June 12, 2024

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Palm Sunday: Apatira Enjoins Peaceful Coexistence, Religious Tolerance

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Hon (Dr) Apatira

Mubarak Ajala

The Executive Chairman of Itire-Ikate LCDA, Hon. (Dr) Ahmed Olanrewaju Apatira has charged Christians and Muslims in the State and across the country to shun religious bigotry and imbibe peaceful coexistence.

Apatira gave the charge in his special message to Christians on the occasion of this year’s Palm Sunday which coincide with Muslims’ Ramadan fast.  

Palm Sunday, which is the symbol final victory of Jesus Christ, he explained represents goodness, peace and victory over worldly challenges.

“As Christians celebrate the Holy Week of Palm Sunday, the triumphal entry of Jesus Christ to Jerusalem, I rejoice with them and urge them, including Muslims and other Nigerians to embrace peace and shun religious intolerance in all forms.

In the spirit of Palm Sunday, the palm branch represents goodness, peace and victory and was symbolic of the final victory; I pray we experience goodness, peace and victory over our national challenges” he prayed.

Speaking further on the significance of the holy week, Apatira advises Christians and Muslims to imbibe the lessons and teachings of the season which is to value human life and replicate same in the larger society.

“We have so much to be grateful for in this holy week of Palm Sunday especially as it coincides with Muslims’ Ramadan fast. For the sake of the two seasons of Ramadan and Palm Sunday which denote God’s blessings, peace and harmony, I am urging Christians and Muslims to embrace peace and shun violence, armed banditry and terrorism.

We must understand the sacred nature of human lives and treat them as such. As Nigerians, we are destined for greatness but this can only be achieved in an atmosphere of peace, calmness and tolerance.

Religious intolerance is one of the many problems of human race.

And our inability, as Nigerians to cope with the religion of others is the root cause of the crisis as it is being witnessed in some part of the country.

But as Muslims, Islam preaches tolerance just as Bible prohibits violence and intolerance. So, we must strive in the way of our Lord, but begin not hostilities as God loves not aggressors and those who kill innocent souls and impose one religion over the other.

Importantly, we must focus on worshipping our Lord, thanking Him for all He has done, for the gift of life and pray to Him for the actualisation of our collective dreams and aspirations.

We should practice good attitude and be generous to fellow human beings.”

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