Collaborate with govt to tackle insecurity, Buhari urges religious leaders


By Mathew Dadiya, Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari has appealed to religious leaders and faith communities to join hands with governments to enhance security in West Africa.

The President said an integrated, peaceful and prosperous sub-region would not be fully guaranteed if peace does not first reign in local communities and in each of the countries.

Buhari who was represented by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo made the remarks yesterday at the General Assembly of the Reunion of the Episcopal Conference of West Africa (RECOWA), held at the ECOWAS Secretariat, Abuja.

The President highlighted that the “Fratelli Tutti is the powerful notion on which His Holiness, Pope Francis, anchors his most recent Encyclical – titled Fratelli Tutti—The Concept of the Brotherhood of all Humanity.”

He urged the religious leaders “to not only explore ways of strengthening the bonds of faith between your communities but also of building bridges across every divide that threatens to fracture our nations.”

Buhari said, “it is 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.”

Emphasising the Fratelli Tutti concept, the President noted “the idea that fraternity and social friendship are the ways to build a better, more just and peaceful world with the commitment of all people and institutions. The Encyclical proposes some of the boldest and most radical ideas on securing human unity, peace and security.”

“By offering concrete prescriptions on building brotherhood and sustainable peace anywhere, the Encyclical Fratelli Tutti rightly takes the position that this is not merely the business of governments and political institutions; it must also be anchored on our civil societies of which the faith communities are an important constituency”, he added.