The Centre for Social Justice, Equity and Transparency (CSJET) has condemned what it described as the use of religion to destabilise Nigeria.
Speaking ahead of the Centre’s upcoming roundtable on ‘The Role of Religious Leaders in Building Inter-Faith Tolerance’, it’s National Coordinator, Comrade Ikpa Isaac, raised concern over what he termed an upsurge in inflammatory utterances around our religions.
He noted that if the ugly trend is not urgently addressed, the hostilities could escalate. Ikpa said this has become a national challenge that must be addressed quickly, stressing that unguarded utterances by religious leaders in the country have further worsened the tension in the country.
While acknowledging that certain situations, especially killings by alleged herdsmen across the country could have been resolved through a peaceful approach, he, however, said when the atrocities were committed, the responses to them from the relevant authorities could also have been better than what they have been so far.
He said, “It is, however, worrisome that the situation has rather taken the artificial division along religious lines to a new level. The conduct and utterances by leaders of the two dominant faiths have not done much to help the situation but they have rather acted to worsen things in the false belief that they will garner more followership.
“Unfortunately for us the larger population, we do not have the dual nationalities that many of these preachers have, even where we have visas to other countries, we possibly do not have the means to relocate ourselves and families like the clergymen do; and we also do not have the economic resilience to weather any negative impacts that a religious crisis would have on the country like those leading us do.”
He insisted that the realisation that it is the larger population that will suffer negative consequences, has propelled his group to bring Nigerians together to stave off the looming disaster of a religious hostility.