Religious bodies urge members to be apolitical

By Asma'u Halilu, Kaduna 

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The leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and Jama’atul Nasril Islam (JNI), have cautioned against the use of religion for promoting political parties and candidates in places of worship in Kaduna state.


According to the religious bodies, it is not healthy for places of worship to be used for political campaigns and endorsement of candidates.


“We the religious leaders of both the Jama’atul Nasril Islam (JNI) and the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) have consistently cautioned against the use of religion for promoting political parties and candidates. We cannot therefore, allow the noble credentials of our faiths to be subverted by a few religious clerics.”


This was contained in a statement jointly signed by the leadership of JNI and CAN and made available to newsmen in Kaduna state.


The duo also urged religious preachers outside Kaduna state to refrain from making inflammatory remarks or sermons that can instigate the residents, advising that they should concentrate on addressing the issues in their states of living and service.


“The time has come again when as a people, we will freely decide our common destiny as far as leadership of our state in the next four years is concerned. We sincerely wish to take this time to appreciate all citizens for the way we conducted ourselves in the last Presidential and National Assembly elections. Our peaceful conduct and enthusiasm are worth commending. Indeed, the outing showed an incredible political reawakening, the kind that our nation, Nigeria, needs to prosper.”


“However, a few days to the Gubernatorial and State Assembly elections, the political atmosphere is overheated even much more than we experienced in the run-off to the February 25, 2023 elections. It is sad to note that, our revered calling and places of worship are being used for politics by some religious preachers. Some have resorted to using the holy place meant for holy Service, campaigning for candidates and parties and issuing out unholy messages.”


“It is against this background that we are appealing to all religious preachers of the Islamic and Christian faiths to resist the temptation of using sacred altars and pulpits to carry out unhealthy politics of promoting one party or candidate above the others.”


“We need to always remember that our followers even within the same Church or Mosque may belong to different political parties. Hence, there is a need for Imams, Pastors and other leaders of faith to remain apolitical and neutral. Importantly, all religious leaders in Kaduna State must ensure strict adherence to the teachings of the Holy Books by promoting peaceful coexistence. It is our duty to create an understanding of the need for people to go out and cast their votes in a peaceful manner as prescribed by the law.”


The statement reminded all religious leaders of being accountable to the Creator Who has graciously recruited them to serve Him and thus, will be rewarded in accordance with their actions and words.


The leadership of both bodies prayed to God Almighty to have peaceful and credible elections come Saturday, March 18th, 2023.

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