Obasanjo to religious leaders: Don’t allow politicians to wreck Nigeria 

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By Kolawole Olayinka, Abeokuta

Former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has warned religious leaders not to allow themselves to be used by politicians to wreck Nigeria.

He declared that if such is allowed to happen, the entire country would regret it.

Obasanjo made the call when the new President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), His Eminence, Most Reverend Daniel Okoh paid him a courtesy visit at his Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL) Penthouse residence in Abeokuta, Ogun State. 

In a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Kehinde Akinyemi, the former President noted that Nigerian politicians could be made more responsible by the country’s religious leaders.

Obasanjo who commended the CAN President for his glowing remark on him, said the Sultan of Sokoto had spoken about Okoh to him personality. “And, I must say, I am impressed. With you and Sultan (who is already singing your praises) you can both make a turn-around. You can work together. 

“If you stand on the truth, you stand for justice and equity, it is then the politicians will not be able to mess us around and I will say it with all sense of responsibility now, if we do not watch it, the politicians will wreck this country and we will all regret it. 

“And where can we look for salvation? That is where you religious leaders have a significant role to play. I think it’s the mistake of the past (particularly in the Christendom), that we say politics is not for the righteous. Now, if we take the righteous away from politics, and we leave politics to the unrighteous, the unrighteous will smear the righteous with the unrighteousness that they will carry into politics and will have nowhere to go.

“And in the next election, if we do not watch it, it may make or break Nigeria. And I pray that it will make Nigeria,” Obasanjo said. 

The visiting religious leader had earlier commended the former President for his roles in turning around the Christian faith in the country, asserting that he has made valid contributions to Christianity in Nigeria. 

Okoh said: “In 1976, he started with the establishment of this association, the CAN and in September 1999, he formed the Inter Religious Faith Council. On the political sector, you set up the National Political Reform Conference, which I am privilege to be a delegate, representing the Christian faith. These were the few I could remember as I was planning for this visit.

“Baba, you have played important roles in the political history of Nigeria and Africa, particularly your current role in the Horn of Africa, where the task is to ensure peace in the region. These are no doubt, valid contributions to Christianity.”

On Obasanjo’s task, Okoh hinted that it was among the resolutions reached at the Inter Religious Council meeting held in Lagos recently.

He said: “The Council had resolved not to leave the political space to the politicians, that the religious leaders must get involved, not to be partisan, but, must give leadership to make sure that the values of our religion are brought to the space to help us to live in peace and work for the unity of the nation, including fighting for justice. We are committed to the call Baba made.”

On the entourage were the CAN Assistant General Secretary, Apostle Abiodun Sanyaolu, South West Chairman, His Grace, Elder Adeaga, Lagos and Ogun States CAN Chairmen, Bishop Tunde Akin-Akinsanya (who also represented Bishop Francis Wale Oke) and Bishop S.T Adegbite, Ven. Emmanuel Alamajo, Ven. Emmanuel Nnana, Ven. Joseph and Personal Assistant, Dr. Victor Isoke.

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