Why I Held My Ramadan Talk In Catholic Church – Lai Mohammed

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Immediate past Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed has said extremism is among the greatest challenges facing humanity. He said extremism could stem from political or religious views.

The ex-minister said this while addressing reporters in his country home at Oro in Irepodun Local Government Area of Kwara State after a reception in his honour by the community at the weekend.

He said: “In most cases, political or religious extremism overlaps each other.”

Mohammed lauded the religious tolerance in Oro community, saying other communities across Nigeria should emulate such way of life.

He said: “All of us who are familiar with Boko Haram insurgency know that it is basically intolerance in the form of extremism on the part of some zealots who believe that followers of other religions are inferior.

“This is not so in my community. My community is almost 50 per cent Christians and 50 per cent Muslims. But they have always lived in harmony”.

“It is instructive that when I started the Ramadan talk in Oro shortly after I lost the governorship election in Kwara State in 2003, I started at the Muslim praying ground, which I think is normal. “

“But after two years, the Muslims prayer ground was not available because it was undergoing some renovation. I was then advised to move the event to Ilorin, the state capital, by some Muslim clerics.

“Then, I informed my community of the shift in the venue of the Ramadan talk, but the community advised that I should hold the talk at St. Andrew’s Catholic Church here in Oro. I felt a little bit surprised. They told me that in Oro, there is no difference between a Muslim and a Christian. For the next three consecutive years, I held the Ramadan talk at St. Andrew’s Catholic Church.

“To me, it is a big statement about the tolerance of people. I only hope that other communities will also borrow a leaf from Oro. Religion is a matter of choice. My people are religiously tolerant.”

Welcoming the former minister, the National President of Oro Community, Prof. James Bojuwoye, hailed him for living indelible footprints in the sand of time for the community.

He added: “As the first political appointee from the town, he has made us extremely proud of him. He has contributed financially to activities of both Christians and Muslims in our town in obvious demonstration of religious tolerance and harmony for which the community is well known.”

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