The Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, has warned religious leaders across the state to shun divisive rethorics couched in preaching and religious comments, saying the clerics must shun activities capable of destabilising the state through their revered altars.
He added that the warning had become imperative to remind the clerics that it was incumbent on them to use their medium in fostering unity and engendering peace irrespective of the faiths they profess, saying through good conducts, their followers would begin acting accordingly.
Speaking on Tuesday when religious leaders and members of the Muslim community paid him a visit at his Ikolaba residence, shortly after the Eid-el-Kabir prayers, the governor noted that exploiting religious sentiments to score cheap political points was unbecoming in the state and that it was important the clerics sanitise their alters from those seeking political relevance.
According to him, those who think they can use religiosity and religious sentiments to disturb the peace of the state should go and look for something else to do because this administration will not tolerate anarchy through religion.
He said that rather than choose the altars to spread falsehood, those seeking elective position should declare interest on offices of choice and come up with policies and strategies that would earn them votes from the electorates.
“I urge them to desist from using religious sentiments to distabilize Oyo State. If they want political power, it is only God that can put them in position not any human, let them design their own programme, let them look at what we are doing and let them make it known to the people of Oyo State because it is only God that has all power and He gives to anyone he wills.”
“They should tell the people what they can do better and how they plan to achieve it. This is what should be done rather than going around with rumours coated with religious misinformation to cause trouble.”
“We are very conscious of what would be saying of our administration. So we do all things with the fear of God because we know that we will give account of all our deeds. Government will come and go but Oyo State will remain. And if you want to drink from a well, you should not pollute the well. We know they are seeking political powers but they don’t have to get it through the back door.
“This festival should be celebrated with sober reflection. We will appeal to them because our state will remain, and whatever we do is where those coming after us will continue, so they should be calm and give us the opportunity to do what we have planned to do for our state,” Makinde said.