Cleric, group condemn ethnic bigotry, call for peace
The Lead Pastor of Harvesters International Christians Centre (HICC), Bolaji Idowu, yesterday, decried the ethnic bigotry currently being witnessed in the country since the beginning of campaign for the 2023 elections.
Idowu, who advised Nigerians to come together to avoid bloodshed and prevent Rwanda scenario, urged leaders to be the uniting factors at this critical time.
He said events leading up to the elections and after the elections had been heartbreaking and disappointing as the country continues to witness a lot of hate-speeches, violence, tribalism and intimidation.
Also, a coalition of civil society organisations, led by the Convener, Campaign for Dignity in Governance, Razaq Olokooba, has condemned reckless and inflammatory statements trailing the just-concluded 2023 general elections.
Olokooba, who spoke at a media briefing, yesterday, in Lagos on behalf of the coalition, described the elections as fair, successful and credible so far.
He, therefore, wondered what could have incited the statement by the Labour Party’s vice presidential candidate, Datti Baba-Ahmed, that President Buhari should not hand over to the president-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
The group also condemned the unpatriotic and reckless utterances of some youths which are capable of heating up the polity.
He said: “It was widespread in Lagos and several parts of Nigeria. My stand as a follower of our Lord Jesus Christ, is love your neighbour as yourself.
“I don’t see colour, I don’t see tribe, I don’t see race or politics. Political office holders will come and go but love will remain. This is a call for unity and love, and respect for human life. Election results are out and some are being contested. So, let’s respect the path of peace.
“This a call for those in authority that this is a time to heal. Our nation is hurting, the people are hurting, and there is a lot of division, this is a time to stand strong as one in Nigeria, stand strong for ourselves and stand for our continent and the world at large.
“We will never forget the genocide that happened in Rwanda, we will never forget what happened in Germany and this should not be our story. This is a time for us, the leaders, the government, the people to come out with one agenda, and no intimidation, no violence; let’s put that all aside and work towards the purpose.
“At the end of the day, the result we want is the same but the paths are different, please, I beg of you, the value of human life should not be tampered with, no human blood should be spilt in the name of politics.
“Racism and tribalism should not be brought up; whatever you are Igbo, Yoruba, Hausa, or tribes, you are my brother, you are my sister, my friend, but what do we do from here? It’s to move forward and heal. I appeal to the government, and spiritual leaders, let’s heal the land, let’s heal the people; your people are hurting, this is the voice of your people.