By Magnus Emuji
The need for peaceful coexistence among various religions and diverse ethnic groups for the overall interest of the unity of Nigeria has been brought to the fore.
The Director/Ambassador of the African Religion Headquarters International Human Rights Commission (IHRC) , Dr. Tivlumun Innocent Ahure stated this at Ogume in Ndokwa West Local Government Area of Delta State during the official unveiling of His Royal Eminence, Dr. Valentine Akpati as the Chairman of IHRC Committee on African Indigenous Religions.
Dr. Tivlumun Ahure recalled that through painful struggles with words and weapons, African countries between 1950 and 2010 gained independence and their cultural dignity from the colonial powers .
He said that indigenes religion of African people evolved from ancient times, adding that while different people had particular ways of expressing their religious life there were many similar features to make it meaningful to speak collectively of African Religion .
Dr. Ahure stated that IHRC remained committed to forging strategic plans for public reasoning dialogue to transcend many world views including religious intolerance, emphasising that there would be no peace among the people without peace among religions.
He stated that Dr. Valentine Akpati had been appointed and ratified to coordinate the role of interreligious harmony and peace building, just as he disclosed that the first assignment for the committee was to plan the organisation of a national interfaith dialogue in Nigerians to hold in Abuja for the unity of the diverse religions.
The IHRC Ambassador also said that the committee would establish officially a traditional knighthood to be known as the Order of the Emperor Haile Selassie.
Responding, Dr. Valentine Akpati expressed gratitude to the International Human Rights Commission for his appointment to hold the committee on African Indigenous Religions and pledged to contribute meaningfully towards achieving the task ahead.
The highpoint was presentation of certificate and title of Grand Protector Of The Realm to His Most Supreme Eminence Dr, Sir Valentine Sunday Akpati, Iyase of Ogwashi Uku, Chief Collins Uche Afuwah, HRM Dr. Idiareh Joseph Emasibeta 1 The Odiologbo of Oyede Kingdom and the Uvo Ozu 2 of Igbuku Kingdom, HRM Dr.Isaac Erube.
Others are the Odion of Emevor HRM Dr.John Holts Ologo, and the Ovie of Ellu kingdom HRM Dr.Othuke Murphy Urugbezi, Ogwara1.
There were cultural display and entertainment with food and drinks.