Politicians dividing Nigeria along religious lines incompetent ― Sultan

• Without love, cooperation, Nigerians won’t progress ― CAN President

Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar has asked politicians to focus on solving the problems relating to security, economy and infrastructure rather than dividing the nation along religious lines.

Speaking in Ibadan during the second quarterly meeting of the Nigeria Inter-Religious Council (NIREC), held on Thursday, he noted that those politicians politicizing religion were those who are incompetent and lack the capacity to solve the problems facing the nation.

Ahead of the 2023 elections, Abubakar, who is co-chair of NIREC, particularly tasked Nigerians to evaluate politicians on their ability to deliver on the immediate needs of the nation rather than on the basis of religion or region.

He bemoaned that the nation’s politics is devoid of compassion and decorum but characterised by greed and violence.

Abubakar said: “In the last decade also, our society has been facing enormous problems of security, economy and infrastructure. It is important to ask our politicians to focus on solving these problems which do not distinguish between Muslims and Christians but not to create new ones by dividing us along religious lines. After all, we all go to the same markets, same hospitals, and same places both as Muslims and Christians.

“Our politics is devoid of compassion and decorum but characterised by greed and violence. We must tell our politicians to stop dividing our society along religious lines by politicizing religion. Most of the politicians who fall back on religion are usually those with not much to offer in terms of competence or solving the problems of the society.

“We need to call the politicians to order and evaluate them on their ability to deliver on our immediate needs rather than religion or region. If they indeed care about religion, then they should avoid being corrupt and we shall know them by their ethical standards.”

Addressing the theme of the meeting, “Promoting Mutual Love and Understanding in Nigeria,” the Sultan wondered how people kill other persons in the name of religion.

He, consequently, tasked Muslim and Christian leaders to educate their followers that what is expected of them is to ensure that their families are built on love, compassion and mercy.

“When and how did we turn religion to be a source of conflict and animosity, killing in the name of religion; expressing criminal hate speeches in the name of religion and ethnicity, not loving your neighbour as you should love yourself?


“Leaders of the two major religions must rise to the occasion by spreading this message to the followers of religion to understand the essence of creation and what is expected of them as Muslims and Christians.

“We must educate our followers and ensure that families are also built on love, compassion and mercy so that the human generation will grow up in the ambience of love, compassion and mercy. If our homes are devoid of these fundamental values, we are not likely to be able to grow them in our societies,” Abubakar enthused.

• Without love, cooperation, Nigerians won’t progress ― CAN President

Also speaking, the President, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Reverend Olasupo Ayokunle held that the nation will not progress except Nigerians love, support and cooperate with one another.

Ayokunle, who is NIREC co-chair, tasked religious leaders to preach to their followers the imperativeness of brotherly love as a great way of showing their commitment to the service of God.

Ayokunle said: “Every religious leader should know that the nation can never be better off except by love. For Nigeria to move forward with the complexities of our composition, the only answer is love.

“Why should you, made after the image of God to reflect his goodness, hate another brother on account of what you call religion? This is the time we must think right. Without all of us supporting one another, and cooperating together, Nigeria can never move an inch.

“If there is love, why should I kidnap my fellow brother for ransom? Why should I kill him? The time has come when we should call ourselves to order that it is not about the religious song, a religious script that you quote that we know that you are committed to God.

“We will know you are committed to God when you practically show love to a fellow brother or sister that is near you. You must be brother’s keeper if you truly know God, irrespective of ethnic group, nationality, we must show love practically not by word of mouth.”

• Religious leaders must regularly speak to douse ethnic, religious tension ― Makinde

Prior to the commencement of the meeting the NIREC team led by the Sultan and CAN President paid a courtesy call on Governor Seyi Makinde at the governor’s office, Ibadan.

With the 2023 election knocking, Makinde urged NIREC to regularly speak to douse tensions that have ethnic and religious colourations and always direct the nation on the path of progress.

On his own part, he said his government was always quick to shut down religious crises before rearing its head while also maintaining religious balance and harmony in the state.

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