Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, on Friday said that Nigerians need to tell themselves the truth about the state of the nation as all is not well with the country.
He as well admonished politicians to stop fighting over defections while calling on religious leaders to unite and preach against violence before, during and after the 2019 elections.
The Sultan made the call when he received the Catholic Bishops of Nigeria in his palace in Sokoto on Friday.
“Politics is a choice, like religion. Therefore, let’s not fight each other because of defection.
“We must tell ourselves the truth and speak the truth. Everything is not okay in Nigeria. Let’s stop hiding under religion, ethnicity or region. I know we have problems in Nigeria. Let’s not deceive ourselves.
“There is no fight between Christianity and Islam, but maybe disagreement between Muslims and Christians. But we must try and fish out extremists in our midst. Though you cannot completely fish out bad eggs from the society, we should continue doing our part to ensure a peaceful country.
“We have our problems and challenges. But we should collectively try and overcome them. As leaders, we must try and work for peace. There is no problem in this world that defies solution unless we are not honest. If not, we will overcome the problems.
“We must also educate our followers that despite the challenges, we belong to one God Almighty but choose to worship God in different ways.”
Talking about the 2019 general election, the Sultan called on politicians to stop using children of the poor to spread violence.
He also condemned the killing of innocent people in the name of religion.
“People have wrong notions of Jihad. You cannot kill people pretending you are fighting for God. You are simply deceiving yourself. Jihad does not entail that. God did not create you to fight for Him,” he added.
The National President of the Catholic Bishops of Nigeria, Archbishop Augustine Akubeze, in his remarks lauded the sultan for his roles in peaceful coexistence in Nigeria.
John Cardinal Onaiyekan, the Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, also stressed the need for peace among religious leaders and for them to work towards ensuring peaceful coexistence among the citizens.