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Religious violence in north: Cleric launches book to profer solution

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By Moses Mark

A Priest with Catholic Archdiocese of Jos Rev. Fr. Gideon Pwakim has launched a book to profer lasting solution to religious violence in Northern Nigeria.

Pwakim, who holds a master’s degree and PhD in Missiology and Mission respectively, launched the book, titled “The Persistence of Religious Violence in Northern Nigeria and the Search for Peaceful Coexistence: A Theological Perspective” on Thursday in Jos.

The author, who is currently the Principal of St John Vianney Minor Seminary, Barkin Ladi in Plateau State, said his personal experience on religious conflicts moved him into writing the book.

According to him, the persistence religious crisis in Plateau, Zaria, Kaduna, Kano, and other states in the North, formed the rationale behind the book.

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He added that the quest for the public presentation of the book aimed at contributing toward solving the challenge of religious crisis in the region and country in general.

“As a young boy growing up in Jenta Adamu community of Jos, I have experienced and affected by the myriad of religious violence that greeted the city in the past.

“I lost my friends, I lost touch with my Muslim friends. My relations were killed and properties destroyed.

“Aside my personal experience in Jos, religious crisis became prevalent in most northern states and cities.

“So, I put together this book to share my experience and profer solution to this cankerworm that has eaten deep into our society,”he said

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Pwakim, who said his book dwelled on reconciliation and hospitality, called on both Christians and Muslims to imbibe the spirit of tolerance to enable a peaceful society.

He added that adherents of both religions must learn to love and accommodate each other and collaborate for the growth and development of the northern region.

Reviewing the book, Rev. Fr. Andrew Dewan, said the well researched document approximates Nigeria’s most desired ideal, adding that it encapsulate the essence of the readable text written on topical issue.

Dewan added that the book examined the underlying causative reasons why the northern region has increasingly become volatile and the need to profer a lasting solution.

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He further said that the book has proposed a constructive model for initiating and sustaining peaceful co-existence where diverse constituents of the region can live together in peace.

Presenting the book, Prof. Sylvester Shikyil of the University of Jos, said the book was launched at a time the nation is in dire need of peace.

“You can not talk of development, be it economic, political, social and otherwise without first talking about peace.

“This has eluded us in this country and with a well researched document like this, I think we are making progress toward achieving a lasting peace in this country,” he said

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