…warn religious leaders against calls for regime change
The Federal Government has decried attempt by any religious leader to stoke the embers of hatred, sectarian strife and national disunity.
Alhaji Lai Mohammed, minister of Information and Culture, in a statement yesterday warned religious leaders who he alleged resorted to “scorched-earth rhetoric’ which could trigger unintended consequences.”
He said that while religious leaders have a responsibility to speak truth to power, such truth must not be “wrapped in anger, hatred, disunity and religious disharmony.”
The statement was an obvious response to Reverend Matthew Hassan Kukah, the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, who said in his 2020 Christmas Message, hat President Muhammadu Buhari is presiding over a country with prospects of a failed state.
“There is no way any non-Northern Muslim president could have done a fraction of what President Buhari has done by his nepotism and gotten away with it,” he said, adding “There would have been a military coup a long time ago or we would have been at war.”
Peeved by this message, Mohammed said that “Calling for a violent overthrow of a democratically-elected government, no matter how disguised such a call is, and casting a particular religion as violent, is not what any religious leader should engage in, and certainly not in a season of peace.”
The minister stressed that instigating regime change outside the ballot box is not only unconstitutional but also an open call to anarchy.
He said while some religious leaders, being human, may not be able to disguise their national leadership preference, they should refrain from stigmatising the leader they had never supported using well-worn and disproved allegations of nepotism.