‘Religious manipulation for ethnic, political gains fuelling insecurity’
Religious manipulation for cultural and political domination has been identified as the harbinger of crises in the country.
This was the position of religious leaders and traditionalists at a press briefing yesterday in Lagos to celebrate the first International Day of Religious Freedom.
United Nations selected the day to commemorate the victims of acts of violence based on their religion.
Chairman, Christian Social Movement of Nigeria (CSMN), Solomon Asemota, said every citizen had the fundamental human right to freely express their religious conviction and not be subjected to persecution, intimidation or marginalisation on account of their belief.
Asemota said Nigeria had been thrown into needless conflicts and bloodshed due to religious intolerance.He however noted a small group within the country was using religion to divide and weaken other component parts to retain absolute control.
“We condemn this attitude and urge Nigerians to rise and resist this manipulation of religion to promote ethnic supremacists.
“Today, the promoters of the doctrine of hate have subverted the national ideology of liberal democracy and gave us a constitution with conflicting ideologies. It is the tension between democracy and religious ideology that is the root of the bloodshed, insecurity, economic recession, ethnic suspicion and dysfunctionality at all levels of governance,” he said.
CSMN urged Nigerians to rise and demand a new constitution based on parliamentary system of government like the 1963 Republican Constitution as the first step to restore orderliness to the country.
The group described the arrest of #RevolutionNow campaigner, Omoyele Sowore, as a manifestation of Sharia ideology and demanded his immediate release.
Chief Imam of Ilorin, Sheikh Abdulraheem Aduanigba, who was represented by Kamal Mohammed of United Yoruba Kingdom Oodua, said the Yoruba majority in Kwara State wanted their Yoruba kin to champion recognition of the state as part of the South West and not the North.
Public Relations Officer, International Council for IFA Religion, Fayemi Fakayide, said traditional religion worshippers deserve apology from both Muslims and Christians for always being at the receiving end of discrimination.He said if campaigners of religion freedom were serious, they should champion religious justice.
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