By Orunbon Ademola, Ogun
A Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), Agape Community Foundation has cautioned youths, families in the country against political and religious violence before, during and after the general elections, especially as the country is preparing for another election, noted that the incessant harassment and attack on the people during the campaign need to be stopped.
While speaking to the residents of Abeokuta the need to stop attacking people on their political and religious beliefs, the Chairman of the NGO, Mr Samuel Soledolu frowned at the recent increase on political and religious intolerance, decried the high spate of political fracas especially amongst the youths supporting different political parties in the country.
He added that youths should always remember the son of whom they are and maintain peace and decorum before, during and after the conduct of the general elections, enjoined them to comport themselves and not allow politicians to use them for their nefarious activities during the elections.
One of the participants at the programme, Mr Jide Akingbade charged the youths to ignore political and religious entrepreneurs that could create religious crises in the country as no one could fight for God, noted that everyone have access to practise political and religion of his interest or choice.
Narrating his ordeal to the youths at the programme, explained that his younger brothers, Mobolaji Akingbade was threatened and attacked by some assailants for changing his religion in their native town of Owo, Ondo State, noting that the crisis brewed when he converted from Islam to Christian against the wish of his family, which made him to run away from his hometown (Owo), for proper safety.
He said it was in 2006, Mobolaji took the decision of joining Christianity, all members of the family kicked against the decision, noting that since then he was nowhere to be found, admonishing parents to always find a way of handling their family issue as the bulk of the crisis his brother faced was as a result of external influence on his father who is a prominent Islamic scholar.
He said that initially, he opposed the decision being taken by his brother, Mobolaji but, latter realised that as an adult, he is capable of choosing his own path though other members of his family do not share his sentiment.
He regretted the circumstances that forced Mobolaji out of their town and advised parents that they should always ensure that their actions are in conformity with the law.
He said the constitution of Nigeria guarantees freedom of religion and associations.
He also implored the parents to allow their wards/children especially who are of age to practise any religion of their choice and never to impose their beliefs on them and deprive them from their rights due to societal pressure.