has separated some close relatives and friends in the political history of many nations”.
In a brief remark, the Director General of BPE, Mr Alex Okoh commended the author for writing a book on an issue with a national acclaim, quite different from her line of duty.
Reviewing the 8-chapter book, Dr Charles Odenigbo, a BPE’s former head of Public Communication, recommended it for security agencies, institutions of learning, religious bodies, policymakers, among others.
Personalities present at the book launch include representatives of the Minister of Information & Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammad; Kaduna State Governor, Mallam el Rufai; Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai and Chief of Defense Intelligence.