Orders military to stand for democracy, civil authority
Sultan, Onaiyekan preach peace, religious tolerance
President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday in Abuja, insisted the All Progressive Congress (APC) deserved re-election in 2019, in view of the achievements of the APC-led Federal Government even as he also ordered the military to stand for democracy, civil authority. Buhari then advised religious leaders and traditional rulers to encourage their adherents and subjects to read every political party’s manifesto carefully and vote wisely in the 2019 general elections.
Speaking at the Interfaith Conference on Religious Harmony in Nigeria, organised by the Interfaith Initiative for Peace, the President urged religious leaders to desist from partisan politics in order not to lose their value in the society. Buhari also called on all aggrieved persons to always consider the stability of Nigeria first before their individual political ambitions, and to seek redress in court where necessary, rather than resorting to violence.
“It is my hope that all, who feel aggrieved will put the stability of our country first before their political ambition, or accept the decisions of their political parties or seek resolution through party reconciliation mechanisms or the law court.
“Very soon, political campaigns will commence leading to elections in February next year. “It is my hope and prayer that we will even perform better in the polling stations and see to the peaceful conclusion of the entire process without resorting to the negative use of religion and ethnicity. “Religious leaders should not be seen to involve themselves in partisan politics or political controversies, otherwise they risk losing their status and public respect.”
In his address, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, stated that religious harmony is crucial to fostering peaceful coexistence.
“Religious harmony is very important for peaceful co-existence because there must be understanding before we could collectively move forward as a country.
“Progress and development would continue to elude us if acrimony, mistrust and backbiting are being promoted. “However, we succeeded in securing the commitment and trust of the Independent National Electoral Commission, the Police, and other critical stakeholders that would be involved in the electoral process.”
Also in his address, the Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, John Onaiyekan, expressed the belief that the original sin holding the country down is selfishness. According to him, selfishness has become the primary objective and moving principle in the lives of Nigerians.
He said: “Selfishness at all levels – personal, family, tribal, regional, and even religious. This is at the root of corruption, violence, disloyalty and the win-atall- cost and by-all-means syndrome at elections.
“If we continue this way, good governance, genuine democracy, national unity, peace and prosperity for all Nigerians will continue to elude us.” Meanwhile, President Buhari, on Saturday reminded members of the Armed Forces to protect Nigeria’s democracy and subject themselves to civil authority.
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