Warn Politicians Against Violence
From Funso Muraina in Abuja,
Religious leaders in Abuja have
warned politicians against rigging and violence and
enjoined Nigerians to pray fervently for a better set of
leaders as the nation prepares for the next year general
Both the Chief Imam of the National Mosque, Abuja, Sheik
Musa Muhammad and Superior Evangelist of the Celestial
Church of Christ, Abuja district headquarters, Ralph
Adekunmi said religious leaders had commenced serious
prayers and fasting for peace to reign in the country.
While the chief imam spoke with journalists when a
non-civil society organization, Alliance for Credible
Election (ACE) visited him, Adekunmi made his own remark
during his church's annual harvest service with the
theme: "Harvest of Divine Restoration."
The organisation visited the Imam as part of its
advocacy efforts towards educating Nigerians on the need
to have peaceful and credible elections next year.
The clerics lauded the anti-corruption crusade of the
present administration in the country and wished that it
could be continued after the expiration of the
President's tenure next year. Adekunmi said it was
surprising to have the multitude seeking the office of
the president, saying Nigerians should continue to pray
for God-sent leaders to take over from the incumbents.
"Virtually half of the serving governors wanted to
contest for the office of the President. Everybody want
to rule even after serving eight years as governors. I
think they should go for open debate," he said.
Muhammad advised politicians especially those seeking
political offices to behave themselves at the
forthcoming elections by not making politics a do-or-die
affair, adding that is only God who gives power to
whoever He desires.
He said that if politicians allowed their greedy nature
to override national interest, which he said should
include improving the people’s welfare, they would have
themselves to blame in the end because they would have
no other country than Nigeria.
The best way to prevent bloodshed in next year election,
he said, was for politicians to shun rigging in all
forms “and should remember that God would not be happy
with anyone who kills his fellow human being.”
“As Muslims, we always remind our people of the day of
judgment when everyone would give account of his deed on
earth. Therefore, why must we fight ourselves to death
because of power which can only be given by God to
whoever he desires?” Muhammad also admonished the
government to prepare towards elections that would be
accepted worldwide, saying government could achieve the
feat by allowing free choice of the people at the polls.
According to him, government should realise that Nigeria
of 1970's is different from the present one whereby
people are more conscious of their rights and would hate
being cheated, noting that if ACE had been in place long
before now it would have made better impact in the area
of voters’ education.
Earlier, the General Secretary of the ACE, Mr. Emmanuel
Ezeazu thanked the chief imam for receiving his team in
He said: “We are with you to appeal to you to use your
position in the mosque to tell our brothers and sisters
the need to be peaceful so as to have credible elections
next year. We believe that religious leaders share the
responsibility," he stated.