Religious scholars have urged politicians to desist from using religious sentiments to manipulate, divide and/or destroy the country.
They made the appeal while speaking at the 7th Annual Interfaith Dialogue organised by the Lugbe Muslim Ummah Islamic Trust, The Centre for Multireligious Dialogue and Straightway Gospel Ministry, Jos, in Lugbe – Abuja.
The theme for the 2019 forum was tagged ”Let us reason together”
In their separate presentations, the religious scholars stressed that politicians must think of life beyond this world.
Malam Muhammad Manga, the Director, Centre for Multireligious Dialogue, Abuja, described politicians as selfish and greedy people who do not think of the masses and the country.
Manga, who explained that the aim of the dialogue was to foster unity and peaceful coexistence among Christians and Muslims, stressed that both religions worship the same God.
While noting that people must stop hiding under religion to perpetrate evil, Manga urged politicians to stop using the psychology of an average person on the street for political and selfish gains.
”I believe that politicians are using the psychology of an average man on the street for selfish gains and dump him afterward.
”Politicians don’t use their children or family members, they rather use the common man on the street and we need people who will come up and educate the common man on the street.
”We must start teaching the common man the right thing, else politicians will continue to use them to cause havoc.
”Life will not just end on earth, so we must think beyond life on this earth, because whatever we do on earth, we must give account before our creator.
”We must be conscious and not use innocent children to achieve our political or selfish goals,” he said.
Mr Suleiman Zazzagawa, the Chairman, Lugbe Muslim Ummah Islamic Trust, said that the conference aimed at educating the populace more about their religions.
”We want people to know more about their religion so that nobody will be able to manipulate them.
”Scholars are talking from both religions in Nigeria and we want the people to open up their mind, listen and pick the good and right teachings from it and stop allowing selfish people manipulate them,” he said.
On his part, Evangelist Paul Sani from Straightway Gospel Ministry Mission, also noted that the conference was aimed at bringing peace and harmony in the country.
Sani stressed that faithful of both religions must respect and tolerate each other.
He said that politicians and other selfish leaders use religion as a tool to get the attention of their followers and often times, it caused chaos and crisis in the country.
He added that manipulation of religion has also bought divisions, distrust and mayhem among Nigerians, adding that it has made Christians and Muslims to hate one other.
”We must set aside religious segregation and start trusting each other and start treating people right, irrespective of their tribe, religion and belief.
”We must embrace each other and move forward, also politicians must have the fear of God.
”If politicians Imbibe the teachings in the Bible and Qur’an, the country would be a better place, as there will be no conflicts, looting of public funds and injustice.
”Christians and Muslims should see themselves as brothers because we all worship the same God and we were created by one God,” he said.
Both clerics cited relevant verses from the Qur’anand Bibleto buttress their positions.
The two-day event was attended by followers of Islam and Christianity as well community leaders.