Stop stoking fire of hatred, FG charges religious leaders after Bishop Kukah’s statement

The Federal Government has urged religious leaders in the country to refrain from stoking the fire of hatred and disunity, warning that resorting to scorched-earth rhetoric at this time could trigger unintended consequences.

This is coming after the Catholic Archbishop of Sokoto Diocese, Right Reverend Hassan Kukah, lamented the alleged level of nepotism that characterised the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

“While religious leaders have a responsibility to speak truth to power, such truth must not come wrapped in anger, hatred, disunity and religious disharmony,” the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said in a statement issued in Lagos on Saturday.

He said it was particularly graceless and impious for any religious leader to use the period of Christmas, which is a season of peace, to stoke the fire of hatred, sectarian strife and national disunity.

“Calling for a violent overthrow of a democratically-elected government, no matter how disguised such a call is, and casting a particular religion as violent is not what any religious leader should engage in, and certainly not in a season of peace,” Alhaji Mohammed said, adding that instigating regime change outside the ballot box is not only unconstitutional, but also an open call to anarchy.

He said while some religious leaders, being human, may not be able to disguise their national leadership preference, they should refrain from stigmatising the leader they have never supported anyway, using well-worn and disproved allegations of nepotism or whatever.

The minister said whatever challenges Nigeria may be going through at this moment can only be tackled when all leaders and indeed all Nigerians come together, not when some people arrogantly engage in name-calling and finger-pointing.

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