By Adeola Oladele, Ibadan
The President of Ajagun Esin Consultative Forum(AECF) Religion Warlord, Professor Sabitu Ariyo Olagoke has called on stakeholders in “Nigeria Project 2015” to collaborate with one another in order to have peaceful general elections in 2015.
The advice was contained in the New Year message of Olagoke where he was optimistic that the nation would not break away as predicted by Nigeria adversaries.
He identified major stakeholders as politicians, media practitioners, INEC personnel, religious and traditional leaders,the judiciary and the voters as well as security agencies, stressing that if there is tolerance and maturity among the group, absolute peace and tranquility would be experienced during and after the elections.
“If we internalised and put to use all preachings we have been listening to in our mosques and churches almost on daily basis,I see no reason for violence if our contestants are also aspiring to public offices to serve their people.
“All religions preach peace, love, fear of God and tolerance. It is a sin against God to shed human blood in quest for power. Power belongs to God who gives it to whoever he desires and he can withdraw it if he feels the power is being used to oppress the downtrodden,” the preacher admonished.
Olagoke, however, appealed to all religious and traditional leaders to be relatively neutral, adding that “Our pastors, Imams and others should courageously preach peace, and love. You cannot force people to vote for a particular party or convert or win souls by force. They should not be silenced because of their pecuniary gain.”
While stressing the role of the media in the elections, Prof Olagoke, who is also the patron of Nigeria Union of Journalists Radio Nigeria Ibadan 9hapter, said: “Every government must respect the media and heed their warnings or advice, act on their exposition and promote them beyond being mere watch dogs for the nation to develop. The practitioners too, in their reportage, should be objective, accurate and fair to all contestants regardless of their owners.”
He disclosed that members of Shafaudeen In Islam which he also founded have been intensifying their prayers for peace to continue to reign more in the country, stressing that with the prayers of all Nigerians, the insecurity caused by Boko Haram insurgency would soon be over.