10 August 2013.
Bayelsa State Governor Hon. Seriake Dickson at the weekend joined Muslim faithfuls in the country to celebrate this year’s Eid-El-Fitri, as he played host to members of the Islamic Community in Government House, Yenagoa.
Calling on those aspiring for leadership positions to preserve the diversity of the nation for the overall development of Nigeria, the Governor said this became imperative in order to ensure the corporate existence of the country.
Stressing the need for practitioners to uphold the tenets of Islam, Governor Dickson urged the people to show respect and tolerance for ethnic and religious diversity.
He condemned fundamentalism in the practice of one religion, pointing out that no religion preaches terrorism and violence.
Commending the Muslim Ummah in the state for their peaceful conduct and harmonious co-existence with Christians, Hon. Dickson noted that people should be free to practice any religion of their choice as provided in the constitution of the country.
In his words; No religion encourages terrorism but as a people with a common heritage we must strive to live in peace and harmony. And for us to live amicably together we must show tolerance and respect for each other.
‘That is why the founding fathers of this nation bequeathed to us a secular nation and secularity means that we should tolerate, understand and respect the diversity of our country.
For leaders as well as those who seek leadership positions at all levels in this nation, I want to call on them at a time like this to demonstrate oneness, as diversity is a major source of greatness of our nation.
‘If God has wanted all His children all over the world to belong to one faith, He surely would have made it possible without our help.”
The Vice President of the Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs, Bayelsa State chapter, Alhaji Abdulrahman Zikeyi Enewari expressed appreciation to Governor Dickson for his financial support to the muslim community in the state especially for the approval of funds to enable them perform this year’s hajj.
He lauded Governor Dickson for his developmental efforts in the state and pledged that they would continue to pray for peace to reign at the state and national levels