Sanwo-Olu warns religious leaders against inflammatory comments
Lagos Governor Babajide Sanvo Olu on Saturday warned religious leaders and opinion makers from reckless statements that could further exacerbate the country’s security crisis.
Sanwo Olu instructed the 2021 Lagos State Interfaith Worship organized by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) at Ketu Apostolic Church.
The governor said the nature of the crisis requires all religious leaders to refrain from inflammatory comments that could cause division and violence.
The crisis in Nigeria will be catastrophic for Africa, he said.
He said the country has gone through a difficult period over the past year after the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 outbreak and exacerbated by young people’s concerns.
Sanvo Olu, who said Lagos State was the epicenter of the crisis that kept the government on edge, stressed that religious leaders should use their pulpits to preach peace and discourage war.
The Governor said it was time for citizens to come together and gave Nigeria the fresh start it deserves in tackling today’s challenges.
“The time has come for sober reflection, which should start a new beginning for our country. We have all seen the challenges our country faces, but we must be careful not to turn the crises we have seen into ethnic or religious wars.
“We must beware of expressions that might stereotype someone or a tribe. We have a responsibility to isolate criminals in our communities, not to introduce tribal rotation into any crime.
“Nigeria is the largest country in Africa. Where are we going?
“That’s why I said we need to start all over again, and there is no other person who can help us lower the temperature and calm our frayed nerves than our religious leaders, whose voices are respected,” he said.
The governor added that the Nigerians should not add political instability to the country’s many battles.
Sanwo-Olu said the crises gripping the country required collective action from all parts of the country to find solutions.
He said that despite the COVID-19 crisis and devastation that followed the #EndSARS protest in 2020, Lagos weathered the storm with a firm resolve to bolster the progress.
He thanked religious groups for supporting Lagos State with prayers and, in particular, thanked CAN for the spiritual support of his administration.
“As a government, we will continue to contribute and carry out projects that are fundamental to the socio-economic well-being of people.
“It is the duty of CAN and our church leaders to continue to support us with prayers and popular messages that foster unity within our communities and our nation,” Sanwo-Olu said.
The Southwestern leader of CAN, Rev. Father Raphael Osegbone, honored Sanwo-Olu with the title of Great Patron of the Lagos branch of the association.
Osegbone said this appointment was based on the Christian organization’s decision to naturally hold office for any current ruler of the Christian faith.
In addition, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, MP from the Central Senatorial District of Lagos, was appointed Matron of the Association, and the Reverend Mother Esther Ajayi was appointed Great Matron.
The theme of this year’s ministry is “New Beginning, New Dawn and New Glory”