NCIC Commissioner Abdulaziz Farah with Isiolo religious leaders in Isiolo town on July 22, 2022. PHOTO/PRESS POINT

By Betty Luke

The National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) have embarked on sensitizing religious leaders across the country to take the lead in preaching peace in efforts to avert electoral violence before, during and after the August polls.

Commissioner Abdulaziz Farah said the clerics, who interact with faithful regularly, were key actors whose influence in ensuring peaceful coexistence could not be assumed.

“The best thing about religious leaders is that they are in direct contact with the citizens as they meet several times in a week. We have agreed that they help us preach peace,” said Mr Farah.

He spoke during a meeting that brought together Muslim and Christian clerics among other stakeholders and which was convened by the Commission.

Isiolo Interfaith Network Secretary Stephen Kalunyu said the training was timely as it would help tame hate speech and incitement among residents and leaders which could perpetuate hatred and violence.

“If we notice anyone making remarks or trying to incite our people, we will promptly address the issue by tasking their pastors and sheikhs to warn them against disrupting the peace we are enjoying. We will remain brothers and sisters even after elections,” he said.

Sheikh Abubakar Ibrahim said the unity showed by the clerics was a clear indication that they would rally their followers to remain united and shun discriminating anyone on religious lines

“We have agreed that we preach peace in our places of worship and other areas to ensure peaceful electioneering,” said Mr Ibrahim.

Mr Farah said the commission was monitoring hate speech on social media and that anyone found culpable would be subjected to the law.

“We are putting up media monitors and collaborating with social media owners, DCI and other stakeholders to tame posts made online,” he said.


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