HURIWA Advocates for National Shrine in Abuja

HURIWA Advocates for National Shrine in Abuja

…says it will promote religious Inclusivity

By Ikenwa Charity

 Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has strongly urged the Nigerian government to establish a National Shrine in Abuja, akin to the significant investments made in the National Christian Centre and the Abuja National Mosque.

This is in response to the ongoing support for these religious structures while neglecting the spiritual needs of African Traditional Religion (ATR) adherents.

 HURIWA’s national coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko in statement argued that this partiality not only contradicts secular principles enshrined in Nigeria’s constitution but also infringes on ATR practitioners’ religious rights.

The right group expressed concerns that the Federal Government of Nigeria has consistently demonstrated unwavering support for the National Christian Centre and the Abuja National Mosque.

 “These institutions serve as significant places of worship for adherents of Christianity and Islam, respectively, representing Nigeria’s diversity in religious beliefs – a nation known for its pluralistic and multi-religious society.’’

“While Nigeria is officially recognized as a secular state, the government’s pronounced emphasis on the development and maintenance of religious centers for the two major foreign religions, Christianity and Islam, signals a glaring imbalance and disparity when it comes to indigenous religions. This imbalance not only runs counter to the principles of religious inclusivity but also raises legitimate concerns about the violation of the rights of ATR practitioners”.

HURIWA believes that consistent neglect towards Indigenous religions infringes upon their rights while undermining Nigeria’s secular nature: “Nigeria was historically inclusion in the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC ) during Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida’s military regime;  this decision erroneously positioned  Nigeria as  an Islamic state adding  to the  historical marginalization of  Indigenous Religions.”

The group revealed working with cultural activists and religious organizations to create awareness and advocate for the creation of National Shrine which aimed at ensuring corrective measures taken by governments towards rectifying violations.

HURIWA urged President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Ministers responsible take immediate actions towards rectifying these inequalities so vital changes can occur to those whose voices have been long silenced throughout history.

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