The Christian Association of Nigeria has advised religious leaders in the nation not to deliver sermons that will further polarise the nation before the general elections of 2023.
Rev. Dr. Daniel Okoh, the national president of CAN, made the plea at a dinner reception hosted in his honour by the Organization of African Instituted Churches (OAIC), the group from which he was elected to the position in July.
According to Okoh, doing so will foster a culture of hatred and violence and mislead the next generation.
“We will find ways to engage people of other religions. We don’t have a choice than to find ways to live together. We have fought our battles in the past. We have an advantage to harness our diversities. As Church leaders, we must only say things that will bring us together.
“My responsibility is not to say things that will divide us. If that is why people think I am here, they are mistaken. When we speak hate, we build a culture of hate and violence while misleading the younger generation.
“We have hated ourselves in the past but this is the time of healing. I am not saying we must give up our faith. We will use the method and approach of Jesus, which is engagement and we will not compromise our faith in the process.”
Okoh also said that politicians who will remind us of our diversities are not needed in 2023, as all we need is the solution to unemployment, insecurity, banditry and inflation.
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“Nigerians are divided enough. We don’t want politicians or candidates that will remind us of our diversities. We need solutions to unemployment, insecurity, banditry and inflation.
“We don’t want to be told of our religious and political differences. Our politicians should tell us what they plan to do and how they want to fix Nigeria. They should campaign based on issues not sentiments. We don’t want hate speeches that will further polarise Nigeria.”