The Federal Government has urged religious leaders in the country to refrain from stoking the embers of hatred and disunity, warning that resorting to scorched-earth rhetoric at this time could trigger unintended consequences.
In a statement issued in Lagos, the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said, “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 said that it is particularly graceless and impious for any religious leader to use the period of Christmas, which is a season of peace, to stoke the embers of hatred, sectarian strife and national disunity.
Alhaji Mohammed added, “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.”
He added that instigating regime change outside the ballot box is not only unconstitutional, but also an open call to anarchy; adding that while some religious leaders, being human, may not be able to disguise their national leadership preference, they should refrain from stigmatizing the leader they have never supported anyway, using well-worn and disproved allegations of nepotism or whatever.
The minister insisted that 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.