The Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, yesterday urged religious leaders to unite and preach against violence before, during and after the 2019 elections, adding that we couldn’t pretend that everything was okay with the country.
He also advised politicians to stop fighting because of defections, saying, “Politics is a choice, like religion. Therefore, let’s not fight each other because of defection.”
The Sultan said this when he received the Catholic Bishops of Nigeria in his palace in Sokoto yesterday.
According to him “We must tell ourselves the truth and speak the truth. Everything is not okay in Nigeria. Let’s stop hiding under religion, ethnicity or region. I know we have problems in Nigeria. Let’s not deceive ourselves.
“There is no fight between Christianity and Islam, but maybe disagreement between Muslims and Christians. But we must try and fish out extremists in our midst. Though, you cannot completely fish out bad eggs from the society, we should continue doing our part to ensure a peaceful country,” he said.
On 2019 general election, he implored politicians to stop using children of the poor to spread violence.
“People have wrong notions of Jihad. You cannot kill people pretending you are fighting for God. You are simply deceiving yourself. Jihad does not entail that. God did not create you to fight for Him,” he said.
Earlier, the National President of Catholic Bishops of Nigeria, Archbishop Augustine Akubeze, lauded the sultan for his roles on interfaith peace and peaceful coexistence in the country, while the Catholic Bishop of the Sokoto Diocese, Rev. Matthew Hassan Kukah, acknowledged the sultan’s cordiality to all, irrespective of religion and other leanings.