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Sultan Faults Clerics Over Inciting Religious Messages

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  • The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, has condemned pastors and Imams that incite violence and politicize religion in Nigeria.

Abubakar made the condemnation on Sunday at an inter-faith session he held with Christians and Muslims in Akure, the Ondo State capital.

The session was a prelude to the public lecture marking the Akure Ulefunta festival he is billed to deliver on Monday.

The lecture is entitled “Our Diversity, a Divine Gift and Blessings untapped: Wrong Path trodden and Way to Peace.”

The Sultan said clerics must restrain themselves and mind their words while preaching, so as not to complicate issues in the country.

He added that it was disheartening that some clerics were fond of taking undue advantage of their followers, enriching themselves while their followers wallow in abject poverty.

“Don’t politicize religion because God does not belong to any political party.

“The bible doesn’t belong to any political party, nor does the Quran.

“If you are a good pastor, Imam, teach people how to salvage their lives, for this life is a temporary one, the permanent life is eternal.

“There is a lot of materialism out there. They move in convoys with guns, big vehicles, saying they are the founders of churches, as well as some Islamic movements, all in the bid to make worldly things for themselves and their followers just shouting Alleluia, shouting Allahu Akbar.

“They are getting richer and richer and the common man is getting poorer and poorer,” he said.

He admonished followers of all faiths to respect one another, saying “there is a common thread between Christians and Muslims” which should be deployed to the good of the society.

Abubakar emphasised the importance of coming together to talk on all issues affecting the country, so as to arrive at a consensus.

“If I sit down in Sokoto and you are here in Akure we will not communicate properly, but by coming here, we found out that we all have the same agenda but we are not executing it the same way.

“The more you come close to know one another, the better we function as one family.”

The Sultan stressed that religious leaders must tell the truth to those in authority, as that would help the government to maintain peace and stabilise the country.

” Let’s never get tired or be afraid to come together to talk, no matter how tough, bad or negative things seem to be.

” If we sit down at the dialogue table, we will resolve all issues. Communication is the most important.

” If people take up arms against one another, they will one day come to the dialogue table.

“If you know you can sit down and find solution to your problem, why take up arms in the first place?

“That is why religious leaders must always preach peace, must always talk about dialogue and must never talk about picking up arms to kill one another because you don’t create life, life belongs to God Almighty and you can’t take life because you never created it.

“We must always preach godliness and understanding,” he said.

The Sultan also talked about the alleged demolition  of a mosque in Rivers, saying that the Nigeria Inter-Religious Council was handling the matter “in a quiet manner.”

“We have talked to CAN in Rivers.

“We don’t make noise in resolution of issues. We stepped into it. They sent us documents and all. I am not the type that likes talking to the press.

” You can hardly hear me granting interview to pressmen. Even in the North, I hardly speak in Hausa so that they don’t twist my statement. I speak English.

“We must work together, we must tell our leaders the truth; we must tell ourselves that there is a lot of insecurity all over the place and we must sit down together and find solutions to it.

” We mustn’t apportion blames to one president or another,” he said.

Earlier, Oba Aladetoyinbo Aladelusi, the Deji of Akure, applauded the Sultan for his interventionist roles in resolving conflicts all over the world.

He prayed for the success of the Sultan’s engagements in the state. (NAN)

Faith

Niger Coup: CAN States Position on Military Intervention

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….Position on Military Intervention

Laide Akinboade, Abuja

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has urged the Economic Community Of West Africa States (ECOWAS) not to use military intervention to resolve the current crisis in Niger.

In a recent statement signed by the CAN President, Archbishop Daniel Okoh, the apex Christian association commended President Ahmed Tinubu, and other heads of ECOWAS for their unwavering commitment to discouraging coups d’état and the forceful takeover of power.

“We also applaud their commendable efforts in resolving the crisis currently faced by our neighbours in the Republic of Niger.

“CAN fully recognizes the gravity of the situation in Niger and the importance of upholding democratic principles, peace, and stability within the West African region. We believe that the peaceful resolution of conflicts is vital for the progress and well-being of our nations and our people.

Read Also: Niger Coup: Activate Standby Force, ECOWAS Orders Defence Chiefs  

“We applaud President Ahmed Tinubu for adopting a diplomatic approach in addressing the crisis by sending a high-level delegation, led by the eminent statesman General Abdulsalam Abubakar, to engage with the Nigerien authorities. This diplomatic overture demonstrates President Tinubu’s commitment to peaceful dialogue and his belief in the power of constructive engagement to foster understanding and resolve conflicts.

