- Reverend Father Fem Ogunleye has advised religious leaders in the country to stop promoting hatred and division through their sermons
- Ogunleye accused Muslim and Christian clerics of contributing to division along tribal and religious lines
- The reverend father also accused politicians and the elites of deliberately using poverty, poor education and unemployment to divide Nigerians
Religious leaders in the country have been charged to stop promoting hatred and divisions through their sermons.
Reverend Father Fem Ogunleye of the Catholic Diocese of Lokoja made the charge in Lokoja while delivering a lecture on "Religion: A tool for violent free election", News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.
Legit.ng gathers that the lecture was organised by Interfaith Youth and Peace Building Network of Nigeria, Kogi chapter.
He said hatred and divisions along tribal and religious lines had become a major problem in the country, accusing Muslim and Christian clerics of contributing to the problem.
The cleric said: “Being human is what will save Nigeria and not holiness."
Ogunleye also lamented over increasing involvement of youths in political thuggery and other other violent crimes, saying that the development was a bad omen for the future of Nigeria.
He accused politicians and the elites of deliberately using poverty, poor education and unemployment to divide Nigerians, saying that the youths should henceforth resist.
The cleric charged the youth to put their acts together and chart a new direction for the country with the coming out en mass to vote for candidates of their choice in the coming elections.
Also delivering another lecture, Mallam Tanko Talle, said that Nigerian youths with their education, exposure, population and energy were in a better position to effect positive change in the country.
He admonished them to stop making themselves available for use by unscrupulous politicians, urging them to embrace the way of God and shun cultism, drugs, thuggery and other vices.
According to Talle, youths should be at the vanguard of the “change begins with me campaign” of the federal government, and also embrace peace.
The cleric cautioned politicians to drop the idea of politics of do or die in the interest of the country, saying what Nigeria deserve now are development and growth.
The state coordinator of the network, Itodo Olachene, expressed the need for all stakeholders to ensure that the coming elections were devoid of violence and malpractices.
He also charged the youths to resist being used as thugs by politicians, urging them to come out to exercise their franchise in the elections.
Olechene urged Muslims and Christians to embrace politics, saying that the tenets of the two religions did not bar adherents from participating in politics.
The coordinator called for tolerance, mutual understanding and cordial relationships between Christians and Muslims, saying they must also eschew conflict and God.
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Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that the Catholic archbishop of Kaduna, Most Reverend Mathew Ndogoso, advised clerics to stop making predictions for politicians ahead of the 2019 general elections.
Ndogoso also urged clerics to quit the pulpit for politics, if they would not resist “turning themselves to slaves of politicians”.
The archbishop made the remarks during the send-forth of the first executive secretary of the Catholic Caritas Foundation of Nigeria (CCFN), Reverend Father Evaristus Bassey, in Abuja on Wednesday, December 19, 2018.
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