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Be wary of desperate politicians, Wike tells religious leaders

The minister noted that opposition politicians who could not face the victorious ones on the political turf usually ran back to religious leaders with tales about hatred.

Minister of the FCT, Nyesom Wike on Wednesday in Abuja advised the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and the Committee of FCT Imams Initiative (CFII) to be wary of ambitious politicians.

Wike gave the advice when executive members of CAN, led by its National President, Most Rev. Daniel Okoh and those of CFII led by the Chairman, Imam Tajudeen Adigun, paid him a courtesy visit.

The minister said at separate meetings with the religious groups that politicians, desperate for power could do anything to divide the country for their selfish interests.

During his meeting with CAN, Wike said: “Let me advise all of us. You say you are not politicians, but be careful about politicians. Be careful with politicians who are so desperate to get power.

“Be careful with politicians who can do anything just because of power. It is not everything you read on social media that is correct. Ask questions.

“If there is anything you hear that the FCT is trying to do, do not hesitate to ask questions so that we will be able to defend the government and defend ourselves,’’ he said.

The minister noted that opposition politicians who could not face the victorious ones on the political turf usually ran back to religious leaders with tales about hatred.

Wike stressed the need for religious leaders to always ask questions before taking action and urged the clerics to pray for the leadership of the country.

According to him, once a leader emerges after an election, people should leave their personal views and pray for the leaders to succeed so that the country will succeed.

“God has voted a president for this country; pray for him to succeed. Harsh decisions are being taken to address the wrong way things had been done.

“This is not the time to criticise, but a time to help Nigeria to grow,’’ he stressed.

The minister promised that the FCT Administration would continue to support the National Christian Centre and the National Mosque, which he described as “national assets’’.

Wike promised to visit the two national monuments to assess the state of rehabilitation there so as to determine the nature of assistance that would be directed at the two.

“We will continue to support the National Mosque and the National Christian Centre,” the minister assured.

Earlier, Okoh said the CAN leadership visited to declare full support for the Wike-led administration and to pray for him to succeed.

He reiterated CAN’s commitment to continue to engage stakeholders and to promote societal cohesion.

Okoh appealed to the minister to award the contract for the second phase of the rehabilitation of the National Christian Centre, adding that Phase One had been concluded in May 2023.

At his meeting with the Imams, Wike also told the CFII to be wary of politicians who never loved Nigeria but were fond of causing disunity.

“You have to be careful as religious leaders; don’t allow desperate politicians and those who think if they are not in power, Nigeria must come down to sell or distort information.

“Do not hesitate to ask questions about anything that you are not clear about. If you follow politicians’ propaganda, you are not doing anything meaningful to yourself.

“Politics is over; a president has emerged. It is for you the leaders to now pray to God to guide the president, give him the wisdom, and bring out ideas on how the nation will grow.

“If he fails, Nigerians have failed,’’ he said.

Wike pledged a renewed partnership with the group, particularly on issues that concern it.

Earlier, Chairman of the CFII, Imam Adigun described Wike as a true Nigerian and pledged the initiative’s support and advice for growth, development, and unity in the FCT.

Wike had earlier pledged continued support for the maintenance and development of the Abuja National Mosque.

He gave the pledge on Oct. 18 in Abuja when the mosque’s Management Board, led by its Chairman, the Etsu Nupe, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar, visited him.