The Adventist African-traditionalist Relation Centre (AARC), has been inaugurated at Babcock University, Ilishan-Remo, Ogun State.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Vice Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Ademola Tayo, said that the Centre was designed to deepen communication between different religious groups for better understanding and coexistence.
According to him, it will be empowered by his administration to create and experiment with new models for establishing groups of believers among African-traditionalists; produce context sensitive resources for reaching African-traditionalists; research the culture, beliefs, and their practices in order to appropriately contextualise the gospel.
“The centre will be made to interface with government and non-governmental organisations in the effort to reach out to the African traditionalist within their cultural context,” the Vice Chancellor said.
Speaking on the backdrop of the recent mayhem in Sokoto State, Prof. Tayo expressed concern about the misunderstanding among Nigerians leading to destruction of lives and property.
According to him, “I believe that when we forge dialogue, there will be mutual understanding and when we understand each other better, we will be able to live together in a peaceful coexistence. By joining hands, together we build lasting relationships that make the world a better place, and gives us a sense of appreciation.”
The VC said he believes that living together to share information and knowledge about our values and beliefs, promotes understanding about who we are, and a common ground to appreciate God our creator.
Also speaking, the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academics, Prof. Philemon Amanze, noted that any cultural value which is in conflict with the word of God, should be discarded.
He expressed concern that those who were causing mayhem in Sokoto were fighting out of ignorance saying that the law and the Qur’an do not support what they were doing in its entirety.
“Don’t fight for God, God is big enough to fight for Himself. What they are doing is that they are fighting out of ignorance.”
He however, appealed to Muslims, Christians and traditional worshippers to come together and forge a way forward for the country.
“As a matter of fact, Islam and traditional religion are called Abrahamic religion because all these adherents came from Abraham so if you read about him very well in the Bible, you can’t be fighting for the God of Abraham, so let them come together for a common understanding and work as a team,” he said.