The president hosted a delegation of religious leaders at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Thursday.
The president hosted the delegation at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Thursday, April 5, 2018.
According to John Richard, the leader of the delegation, the group has archbishops and bishops from the 19 northern states, over 45,000 registered pastors, and millions of followers under its wings.
Richard told the president that the group is aware that he is being sabotaged by the opposition despite the great work he's doing for the country.
He condemned religious leaders who are fond of making careless utterances that are likely to worsen the already delicate situation in the country and lead to more violence and loss of lives. He said the group is willing to work with security agencies to expose the religious leaders who are being used by the opposition.
He remarked that the group is not deceived by accusations that the president is trying to Islamise the country as both Muslims and Christians are affected by the crisis of insecurity in the country which the president is tackling well.
He said, "Your Excellency, we the 19 northern states pastors came together in unity to speak with one voice to crusade for peace, reconciliation and national unity of our great country Nigeria which you have already started.
"We will want his excellency to link us with the relevant security agencies in our crusade for peace and fight against hate speeches and those dark walls that separate us as we will network with our counterpart from the east and west to hand over those of our colleagues being used by the enemies of our togetherness to inject confusion and false stories into the public space resulting to the destabilisation of peaceful co-existence we were enjoying in the country.
"Your Excellency that we will co-operate in exposing any information that will be available to us as regard to the perpetrators.
"We acknowledge the good leadership you are rending to Nigerians in the area of restoring the economy, boom in the agricultural sector, tackling of insecurity, fighting corruption and we believe in your leadership and we are here to let you know that we are fully standing by you and your government to ensure that you succeed and peace is restored to every and corner of the country.
"And to counter those deceiving and poisoning Nigerians with fake news to destroy your good intentions for the country especially those giving the impression that you are against Christians and some ethnic groups in Nigeria which is a big lie for instance: Some pastors using places of worship to preach hate. People using church to preach violence. (If you preach war and war broke out who will go to church for worship). The Islamisation agenda. We believed that the Mr. President has no Islamization agenda in Nigeria.
"This is just an opposition propaganda, about the killings around the country, we observed that it is not only Christian that are the victims, both Muslims and Christians are affected, and the government is doing everything possible to solve the problem.
"What we need to do is to come together as a people to support our government in other to bring to an end to this circle of violence and we assure."
President Buhari commended the delegation for their honest review of the state of the country and expressed his commitment to ensuring its progress. He also reiterated his position that he does not discriminate on the basis of religion or under any other guise.
He said, "Some voices, for political or ethnic reasons are making unguarded statements accusing the government and myself in particular of religious bias. Let me assure you, honourable clergymen that this is far from the truth. In my career as a soldier, administrator, and politician, I have never veered from my oath of office.
"When I had the honour to lead a Military Government there were more Christians than Muslims in the Federal Executive Council and the Supreme Military Council. When I had the honour to lead a Military Government there were more Christians than Muslims in the Federal Executive Council and the Supreme Military Council."
President Buhari also noted that he was delighted at the group's proposition to hold a one day prayer and fasting meeting for the nation on April 26, 2018, assuring that he would direct the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to provide adequate security for the gathering.