Ahead of the 2023 general elections, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, and the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Most Rev. Daniel Okoh, have vowed to resist any politician taking the country hostage.
They spoke at a valedictory dinner in honour of the immediate past CAN president, Rev. Samson Ayokunle, in Abuja.
Speaking at the event, Sultan, urged Christian and Muslim clerics to make sure they are hospitable to all political office seekers who solicit their support but asked them to thoroughly interrogate their developmental plans for the nation.
The Sultan said, “As you know the time for the political campaign will soon start. Political office seekers and politicians will come to seek our votes. We have to treat them well and preach to them to be just and fear God in whatever they do.
“We must not play the blame game and allow anyone to take our country hostage. We know politicians will come to you and to us as well as going everywhere, promising things that they cannot deliver.
“Let’s challenge them. If someone tells you that they are going to do this or that, ask them ‘how are you going to do it?
“As Nigeria Interreligious Council, NIREC, we will sit and discuss these issues. At that level also, we will reach out to political leaders, sit with them and discuss with them what plans they have for this country. Then we will decide who, as God Almighty seems it fit, will lead the country.”
The new CAN President, Most Rev. Daniel Okoh, in his remarks assured that Christian clerics would continue to dialogue with their Muslim counterparts in the interest of the nation.
Okoh said, “We will continue to collaborate together for the peaceful co-existence among people of all ethnic groups and religious leanings as we resolve to make a positive impact on the political, economic and social systems of our dear nation.”
Speaking earlier, the Methodist Prelate, Dr Samuel Kanu-Uche said the nation would achieve progress when the government work in synergy with religious groups.
In his presentation titled, ‘Reflections on Christianity and Nigeria’, he said that the ideal relationship between the religious groups and the State should be such that the welfare needs of the people are addressed from all angles.
He said, “While the State attends to the physical well-being of the masses and the present, the Church will attend to the spiritual well-being of the masses and their future in the Hereafter.
“It is in the matter of government addressing the physical issues of the Present and the Church minding the spiritual issues of the Hereafter that we see the need for the State and Church to have a mutually beneficial handshake for you cannot care about the future without being concerned about the present and you cannot dwell on the present and turn a blind eye to the future.”