The Vice President, Alhaji Namadi Sambo, yesterday called on Muslims to reject religion motivated violence and promote tolerance and mutual understanding by laying emphasis on dialogue as the bedrock to the advancement of peace and development in the country.
Also, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa'ad Abubakar, yesterday said lack of adherence to religious tenets was responsible for the conflict between Muslims and Christians in the country.
Both spoke at the international conference on Islam and the Fundamentals of Peaceful Co-existence in Nigeria held at the Sultan Muhammad Maccido Institute for Quran and General Studies, Sokoto.
Sambo also restated the commitment of the Federal Government to the defence of right of citizens to religious freedom through the promotion of the Almajiri Education Programme.
According to him, Muslims must guard against individuals who use religion as a tool to perpetrate violence by inculcating unorthodox doctrines in the youths.
He stated that religion could serve as a veritable tool and solution to achieve harmony rather than a source of conflict.
He noted that Islam and Christianity had co-existed for centuries and generation while their adherents lived in peace, love and harmony irrespective of the differences.
The Vice President harped on the need for dialogue as a basis for national cohesion, stressing that youths should be guided properly against the teachings of clerics at the grassroots level, where misguided doctrines and sectarian biases are employed to influence their mindset.
"To consolidate on our prosperity as a nation, we must emphasize on dialogue, religious tolerance rather than confrontation which must continue to guide our collective and cooperative existence."