By Shina Abubakar, Osogbo
The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi has described religion as a strong tool that could be used to forster peace building and national integration.
This is as he stressed that mentorship is crucial to breeding leaders from the present generation of youths in the country.
The revered monarch disclosed this on Saturday at Ife City Hall, Enuwa, Ile-Ife, during the launching of a book titled, “Religion, Peace Building and National Integration”, written by about 36 scholars within and outside Nigeria in honour of Professor Muibi Opeloye.
Oba Adeyeye said religion, if properly explored, could help endear peace building and national integration, saying the southwestern part of the country, where different religions abound, is a perfect example of cohabiting peacefully.
“Peace is an essential ingredient for nation building, whenever there is peace, we can cohabitate harmoniously. A good example is Southwest region of the country, where there is different religious status living peacefully.
“You will find Muslims, Christians in large number and we are living in peace. We are leading by example, we need to project peace building to other parts and that is the essence of the book launch here. To Foster national integration. Our diversity is our strength, it should not be our weakness.
Our diversity should be what binds us together. If we use religion as a very strong advocacy for peace building, we will get there, it is a very strong advocacy that we should not over emphasises. We should continue to reach out to the high and the low, that is the essence of national integration”, he said.
Ooni Ogunwusi, who described Professor Opeloye as a distinguished son of Ife, stressed the need for mentorship as a way to dictate the right path for the coming generation, calling on clerics in the state to lay emphasise on building a future generation that could take over leadership of the country and led it to promise Land.
In his remark, the Chairman of the event, Mallam Yusuf Alli, SAN said the humility and selflessness of Professor Opeloye prompted scholars to write a book in his honour, calling on those at the corridor of power to always strive to impact positively on masses lives.
While presenting the book, the Registrar, Joint Admission and Unified Matriculation Board, JAMB, Professor Isiak Oloyede while describing Opeloye as a distinguished Professor of inter religious studies, Yoruba land which used to be a model of religion understanding has been impeded by religious bigot, who believed their religion cannot be promoted without infringing on other religions.
“Yorubaland was a model of religious understanding but the culture has been impeded by religious bigot who believed they cannot promote their believe without infringing on other religions. We need to go back to the era where religion does not separate family or friendship bond”, he said.
The book launch was attended by distinguished personalities including, the Editor-in-chief of Vanguard Newspaper, Mr. Gbenga Adefaye, Prince Tokunbo Sijuwade, Professor Siyan Oyeweso, Vice Chancellor, Fountain University, Professor Sanni Olalekan, Professor M. O. Abdulrahman of Arabic and Islamic Studies, University of Ibadan among other scholars.