Hands-off Nigerian politics or face public disgrace - NSCIA, CAN warned

Hands-off Nigerian politics or face public disgrace - NSCIA, CAN warned

- Religious bodies in Nigeria have been warned to henceforth stop meddling into political affairs of the country or face public disgrace

- The warning was directed towards the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) and the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN)

- The apex umbrella bodies of Christians and Muslims in Nigeria, were handed the warning by the National Democratic Front (NDF)

The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) and the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), the apex umbrella bodies of Christians and Muslims in Nigeria, have been warned to henceforth stop meddling into political affairs of the country or face public disgrace.

A group, National Democratic Front (NDF), handed the warning to the religious organisations on Monday, April 8 during a press briefing by its secretary general, Dr Bolaji Abdulkadir.

The group said it was appalled by activities of the groups in the country, lamenting that they continue to rapidly evolve into political parties, even as it warned that the trend is a dangerous slide into chaos that must be avoided at any cost.

Abdulkadir claimed that CAN, NSCIA and other groups that have become cheerleaders for political parties in their own interest.

The group also frowned at the failure of both religious bodies to contribute meaningfully to addressing the security challenge posed by terrorism, separatist agitations and militancy in the country.

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Part of the statement read: “In our view, CAN, NSCIA and other groups that have become cheerleaders for political parties are not even doing so in order for reputable persons to emerge.

“They are rather shopping for those that would be pliable thieves that would loot the treasury and remit part of the proceeds of crime to their members.

“What we find baffling about this dubious mind-set is that it presents God as complicit in money laundering in addition to perpetually keeping the country back from pursuing development agenda. Instead of preaching messages that liberate the minds of their followers, members of these religious organizations continue to promote the myth that poverty is a spiritual condition instead of tracing it to years of bad governance and neglect.

“With this kind of attitude, there is no doubt that the Church and the Mosques have refused to take their eyes away from corruption. Their approach to the scourge has made it fashionable in government circle where people steal without mercy and only to pay same back to their paymasters.

“They have even made it to spread into the private sector whose employ do not want to be left behind in showing off affluence in places of worship so they become desperate to keep up with their counterparts in government. No wonder businesses are collapsing while religious leaders acquire new batches of impoverished people to brainwash.

“The most glaring area of failure on the part of both organizations is their open endorsement of corruption and theft of public funds. Politicians in Nigeria identify either as Christians or Muslims and it is highly unfashionable for those seeking elective offices to identify as skeptics, agnostics or atheists.”

The group, however, expressed hope that both religious organizations, “will retrace their steps and return to the founding ideals that bought them into existence.”

“They can continue to contribute to the polity by leveraging on their position to discourage the faithful of the religions they represent from engaging in corruption, extremism, terrorism and other acts that are inimical to the well-being of Nigeria.

“They should stay off partisan politics, focus on governance and involve themselves more in community development and service to humanity.

“Once they return to doing this, CAN and NSCIA would again find themselves as reputable organizations whose words would be taking as final when they weigh in on national issues,” the group stated.

Just recently, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) accused CAN of setting a wrong precedent with its demand for a Christian Senate president or House of Representatives Speaker in the coming Ninth National Assembly.

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CAN President, Rev (Dr.) Samson Ayokunle, had made the call while making a case for equitable distribution of offices among the major religious adherents in Abuja.

But MURIC director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, in a statement sent to Legit.ng on Tuesday, April 2, said sensitive positions in the National Assembly should be given to those who deserve it based on experience, competence, antecedents and loyalty to party.

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