The Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Alfred Martins, has condemned all forms of ethnic profiling, utterances, hate speech and violence witnessed in some parts of Lagos State, before, during and after the just concluded elections.
According to a statement signed by the director of social communications of the church, Anthony Godonu, on Wednesday, the cleric warned that the trend if not urgently checked could truncate the peaceful co-existence of residents of the state.
Mr Martins urged the state government to call all the parties to order and to put in place a machinery for the quick restoration of peace and normalcy.
“The ethnic and discriminatory comments making the rounds particularly on social media, are not a reflection of the true nature of Lagosians, who are known to be very peace-loving, accommodating and cosmopolitan, including by promoting inter-tribal marriages for many decades,” Mr Martins was quoted as saying.
“I call on everyone to put a stop to the spread of hate speech and fake news and to shun all forms of rancor. The divisive comments and behaviours, particularly along ethnic or tribal lines, is not conducive to good neigbourliness and peaceful coexistence.
“The people of Lagos must not allow the political class to whip up such divisive sentiments to disrupt their lives and livelihood. We are all equal before God and the only man-made distinction among people is between the poor and the rich, the privileged and the underprivileged.
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“We are all Nigerians and have lived and interacted together as one people for decades in Lagos and other parts of our country.
“With the elections over, we hope that all those who have been fanning the embers of ethnic division will be more circumspect and desist from further heating up the polity. We must be law-abiding citizens and not take the law into our hands in any guise.”
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