The duo also blamed the crisis that has led to loss of thousands of lives and property worth billions of naira, particularly in the north-eastern parts of the country on clerics who, according to him, have been misinforming their followers and the youths.
Governor Aliyu and Sheikh Ahmed Lemu spoke in Minna yesterday, when the latter paid a thank you visit to the Niger state government for the support given him which led to the success of the award ceremony which took place in Saudi Arabia recently.
Governor Aliyu noted that some clerics were in the habit of using their pulpits to castigate governments prominent Nigerians and other religions all in a bid to attract undue attention or for pecuniary benefits which he said had contributed to heightening of tension in the country.
He said that the Niger state government has had relative peace in the state because the administration has been fair to adherents of all the religions in the state.
“We will continue to assist people to build Churches and Mosques; we will continue to fund pilgrimages to the Holy land, that is what we have taken oath to do, that is the only way to continue to guarantee peaceful coexistence among the diverse people of the state”.
Earlier, Sheikh Ahmed Lemu, who is the latest recipient of the King Faisal Award and was the chairman of the Federal Government’s Nigerian Inter Religions Committee (NIREC) and a member of the Boko Haram Peace and Reconciliation Committee, noted that ‘lack of Knowledge brought about the Boko Haram menace in the country.
“Let us teach authentic Islam not because of money or leadership,” the world-renowned cleric said, adding that innocent Nigerian youths were being ‘misdirected and brainwashed’ by some clerics for selfish reasons.
Sheikh Lemu, said “I will devote the rest of my life to the good teachings of religion, promote mutual understanding between Christians and Muslims and promote mutual respect for all.” He maintained that it is only by so doing that Nigeria will have peace, adding that “when there is no peace there is no progress”.