Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has blamed irresponsible faith leaders for religious tensions in the country and for failing to promote unity.
Osinbajo made the remark when a delegation from the Kuje interfaith community, led by Sam Ogbodo, the Senior Pastor of Kings Palace Church International, visited him at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Wednesday.
The former Lagos State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice told the delegation that “one of the major issues that our country has to face is unity of our people – unity of the ethnic groups and unity of the faiths also so that we are able to make real progress in the various respects that out country needs to make progress”.
A statement by Laolu Akande, the VP’s spokesman, quoted his principal as saying that “one of the fault lines that we have is religious divisions and the tensions that are created when religious leaders do not act responsibly enough in bringing together men and women of different faith.
“I am really excited about what you are doing. The interfaith community in Kuje is not just a model for this zone, but a model for the country.”
He lauded the delegation for informing the government about certain issues, noting that the government is committed to delivering on sustainable development.
“And I think it is so heartwarming to note how you have seen that as a primary objective, and how you are doing everything that you can to make sure that we focus on what is important for the people,” he added.
The Vice President reiterated that “everyone has a right to their faith; constitutionally, there is freedom of worship, but it is leadership that must deliver on the most important thing; government must deliver on services, development issues.
“Development and civic leaders like yourself must bring this to the attention of government, as you are doing, and must champion these causes on behalf of the people. And I think that this is a real model for the rest of the country to follow.”