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CHRISTIAN Association of Nigeria (CAN) President Rev. Samson Ayokunle has urged the Federal Government to show more commitment to the protection of lives and property.

Revd. Ayokunle spoke at the seventh Ufuk dialogue, peace and award ceremony at the weekend in Abuja. He urged Christians and Muslims to embrace peace.

The CAN president, who was represented by the association’s Acting General Secretary, Joseph Daramola, said: “We have people who are sincere in this country to turn things around for the better.

“Government has all the equipment to secure lives and property in this country. Government should be much more serious and committed to security.”

Also speaking, Plateau State’s former deputy governor Mrs. Pauline Tallen, expressed concern at the level of insecurity in the country.

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She urged security agencies to be fair and sincere in tackling the menace, calling on Muslims and Christians to always live at peace with one another.

Mrs. Tallen, who was a one-time Minister of State Science & Technology, prayed God to give President Muhammadu Buhari good health, long life and wisdom to move Nigeria forward.

She said: “God should give us the heart of love to love one another. Be you a Christian or Muslim, we are all children of God and we must live in peace with one another. I pray and my heart goes out to all those that have lost their loved ones through the various crisis in some states.

“I believe with this type of coexistence God will answer our prayers. And we should love one another. May God bless our leaders, Nigeria and grant President Buhari good health, long life and wisdom to move Nigeria forward and to the next level we are looking up to.

“My advice to the security agencies is for them to be fair and sincere in tackling the security situation in Nigeria because it is most unfortunate that innocent lives are taken.

“I wonder why anybody should fight for God. For us to take life in the name of religion is unacceptable. We need peace, because without peace there will be no development.”

Ufuk Dialogue President Kamil Kemanci said that the organisation will always stand by societal peace, love, respect and compassion in support of human dignity and the greater good by preserving the common values of humanity: values such as respect, tolerance, peace and mutual understanding.

Kemanci said: “Ufuk Dialogue also organises conferences with the theme: “Countering violent extremism through love and tolerance”, which brings people of different faiths and ethnic backgrounds around.

“Today, we need dialogue and peace more than we need food and shelter. Dialogue and peaceful coexistence have always been and still remain a need, a must for us to have a healthy and more productive society.”

Some of the dignitaries conferred with awards were: President’s wife Aisha; Rev. Ayokunle; Fatwa Committee Chairman Sheikh Saleh Al-Hussaini; Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs Chairman and Assembly of Muslims in Nigeria; Pastoral Agents Catholic Bishop’s Conference Chairman Rev. Augustine Tochukwu Ukwuoma; Fountain University Vice Chancellor Prof Amidu Sanni and Prof. Hycianth Eme Ichoku.

Others are: Veritas University Vice Chancellor Prof. Ibrahim Muhammad Ahmad; Mrs. Tallen; Festus Keyamo (SAN); Prof Alexandre Bamgbola and Lagos State House of Assembly Speaker Mudashiru Obasa.

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday expressed sadness over the loss of lives and destruction of property in Zamfara, following banditry attacks on innocent citizens in the Nortwest State.

He spoke in Makkah, Saudi Arabia during Iftar dinner (a fast-breaking meal) in the company of Zamfara Governor Abdulaziz Yari and the Emir of Maradun, Alhaji Garba Tambari.

The President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media & Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, dropped the hint in a statement in Abuja yesterday.

Shehu quoted the President as expressing determination to “ensure that justice prevails and Nigerians find peace and prosperity wherever they live”.

The Emir of Maradun led prayers for the repose of victims of violent attacks in Zamfara and all over Nigeria and for God to help the country achieve total peace and stability.

Shehu further revealed that the President was accompanied to the event by Nigeria’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Justice Isa Dodo and some personal aides.

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