Gov. Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State has warned that the state government will not allow a religious crisis in the state ahead of the March 11 governorship and house of assembly elections.
Sule made the remarks during a meeting with the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI), and retired Justice Sidi Bage-Mohammed, Emir of Lafia and Chairman of the state Traditional Council, on Saturday in Lafia.
The governor stated that the meeting was necessary because of the dangerous religious dimension of current politics in the run-up to the March 11 elections.
He also condemned some inciting and provocative videos promoting religious politics that went viral on social media.
Sule, on the other hand, praised religious and traditional leaders for the peaceful conduct of the state’s Presidential and National Assembly elections on February 25.
He attributed the success of the last elections to the effort of all stakeholders, urging them to put all hands on deck to ensure that the upcoming election is also peaceful.
He further said that the government cannot allow anybody to divide the people and destroy the state because of politics.
“Nasarawa State has always been seen as a peaceful place and there are Muslims and Christians in virtually every family. So, the government cannot allow religious crisis in the state.
“If the state is not peaceful, even those inciting people cannot have the time to send those messages, as everybody will be on the run.
“Power comes from God and He gives it to whoever He wants at anytime, so, as politicians, we should only present ourselves to the people,” he advised.
Sule reminded residents to learn from the recent election, where for the first time, Sen. Bola Tinubu lost election in his Lagos State, but won the presidential election.
“Tinubu is the president-elect today, despite losing election in his state, that is how God works,” Sule added.
He therefore appealed to religious leaders to talk to their followers to desist from any act capable of breaching the existing peace in the state.
Speaking to newsmen after the meeting, Mr Sunday Emma, the state Chairman of CAN, commended the governor for calling the meeting to address the emerging challenges ahead of the election.
The CAN chairman also condemned the inciting videos and said that the governor had given them assurance that security would be provided to ensure that the poll is peaceful.
He added that they would inform thier members in churches tomorrow (Sunday) to disregard any sentiment, and come out and vote for candidates of their choice on March 11.
On his part, Imam Mohammed Ali, the state Secretary-General of JNI, also criticised the inciting videos and expressed satisfaction with the steps taken by the governor to avert any crisis.
He therefore promised to inform all Imams in the state about the resolutions at the meeting for onward dissemination to their members during prayers in every Mosque. (NAN)