Nigeria’s former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, has urged religious leaders not to allow politicians to wreck the country, as the nation moves towards 2023 general elections.
He said this on Wednesday when he received the newly elected President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), His Eminence, Most Reverend Daniel Okoh, at his residence in Abeokuta.
Obasanjo in a statement made available by his media aide, Kehinde Akinyemi, said the entire country would regret it if religious leaders allowed politicians to wreck Nigeria
He said that Nigerian politicians could be made more responsible by the country’s religious leaders while commending Okoh for his glowing remark on him.
“If you stand on the truth, you stand for justice and equity, it is then the politicians will not be able to mess us around and I will say it with all sense of responsibility now if we do not watch it, the politicians will wreck this country and we all regret it.
“And where can we look for salvation, that is where you religious leaders have a significant role to play. I think it’s the mistake of the past (particularly in Christendom), that we say politics is not for the righteous. Now, if we take the righteous away from politics, and we leave politics to the unrighteous, the unrighteous will smear the righteous with the unrighteousness that they will carry into politics and will have nowhere to go.
“And in the next election, if we do not watch it, it may make or break Nigeria. And I pray that it will make Nigeria,” he said.
He further said that for having both Sultan of Sokoto and the CAN leader already on the same page, “maybe our politicians will listen, and if our politicians don’t listen, maybe our people will listen,” Obasanjo said.
The visiting religious leader had earlier commended the former President for his role in turning around the Christian faith in the country, asserting that he has made valid contributions to Christianity in Nigeria.
According to him, “In 1976, he started with the establishment of this association, the CAN and in September 1999, he formed the Inter-Religious Faith Council 1999. In the political sector, you set up the National Political Reform Conference, to which I am privileged to be a delegate, representing the Christian faith. These were the few I could remember as I was planning for this visit.
“Baba, you have played important roles in the political history of Nigeria and Africa, particularly your current role in the Horn of Africa, where the task is to ensure peace in the region. These are no doubt, valid contributions to Christianity.”
On Obasanjo’s task, Okoh hinted that it was among the resolutions reached the Inter-Religious Council meeting held in Lagos recently.
He said the Council had resolved not to leave the political space to the politicians and that religious leaders must get involved.
“We must not be partisan, but, must give leadership to make sure that the values of our religion are brought to the space to help us to live in peace and work for the unity of the nation, including fighting for justice. We are committed to the call Baba made,” the CAN President said.
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