The Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar III, has condemned pastors and Imams that incite violence and politicize religion in Nigeria.
Abubakar made the condemnation on Sunday at an inter-faith session he held with Christians and Muslims in Akure, the Ondo State capital.
The session was a prelude to the public lecture marking the Akure Ulefunta festival he is billed to deliver on Monday.
The lecture is entitled “Our Diversity, a Divine Gift and Blessings untapped: Wrong Path trodden and Way to Peace.”
The Sultan said clerics must restrain themselves and mind their words while preaching, so as not to complicate issues in the country.
He added that it was disheartening that some clerics were fond of taking undue advantage of their followers, enriching themselves while their followers wallow in abject poverty.
“Don’t politicize religion because God does not belong to any political party.
“The bible doesn’t belong to any political party, nor does the Quran.
“If you are a good pastor, Imam, teach people how to salvage their lives, for this life is a temporary one, the permanent life is eternal.
“There is a lot of materialism out there. They move in convoys with guns, big vehicles, saying they are the founders of churches, as well as some Islamic movements, all in the bid to make worldly things for themselves and their followers just shouting Alleluia, shouting Allahu Akbar.
“They are getting richer and richer and the common man is getting poorer and poorer,” he said.
He admonished followers of all faiths to respect one another, saying “there is a common thread between Christians and Muslims” which should be deployed to the good of the society.
Abubakar emphasised the importance of coming together to talk on all issues affecting the country, so as to arrive at a consensus.
“If I sit down in Sokoto and you are here in Akure we will not communicate properly, but by coming here, we found out that we all have the same agenda but we are not executing it the same way.