Inter Religious Council urges politicians to refrain from personality attacks
Kogi Inter-Religious Council on Wednesday called on politicians to refrain from personality attacks and make their electioneering campaigns issues-based to avoid heating the already charged polity.
Chairman of the council, Bishop Emmanuel Egbunu made the call at a press conference held after a meeting of the council in Lokoja to “specially” appeal to the good people of Kogi State and residents.
Egbunu said that in the light of the natural agitations trailing the shift in the election calendar and countdown to the general elections, the call had become necessary adding that hate speeches and personality attacks only portrayed them in bad light.
Rather than embarking on hate campaigns, he suggested that campaigns should be welfare-oriented by according priority to the interests of the electorates and placing them above self interests even after the elections.
According to him the two major religions in the country (Christianity and Islam) believe and teach that power belongs to God and He gives it to whoever He wills.
“Consequently, desperation or “do-or-die-politicking” must be avoided at all cost after all, a lot of opportunities for service lie in the future and other areas” he said.
The Anglican Bishop urged politicians to always ensure that campaign promises made to electorates were redeemed to avoid creating credibility gaps as he advised them to be magnanimous in victory rather than adopting “winner-takes-all” disposition.
He charged youths adhere to resist thuggery and any form of violence before, during and after the elections urging them look to the future with hope and optimism, shunning the lure for immediate gratification and the attendant consequences.
On insurgency, the council commended the Federal Government and the security agencies for their efforts in curtailing terrorist activities from further escalation and maintained that security matters were the responsibility of every citizen.
He appealed to the insurgents to sheath their swords and choose the path of dialogue in their quest to address their grievances rather than resort to wanton destruction of lives and property.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the council comprised leaders of all religious bodies in the state including Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Council of Ulama, Penticostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) among many others.