From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
Ahead of the 2023 general elections, Christians and Muslims in Nigeria have been urged not to allow politicians to use them irresponsibly to fulfil their political ambitions and interests.
The advice was given by a member of the House of Representatives, Shina Abiola Peller, representing the Iseyin/Itesiwaju/Kajola/Iwajowa federal constituency of Oyo State, in his goodwill message to Christians on the occasion of this year’s Easter celebrations.
He described Jesus Christ as a peace-driven prophet, whose personality, teachings and virtues represent the peace that every society needs to progress.
The federal legislator listed Jesus Christ’s virtues to include peace, humility, tolerance, charity, patience, honesty, courage, compassion, generosity, fidelity, integrity, fairness, self-control, forgiveness, love and respect for others, which he said are all attributes needed for the society to get better.
Peller, in a statement made available to journalists in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, on Monday by his Press Secretary, Kola Popoola, said: ‘I identify and rejoice with all Christians on the occasion of 2022 Easter celebration. Easter presents to us is an opportunity to reflect deeply on the life and death of Jesus Christ, otherwise known as Prophet Isa (AS) by Muslims, with a view to learning from him and emulating his good virtue, humility, selflessness and sacrificial acts to humanity.
‘Throughout his lifetime, Jesus Christ preached peaceful coexistence, humility, forgiveness, tolerance, charity, patience and love for one another. As Christians and Muslims, it is very important that we emulate the good virtues of Jesus Christ for our society to fare better.
‘So, as we celebrate this Easter, I implore us all to spread love, preach peace and scatter seeds of kindness and happiness everywhere around us. Let’s be tolerant of one another irrespective of our religious, tribal and political differences. Above all, let’s be fair in our utterances and dealings with one another.
‘Importantly, as the 2023 general elections beckon, we must not allow any politician to use us irresponsibly or callously to fulfil their political ambition or interest at the detriment of the overall interest of our dear country. We must not allow ourselves to be used as an instrument for division and violence.
‘It is time we jettisoned the political godfatherism. We must focus on building strong institutions that the generation yet unborn will be proud of.’
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