Just In: Stop the use of religious platforms for political interests – Cleric counsels religious leaders
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Just In: Stop the use of religious platforms for political interests – Cleric counsels religious leaders

Feb. 29, 2024

Just In: Stop the use of religious platforms for political interests – Cleric counsels religious leaders

Admin By Adewale Adewale
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The Chief Imam of Albarka Islamic Society of Nigeria, Dr Mutiu Agboke, has counseled religious leaders in the country to desist from using religious platforms for promoting political interests, rather, for political education.

Dr Agboke hinted that using religious platforms for political interests has continued to divide the nation rather that unite it.

Agboke, who is also the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Independent National Electoral Commission, Osun State, said this on Thursday, while delivering the Pre-Ramadhan lecture of Splash 106.7 FM in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.

“We should stop the use of religious platforms to promote a particular political interest. But nothing is out of place to use religious platforms for political education. Using the religious platforms for the former divides us the more as a nation.”

The cleric spoke on the topic ‘Religious Tolerance and Peace: Panacea to Nation’s Development.

Agboke described religious tolerance as a situation where all religion, sects, groups, etc co-exist in a multi-religious environment like Nigeria, saying ‘the nature of Yoruba setting reflects friendly and tolerant religious environment.”

“The concept of peace is depicted in a situation of absence of disharmony and war like situation. In religious parlance, it is an absolute co-existence of various religious groups without one hampering the practice or manifestation of another.”

According to him, acceptance of humanity in all beings and not otherwise is an indication of religious harmony and peace, adding that believers are to one another, a source of strength.

He noted that Islam as a religion rejects social disunity, racism and prejudice, saying every person should be permitted to practice and manifest his or her faith without let or hindrance.

He also noted that part of a peaceful coexistence is that no government policy must be an obstacle to the practice and manifestation of each individuals’ religious practice and its manifestation.

Agboke warned that desecration of objects of worship of others should be eschewed in all ramifications, as a way of peaceful coexistence.

“Religious leaders should desist from unintellectual and irreligious sermons or exhortations. Pulpit and Mimbars are sacred platforms and must be utilised judiciously.

“Religious and various spiritual leaders must learn or know how to interpret scripture within the context of our current socio-economic reality. All sermons at this critical time must be positive. All sense of negativity must be avoided in all its forms.

“Be at peace with yourself, and with everyone at all times. Your family, your neighbours, your co-workers, etc. Think humanity first and stop asking if he is a Muslim or Christian before you render any form of assistance to anyone.

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