A former Lagos Governor, Bola Tinubu, has accused the Goodluck Jonathan-led presidency of using religion as a political tool to score cheap political point rather than promote harmonious living among Nigerians.
Mr. Tinubu, who is a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress Party, said this on Monday during his remarks at a seminar titled, Let Peace Reign, by the Alliance of Muslims and Christians at the Eko Multi-Purpose Hall, LTV8, Lagos.
“Nigeria today is confronted by a divisive leadership ready to use religion as a political tool to rule and divide and to score cheap political advantage. Rather than promote religious tolerance and harmonious living, Jonathan’s presidency believes its electoral chances are enhanced by promoting religious suspicion and using religion as a manipulative tool,” Mr Tinubu said.
The APC leader tasked religious leaders to be more responsible to both their followers and nations, bold in speaking the truth to the political class and against the unruly romance between the pulpit and politics.
“You must above all else fear God whom you serve and be bold to speak truth to power with the same boldness you preach your sermons to your congregation. There is no better time to speak up than now against injustice, the corruption of the pulpit, and the entrance of politics into religion and the unholy romance of the religious leaders with people in charge of the affairs of this country,” he said.
Mr. Tinubu told the religious leader to use the forum to deliberate on an agenda that would let peace reign within Nigeria and also “examine, criticize and dissect the problems that have made men of peace become men of violence.”
He said the forum must come up with sanctions for so-called religious leaders who use the cassock for politics and use the Bible or Quran as the talisman to get wealthy. He said religious leaders must come up with a vision that seeks to promote and sustain peace at all times.
The former governor urged the clerics not to allow religion continue to drive the nation apart, with the rise of fundamentalism in religion helped by fanatics who see nothing good in the other religion.
“Any nation that allows its people to descend into religious animosity will remain on the path of ruination and its people forever fractured. Both Christianity and Islam preach peace as one of their core principles. Unfortunately, rather than promote peace amongst all men, we have sacrificed peace for the promotion of selfish aggrandizement,” he stated.
Mr. Tinubu said since no religion could exterminate the other, the leaders must “reach a new resolution to work for peace to reign in our country.”