Sa’ad Abubakar, sultan of Sokoto, has condemned pastors and imams who are after material things while their followers get poorer.
The monarch, who is in Akure, Ondo state capital for the 2019 annual Ulefunta public lecture came hard on religious leaders some of whom he accused of preaching violence to their followers.
Urging them to take caution, Abubakar said good leaders are expected to teach their followers on how to salvage their lives.
“Don’t politicise religion. God does not belong to any political party. The bible doesn’t belong to any political party, so does the Quran. If you are a good pastor, Imam, teach people how to salvage their lives,” he said.
“This life is a temporary one, the permanent life is eternal. There is a lot of materialism out there. They move in convoys with guns, big vehicles saying they are the founders of this church, this Islamic movement, all in the bid to make worldly things for themselves and their followers are there shouting Alleluia, shouting Allahuakbar. They are getting richer and richer and the common man is getting poorer and poorer.
“As religious leaders, we must tell the truth and we are helping government to stabilise the nation and maintain peace in the country. Let’s never get tired or be afraid to come together to talk, no matter how tough, bad or negative things seem to be. If we sit down at the dialogue table, we will resolve all issues.
“Communication is the most important. If people take up arms against one another, they will one day come to the dialogue table. If you know you can sit down and find solution to your problem, why take up arms in the first place? That is why religious leaders must always preach peace, must always talk about dialogue and must never talk about picking up arms to kill one another because you don’t create life, life belongs to God Almighty and you can’t take life because you never created it. We must always preach Godliness and understanding.”
Urging both Christians and Muslims to see one another as neighbours, he said himself and about 187 world Muslim leaders once wrote a letter through the pope to all Christian leaders in the world entitled “The Common Word.”
He explained that there is a common thread between Christians and Muslims, calling for friendship between all.
Addressing Ogunlade Aladeusi, the deji of Akure, the sultan said; “If I sat down in Sokoto, and you are here in Akure, we will not communicate properly. By coming here, we found out that we all have the same agenda but we are not executing it the same way. The more you come close know one another, the better we function as one family.”
He also touched on the alleged demolition of a mosque in Rivers state, saying discussions were ongoing with the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in the state and they coming to a resolution.