“Furthermore, we commend the inclusion of the esteemed Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, in the delegation. This representation showcases the unity of purpose and the collaborative spirit of Nigerian leaders, transcending religious and ethnic boundaries to jointly pursue peace in our region.

“CAN also commends the notable efforts of other prominent leaders, who have engaged with the Nigerien authorities in their personal capacities, leveraging private contacts. Their wisdom, experience, and counsel will undoubtedly contribute to the resolution of the crisis in Niger and the restoration of peace and stability in the region

“As an organization deeply committed to promoting justice, peace, and harmony, CAN urges Tinubu, to remain on the path of dialogue and avoid any form of military intervention or measures that would create enmity between the good people of Nigeria and Niger. We firmly believe that the path to lasting peace lies in upholding democratic processes, respecting the sovereignty of nations, and engaging in peaceful dialogue to address grievances and resolve conflicts.

“We implore all stakeholders involved in this matter to embrace peaceful negotiations, exercise restraint, and tirelessly work towards a sustainable resolution of the crisis in Niger. It is crucial to remember that peace is a collective responsibility, and only through joint efforts and unwavering commitment can we build a future of progress, stability, and prosperity for our nations, the statement read.

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Faith

Cleric Urges Tinubu to Ensure Even Resource Distribution

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Tony Obiechina, Abuja

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has been urged to inclusively involve all segments of the country in his administration and ensure the equitable distribution of resources to address the citizens’ plight.

Reverend Babatunde Idowu, the District Overseer of Foursquare Gospel Church in Wuse, Abuja, gave this advice during the Church’s 10th District Anniversary.

He emphasized that directing resources appropriately would also help alleviate economic challenges and address the country’s infrastructural decay.

Reverend Idowu acknowledged that the current administration’s economic policy is commendable, but stressed the importance of appointing the right individuals to manage the proceeds from fuel subsidy removal.

He stated that only Nigerians who fear God and are committed to serving the nation should be engaged for such responsibilities.

The Cleric believes that when both leaders and the public act responsibly, divine intervention will lead to the country’s transformation.

Assistant Pastor of Foursquare Utako, Abuja, Mrs. Stella Eniola Huthman, appealed to women to fulfill their responsibilities, set examples, and foster peaceful households.

Pastor Stella Eniola attributed the current moral decline in society to the failure of some women in fulfilling their roles, urging them to contribute positively to building a better nation.

Deacon Samson Olorunda, Chairman of the anniversary committee, stated that the church would persistently pray for divine intervention to address the country’s challenges.

He assured that the church would remain dedicated to promoting peace and spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The theme for the week-long program was “Much More Than This,” derived from the book of 2 Chronicles 25:9-10.

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Faith

CAN Raises the Alarm Over Extreme Hardship Faced by Nigerians

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By Laide Akinboade, Abuja

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) said that the increasing hardship faced by the majority of Nigerians due to recent hikes in fuel prices, school fees, and other essential expenses ignites worries.

In a statement issued by CAN President, Daniel Okoh, over the weekend, he urged the Federal Government to take immediate measures to alleviate the suffering in the country.

“While we acknowledge the complexities and difficult decisions taken by the government to manage the nation’s economy, there is an urgent need to prioritize measures that will alleviate, rather than exacerbate, the existing poverty level and hardships of Nigerians.

“The recent price hikes have placed an enormous burden on the already struggling masses, making it extremely difficult for them to afford the basic necessities of life,” the CAN President remarked.

He further advised the Federal Government to engage with critical stakeholders in meaningful dialogue to explore sustainable solutions to the current situation.

As part of the recommendations, Okoh stressed the importance of developing comprehensive economic policies that promote inclusive growth, job creation, and social well-being. He urged the government to focus on diversifying the economy, reducing dependency on volatile commodities, and promoting investments in sectors with the potential to create sustainable employment opportunities. These measures, according to him, would not only bolster economic resilience but also enhance the overall well-being of citizens.

“The fuel subsidy palliatives being considered by the government should go beyond cash transfers and should include the introduction of mass transport across states to reduce the cost of transportation. The multiplier effect of this will be profound,” Okoh emphasized.

Additionally, the CAN President called for measures to reduce the price of fuel, including the removal of unnecessary levies and taxes on imported petroleum products, stabilization of the foreign exchange market, and the restoration of local refineries to functional and effective use.

“While we understand that there is no gain without pain, the pain must not be unbearable,” he added.

Appealing to Nigerians to exercise patience with the government, Okoh urged everyone to work together to build an inclusive and resilient economy that offers opportunities for every Nigerian to thrive.

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