Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Wednesday warned religious leaders against allowing politicians with “no fear of God” to wreck Nigeria.
He spoke when the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Reverend Daniel T. Okoh, paid him a courtesy visit at his Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL) Penthouse residence in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital.
The former president, who was quoted in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Kehinde Akinyemi, noted that if clerics allowed the political class to wreck Nigeria, “everyone would regret it.”
“If you stand on the truth, you stand for justice and equity, then the politicians will not be able to mess us around and I will say it with all sense of responsibility now, if we do not watch it, the politicians will wreck this country and we all regret it.
“And where can we look for salvation that is where you religious leaders have a significant role to play. I think it’s the mistake of the past (particularly in Christendom), that we say politics is not for the righteous.
“Now, if we take the righteous away from politics, and we leave politics to the unrighteous, the unrighteous will smear the righteous with the unrighteousness that they will carry into politics and will have nowhere to go.
“And in the next election, if we do not watch it, it may make or break Nigeria. And I pray that it will make Nigeria,” Obasanjo said.
The former president applauded the CAN president and his relationship with the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III, in promoting peace in the country.
He said with the Sultan of Sokoto and the CAN leader already on the same page, “maybe our politicians will listen, and if our politicians don’t listen, maybe our people will listen.”
Okoh in his remarks, commended the former president for his roles in turning around the Christian faith in the country, asserting that he has made valid contributions to Christianity in Nigeria.
He said “in 1976, he (Obasanjo) started with the establishment of this association, the CAN and in September 1999, he formed the Inter Religious Faith Council.
“In the political sector, you set up the National Political Reform Conference, which I am privileged to be a delegate, representing the Christian faith. These were the few I could remember as I was planning for this visit.
“Baba, you have played important roles in the political history of Nigeria and Africa, particularly your current role in the Horn of Africa, where the task is to ensure peace in the region. These are, no doubt, valid contributions to Christianity.”
On Obasanjo’s charge to religious leaders, Okoh said the Inter Religious Council at a meeting held in Lagos recently, resolved “not to leave the political space to the politicians; that the religious leaders must get involved, not to be partisan, but, must give leadership to make sure that the values of our religion are brought to the space to help us to live in peace and work for the unity of the nation, including fighting for justice.
“We are committed to the call Baba made.”