Ganduje cautions politicians using religious centres to seek votes
Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has cautioned political parties from weeping religious sentiments during the campaign while seeking votes from electorates ahead of the 2023 general elections.
Besides, Ganduje urged strict adherence to a directive issued by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that restricts political parties from tactical campaigns at religious centres.
Declaring open the fourth National Inter-Religious Conference organized by the state government, Governor Ganduje worried about the use of religion by some political elites especially during the election process to divide the mutual relationship that exists between the people of faith.
Ganduje challenged leaders of various faith to close rank in mutual understanding and dialogue to promote unity, peace and cohesion while deemphasizing issues of division. He maintained that only such a platform would enhance development and prevent needless crisis among the two major faith.
Tagged with the theme: ” Harnessing Nigeria’s Religious Diversity for Sustainable Peace and National Development”, Governor Ganduje disclosed that the conference was motivated to strengthen interfaith dialogue for peace and unity and build trust between people of both faith.
” The aim of the conference is to promote religious understanding in the society and enhance peace and unity in Nigeria. Sometimes, religion is used to instigate crisis and division. This is contrary to the tenets of both faiths.
” This is the reason why the leadership of various religions should ensure mutual understand and dialogue to prevent troubles before they escalated. We have to use the power of faith to deepen our unity and prevent those intended to use it for selfish interest”.
Ganduje reminded that the series of interfaith dialogues have fostered unity and harmonious relationship between various faiths and ethnic groups in Kano adding that enduring peace witnessing in the state is a positive testimony of the achievements of the initiative.
Chairman of the National Inter-Religious Conference, Dr Mohammad Bin-Uthman said religious leaders must tread the path of the dignity of individual faith despite the differences. He added that harnessing and celebrating our diversity without violating the principle of individual faiths is sacrosanct to national development.
The co-chair of the conference, Arch Bishop of Metropolitan, North Province, Peter Ogunmuyiwa added that the plurality of faiths is a blessing to Nigeria despite the efforts of some elements to capitalize on the differences to create tension.
He called for constant interface and dialogue between Christian leaders and Muslim clergy for better understanding and harmonious relationships in the country.