By NBF News

A statement signed by Alhaji Sanusi Muhammad, the governor's Senior Special Assistant on Media, quoted the Pope as also describing Bauchi State as  'a citadel of cordial relationship between Christians and Muslims.'

A copy of the statement, given to newsmen  in Bauchi yesterday, said the Pope made the commendation in his goodwill message to the governor in appreciation of his administration's efforts to foster harmony between Christians and Muslims.

“Bauchi State has since earned for itself fame as an accommodating society,'' the statement said, quoting the Pope as urging Christians and Muslims across the world to eschew violence. There are several cases of violence among believers of different religious traditions that include manipulation of the religion for political or other ends, discrimination based on ethnicity or religious identity, as well as divisions and social tensions,'' the Pope added.

He listed ignorance, poverty and underdevelopment as other indirect and direct causes of violence within religious communities in the world. Pope Benedict stressed the need for adherents of various religions to open their hearts toward mutual forgiveness and reconciliation for fruitful and peaceful coexistence.

The papal message, signed by Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, was delivered to Yuguda by the Papal Pro-Nuncio in Nigeria, Archbishop Augustine Najuza. (NAN)