The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 Boss Mustapha has said that the situation in Nigeria today calls for deepening political and religious collaboration at all times.
He made this call at the second quarter of the Nigeria Inter-Religious Council (NIREC) meeting held in Abuja ably represented by the Permanent Secretary, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Dr Maurice Mbaeri.
The SGF said that the theme of the meeting “Ethnic Religious and Political Profiling is Avoidable” was appropriate especially now that the country is faced with issues that bother on ethnic and religious affiliation.
According to him, it is high time Nigerians called criminals by their proper names, and not profile them by their religious or political affiliation. This he said, could lead to fragmentation of the nation.
In his words, “The situation in Nigeria today calls for a deepening of political and religious collaboration at all times. As a body, we must continue to build an environment free of prejudice, intolerance, violence and other vices. We must continue to expose our children to the rich and good values Africa represents. We must continue to live together and pursue becoming a good community.
“It is high time we called criminals by their proper names without profiling their religion and crime from the name they bear. We must reject the narrative of those who are predicting war for the nation. By the grace of God shall over overcome this challenge.
“We appeal to all of you here to do everything humanly possible to avoid ethnic, religious and political profiling that can lead to fragmentation of the nation. We have to continue to live in unity, harmony and peace for the welfare, security and prosperity of our people and of our nation.
He appealed to Muslims and Christians to desist from using social media as a tool for causing disunity in the nation, but rather use the NIREC as a platform to proper necessary solutions to the Government.
He also hammered on the need for religious and traditional rulers to always publicly counter the claims by bad elements who perpetuate killings in the name of religion and political affiliations while he urged leaders of ethnic groups to caution their children.
“The level of insecurity in Nigeria today is so high that religious and traditional rulers must assist the government to usher in m peace. In every ethnic group, there are good people, and there are also criminal elements. While the leaders in each ethnic group should caution their children, religious leaders should publicly reject the idea of those who claim to be killing in the name of religion by giving a counter narrative.
“We appeal to Christians and Muslims to restrain from using social media to disunite us. If there are serious personal issues, Christians and Muslims under the umbrella of NIREC should suggest to the government the way to go to promote justice and equity.
“We cannot make progress if the national identity of Nigeria is fragmented by politics, tribe and religion. This is why the search for one nation in peace and unity must be a core vision for NIREC. It must go beyond the statutory meeting to assisting the government with useful information because security is the concern of everybody no matter where you come from and the religion you practice.”
Mustapha thanked the co-chairmen and members of NIREC for the consistency, doggedness and personal efforts the association has shown in the face of challenges aimed at ensuring that Nigeria progresses in peace and unity.
He also said that the Federal government of Nigeria would continue to give all necessary support to religious and traditional rulers to promote peace and unity in the land.