President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday advised geo-political zones in the country to emulate the religious tolerance in states in the South-West.
He said that if people in the South-West could live together inspite of the population of Muslims and Christians in the zone, there was no reason for religious intolerance and political violence in other parts of the country.
The president spoke at the thanksgiving service marking the Centenary Birthday celebration of the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Samuel Odulana, held at the Cathedral of St. Peters, Aremo, Ibadan.
Jonathan, who was represented by the Minister of Information, Mr Labaran Maku, said:
“Yoruba land is a symbol of peace where Muslims, Christians and traditional worshippers embrace one another.
“If there is no religious violence in Yoruba land, there is no reason for religious violence anywhere in the country”.
He described the Olubadan as a “king among kings, promoter of peace and one of the distinguished sons of Nigeria”.
In his speech, Gov. Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State, appealed to supporters of politicians to eschew bitterness and violence.
He said: “We politicians see ourselves as friends; we don’t fight one another. Why should you as supporters fight one another?”
Ajimobi also charged persons aspiring to be governor in the state to emulate him by ensuring that there was peace in the state.
He said that the Ibadan monarch played a pivotal role in his administration’s transformation and restoration programmes.
“In the Olubadan is a demonstration of the elusive concept of Omoluabi. The Omoluabi, for the purpose of clarification, is that man who carries nobility, human goodness and trust around him like a pouch.
“With Kabiyesi, you know where you stand as he does not suffer fools gladly.
“In him you find the discipline of a trained soldier, the consummate nobility of a gentleman and the astuteness of a man of honour.
“His own politics transcended the type found on the streets today; it was the politics of a statesman”, he said.
Ajimobi also said that the monarch was one of the first set of people to acknowledge the Urban Renewal Initiative of his administration.
“As a fitting demonstration of his acknowledgement of our effort in this regard, Kabiyesi bestowed on me a traditional title”, he said.
Ajimobi also lauded the president who he said would have been at the celebration but for the early morning explosion that rocked the nation’s capital city and claimed several lives.
In his sermon, Most Rev. Segun Okubadejo, described the celebrator as an embodiment of the virtues of one who had served mankind meritoriously.
He said that attaining the centenary in one’s lifetime was an uncommon phenomenon.
“This is unique because it is the 100th birthday of royalty. We should offer sacrifice of jubilation and songs of praise to God for what He has done in the life of our king.
“Looking at the hopelessness, restlessness, insecurity in the world, looking at a world where life expectancy is now 49, it is worthy of praise for somebody to attain 100 years”, he said. (NAN)