Stop Politicising Terrorism, Osinbajo Tells Nigerians | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Stop Politicising Terrorism, Osinbajo Tells Nigerians

Posted: Sep 28, 2015 at 12:13 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Chesa Chesa Abuja

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, on Sunday, urged Nigerians to stop playing politics with terrorism as such tragedies do not discriminate according to tribe or religion.

Speaking during an interdenominational church service to mark the nation’s 55th Independence Anniversary at the National Christian Centre in Abuja, Osinbajo, lamented a situation where Nigerians are divided along religious and tribal lines, quoting the biblical injunction that a kingdom or city divided against itself would remain desolate and stand.

The Vice President, who was accompanied by wife, Dolapo, urged citizens to work for national unity, just as the body of Christ, recalling that among terror victims he saw across the country, there were Christians, Muslims and those of no faiths, all of who are united by poverty.

“Our country’s major problem is the fact that at the end of the day, we play politics with anything. “We play politics with religion, with tribe but the fate of the vast majority of our people, the 110 million extremely poor people, is not the concern of anyone,” he said.

He observed that “bombs of terrorists do not discriminate along religious and tribal lines, warning Nigerians and religious leaders against simplifying terrorism in Nigeria in the context of Christian or Muslim “disagreement.

Rather than creating further divisions, Osinbajo urged religious leaders to bind the wounds that separate humanity, adding: “As we celebrate our political freedom, I am reminded that true freedom lies in recognising why Jesus came to earth.

“He didn’t come to separate us but to talk about redemption and saving grace for all that have sinned.

“He came to make a sacrifice of himself for us. As He hung on the cross, he pleaded guilty to every crime you could be accused of.

“That is the message of Jesus Christ that transcends religion, tribe and we as Christ’s must hold on that message because it is the message that can save the world.”

In his homily at the event, Catholic Bishop of Kafanchan Diocese, Joseph Bagobori, charged President Buhari to implement the report of the last National Conference, because anyone who throws the report away throws Nigeria away.

Bishop Bagobori told the congregation that despite the 10,000 pages of 600 resolutions reached by delegates at the National Conference, “we hear of an invisible government running this country.”

The cleric also spoke of the need to make Nigeria work in an atmosphere of religious tolerance, noting that despite many threats to national unity and predictions of collapse and disintegration, God has kept the country one, a good reason for Nigerians to recommit themselves to the continuous growth and survival of the nation.

Nigeria is more than any one religion, resources, political parties or interests in any part of the country, and its unity is bigger than any other, Bagobiri counseled, hence the need for all to “think Nigeria, love Nigeria and see ourselves as Nigerians.”

The cleric counseled: “Take Nigeria away and we shall not be able to do some of the fine things we do today.”

Endangered Species

The Bishop lamented a situation where despite millions of Naira spent to secure the nation, insecurity had been allowed to thrive across in the country, such that Christians have become endangered species.

He allude to a report showing that 60 per cent of worldwide killings based on religion were against Nigerian Christians, a situation he traced to the household of Islam, whose leaders he challenged, should rise up “and put their house in order”.

He wished that President Buhari criticised the killings by religious sects in the past, saying he only did so after he became president of the country.

“We are equal stakeholders; we should have a plan for Nigeria,” he stressed, even as he warned Christians not to advance the cause of Christ with violence, while reserving the right to defend themselves.

Referring to cases of institutionalised discrimination, he lamented that heads of the Supreme Court, for example, come from one section of the country, and enjoined the Buhari administration to entrench justice, fairness and equity.

Corruption

For him also, any attempt by the government to fight corruption just for the sake of it by using state powers for vendetta would be interpreted by Nigerians and would not augur well for the nation.

Speaker of House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, took the Second Reading from the book of Corinthians.

Other dignitaries at the service included the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu; former Head of State Ernest Shonekan; Senator Philip Aduda, and National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, chief John Odigie-Oyegun; service chiefs, their representatives, and members of the diplomatic corps.