By Ogechi Okorie
Abuja (Precise Post) – Religious leaders in Nigeria has been warned to refrain from stoking the embers of hatred and disunity.
The federal government gave the warning in a veiled reference to the Catholic Archbishop of Sokoto Diocese, Matthew Kukah, consequently warned that “resorting to scorched-earth rhetoric at this time could trigger unintended consequences.”
Kukah had said, “Every honest Nigerian knows that there is no way any non-Northern Muslim president could have done a fraction of what President Buhari has done by his nepotism and gotten away with it.
But the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, in a statement on Saturday, warned Kukah to desist from fanning the embers of disharmony.
He 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.”
According to him, it would be “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.”
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.”
The minister stressed 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.