By Augustine Ehikioya
Some clerics on Saturday harped on the key roles of religious leaders to end the security challenges in the country.
According to them, wrong or right messages from places of worship in the country play a great role in moulding the minds of the people.
The clerics tasked other religious leaders in the country to rise to the occasion and start using their positions for the good of the Nation.
The clerics, including the Imam of Apo Legislative Quarters Mosque, Sheikh Muhammad Nuru Khald, the founder of Chukwuma Nwokocha Ministries, Pastor Chukwuma Nwokocha, and CEO of Matchmakers Ltd and Security Consultant, Shina Philip, spoke during the Security Watch Africa (SWA) programme aired on African Independent Television (AIT).
The discussion was entitled “The Role of Religion in National Security”
Sheikh Nuru Khald, said “It is high time for religious leaders being the mouthpiece of the Nation to start their responsibility in making the common man to realign with the good policies of the government.”
According to him, some religious leaders are misleading and manipulating the people under them.
He said “The religious leaders are trying their best. Not all of them. Mistakenly or intentionally, some are sending bad message to the people.”
When the people get the wrong message from their places of worship, he said, there will be escalation of chaos, which will eventually lead to insecurity.
The insecurity, he said, could be mental insecurity or emotional insecurity.
On why those behind the insurgency and banditry in the North are not following their religion that preaches peace, the Sheikh pointed out that terrorism is a global conspiracy against the Nation.
He highlighted reasons for people taking the path of evil to include ignorance, poverty and manipulation.
“People are ignorant of the teachings of Islam. When people are in poverty, you can introduce any kind of ideology into them. Some people manipulate the religion or the society for their evil perpetration.”
The manipulation, he said, could be by politicians, religious leaders or foreign influence.
According to him, it is easier to manipulate Islam in that direction because of the level of ignorance among the people in the North.
He also pointed out that some people exploit the concept of war, which provided for self-defense.
But he stressed that there is no compulsion or force to make people embrace Islam.
On his message to people he talks to every time, he said, that the issue of patriotism should be brought to the front burner.
If Nigeria gets the issue of patriotism right, he said the country will be better for it.
Stressing that the spirit controls the physical, Pastor Nwokocha, called on Christians to go back to the real vision and start winning people for Christ.
If the people are not won for Christ, he said, the Nation is being built on the path of disaster.
Many Nigerians, he said, are misled because of the trust they have on anyone who is a religious leader.
Asked why so much talk about prosperity in churches, he said that that is where many churches are getting it wrong as Christianity is about touching the life of the people.
Asked why many Nigerians become enemies of the society and take the path of evil, Shina Philip said “It is human nature that some people tend towards evil. For some people, they lack the capacity to be contented.”
Stressing that the tendency for criminality is extremely very high in Nigeria, he urged Nigerians to learn to be contented.
According to him, religion plays a major role in reshaping the minds of Nigerians.
He also harped on the need for religious leaders to teach their followers on the essence of obeying the rules and regulations enshrined in the constitution in order to avoid going into crimes.
Corruption and religion, he said, are not the problems of Nigeria.
To him, the problems of the country are ethnicity and politics.
The programme can be watched on their YouTube channel / Security Watch Africa