Faith leaders and opinion moulders have been cautioned against reckless utterances that may further aggravate the security crises facing the nation.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, gave the charge at the 2021 Lagos State Interdenominational Divine Service (IDDS) held by Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, at The Apostolic Church in Ketu.
Sanwo-Olu said the nature of the crises required all notable leaders of men to refrain from making incendiary comments that could stoke divisions and violence, stressing that a crisis in Nigeria would be catastrophic for Africa.
At the event with the theme: “A New Beginning, A New Dawn and A New Glory”, Sanwo-Olu was installed as the Grand Patron of the Christian body in the state.
Sanwo-Olu noted that the nation had faced difficult period in the past year, following economic downturn occasioned by the spread of Coronavirus and paralyzing nationwide youth protests whilst Lagos becoming the epicenter of the crises, which kept the government on its toes.
The governor, who charged religious leaders to use their pulpits to preach peace and discourage war, said it was time for citizens to come together and give Nigeria the new beginning it deserved in surmounting the contemporary challenges the nation is facing.
In his words: “it is time for sober reflection that must bring a new beginning for our nation. We have all witnessed the challenges of our country, but we need to be careful not to turn the observed crises into an ethnic or religious war. We need to guide against utterances that may stereotype anyone or their tribe. We have duty to isolate criminals in our communities, rather than introducing tribal spin into every crime.
“Nigeria is the largest country in Africa. Where will we go to? That’s why I said we need a new beginning and there are no other people that can help us lower the temperature and calm the frayed nerves than our religious leaders whose voices are well respected. As a nation, we have several battles to fight but we must refrain from adding political instability to the issues.”
Sanwo-Olu said the crises bedeviling the nation required collective action from every segment of the country towards proffering solution.
The governor thanked religious groups across the state for sustaining Lagos with prayers, hailing CAN for its spiritual support towards his administration.
In his final words: “as a government, we will continue to play our part and deliver projects that are critical to the socio-economic wellbeing of the people. The duty of CAN and our church leaders is to continue to support with prayers and populate messages that promote unity within our communities and state”.