Editor's note: Dr. Abdulhakeem Abdullateef, a former commissioner for home affairs, Lagos state who is currently the Chief Imam of the Lagos state House of Assembly, in this piece, warns Nigerians to be wary of false religious narratives aimed at distracting individuals with integrity from aspiring from political offices in the 2023 general elections.
Nigerian politicians love to campaign in the name of religion when looking for votes. How many of them remember the teachings of the Quran and Bible after the swearing-in ceremony?
Respect other people's religions and avoid provocative outbursts and false accusations especially when you are campaigning for people of your own religion. Nigerians need jobs, security, and governance devoid of corruption. Nigerians are willing to vote for leaders who can bring about security, employment, and development regardless of their religious identity. Keep your religion to yourself. It is private! Those who travel by air are more interested in the competence of the pilot than the church or mosque where he prays.
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Are the majority among holders of our executive, legislative and judicial offices, not Muslims and Christians? How many of them have not brought untold hardships upon their fellow Nigerians through corrupt practices. Nigeria is a multi-religious country and we need to be very careful not to set it ablaze through religious intolerance, bigotry, and sentiments.
We have well-established institutions for adjudications of extremist tendencies manned by Muslims and Christians. Do not insult the sensibilities of millions of adherents of any religion because of your opinions about certain individuals.
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I am very close to my Quran and I preach every day of my life to the glory of My Lord. Powers and authorities are exclusively in the hands of Almighty Allah. He enthrones whoever He chooses and dethrones whoever He desires. Let us pray for the emergence of Godfearing leaders who will bring happiness to all Nigerians regardless of their religious dispositions.
Millions of Innocent Muslims and Christians do not belong to political parties but discharge their duties as citizens and are entitled to live in peace. Do not fan the embers of religious war as it may consume all of us. Do not write about anyone without thorough investigation as Allah has warned us in Quran 49 vs 6:
"O believers, when an ungodly person brings to you a piece of news, carefully ascertain its truth, lest you should hurt others in ignorance and regret what you did."
May Almighty Allah bestow upon us selfless leaders who will be just and mindful of standing before their Lord on the day of resurrection. Aamin.
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