Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has admitted that there was obvious religious and ethnic discords among Nigerians.
Speaking at the 55th independence anniversary interdenominational church service held in Abuja on Sunday, Osinbajo called for collective effort to end insurgency in the country, noting that bomb explosion does not give preference to any regions.
“Our nation is sharply divided and has been divided for long. Our nation is divided along religious divide, is divided along tribal lines but the word of God says in Mathew 12: 35 that a kingdom divided against itself shall be left dissolute, it also says a city that is divided within itself can not stand.
“I have travelled the length and breadth of this nation, especially in the Northeastern parts in the last few months and I have seen children, women, men who were bomb victims. I have seen the dead, the wounded, the sick.
“The truth of the matter is that the bulk of all those that I have seen, there were Moslems, there were Christians, there were those who professed no particular faith, but were all Nigerians, and one thing that united them was that they were all poor, and in IDP camps.
“When a bomb goes off in Potiskum or in a market in Maiduguri or Gombe, it does not ask if you are a Christian or a Muslim, it does not. It never asks if you are Yoruba or Ibo, or Hausa. The moment we are divided among ourselves, we can not stand.
“We should not create further division, true freedom lies in recognizing the reason why Jesus came to save mankind.”
Osinbajo also urged religious and political leaders to emphasize on only what would unite the people of Nigeria rather than what divides them.
He said leaders “must understand that the terrorism is not a contest between Christians and Muslims, it goes well beyond that. It is our duty not to pursue narratives that divide us. It is our duty to do everything that unites us. We must ensure that we don’t create further divisions, but that we bind together those divisions, that is our duty.”
He argued that one of Nigeria’s major problems is that “we would play politics with everything, but the fate of over 110 million extremely poor Nigerians have not been the central concern of anyone.”
The service featured special intercessory prayers for president Muhammadu Buhari, his vice and the leaders of legislative and executive arms.
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