Monday 22nd May, 2017
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Centre condemns use of religion to destabilise Nigeria

Centre condemns use of religion to destabilise Nigeria

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.

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