Members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, also known as Shiites, joined Christian faithful in a cross-over service in Kaduna state to usher in the New Year, 2019, together.
Christians across Nigeria and the world usually welcome in a new year in a crossover service every December 31st.
And Concise News understands that the group attended the service at St. Mary’s Parish Church, Samaru, Zaria.
Leader of the delegation, Prof. Isa Mshelgaru, said the visit was aimed at strengthening relationship between the two faiths.
“We are all created by one God, we must, therefore, endeavour to live together in peace with one another,” he told NAN.
“We should share joy, happiness and sorrow together. Our leader, Sheik Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, said we should learn to live together in peace.
“When we are united as Nigerians, nothing will break us apart and nothing will go against the peace of the nation, not even Boko Haram nor militants or any other thing.”
The Parish Priest, Rev. Fr. Michael Ibrahim-Bazai, said the visit was the first of its kind.
“We are happy to receive our brothers and sisters from Islamic faith here in our Church to celebrate with us today on 1st January 2019,” he said.
“It is true that sometimes we are scared of each other, this is because some of us are ignorant of the religion but we are all one.”
Aggrieved members of the Islamic group had on different occasions clashed with personnel of security outfits over the continued detention of their leader, El-Zakzaky.
El-Zakzaky has been in detention since his arrest by operatives of the DSS in December 2015.
He was arrested following a clash between followers of his group and soldiers in the convoy of the Chief of Army State, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, in Zaria, Kaduna state.
A Federal High Court had in 2016 ordered their unconditional release but the government refused to obey the order.