Following Bishop of Sokoto Catholic Diocese, Bishop Matthew Kukah, claim on insecurity, the Federal Government has cautioned religious leaders to desist from stoking the embers of hatred and disunity across the country.
The government added that resorting to scorched-earth rhetoric at a time when the country was battling to ensure peaceful co-existence could trigger unintended consequences and a breakdown of law and order in Nigeria.
Cautioning the clerics, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, in a statement yesterday in Lagos, said that the statement from clerics could further cripple ongoing efforts to boost security.
Earlier, Kukah had criticized President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration on the strategy adopted in handling the insecurity situation and other challenges confronting the nation.
Mohammed said: “While religious leaders have a responsibility to speak truth to power, such truth must not come wrapped in anger, hatred, disunity, and religious disharmony,” he said.
The minister believed that it is graceless and impious for any religious leader to use the period of Christmas, which is a season of peace, to stoke the embers of hatred, sectarian strife, and national disunity.
He stated that while some religious leaders, being human, may not be able to disguise their national leadership preference, they should refrain from stigmatising the leader they have never supported anyway, using disproved allegations of nepotism or whatever.
The Minister said whatever challenges Nigeria may be going through at this moment could only be tackled when all leaders and indeed all Nigerians come together.
He had also accused the President of deliberately sacrificing the dreams of those who voted for him to what seemed like a programme to stratify and institutionalise northern supremacy by reducing others in public life to second class status.
“He has pursued this self-defeating and alienating policy at the expense of greater national cohesion. Every honest Nigerian knows that there is no way any non-Northern Muslim President could have done a fraction of what President Buhari has done by his nepotism and gotten away with it.
“There would have been a military coup a long time ago or we would have been at war. The President may have concluded that Christians will do nothing and will live with these actions.
“He may be right and we Christians cannot feel sorry that we have no pool of violence to draw from or threaten our country. However, God does not sleep. We can see from the inexplicable dilemma of his North,” Bishop Kukah said in the statement.