Yinka kolawole Osogbo
The first National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Adebisi Akande, and Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola have jointly canvassed for religious tolerance and understanding among Nigerians.
Akande and Aregbesola stated that religion should not be placed above humanity and good character, adding that that is what defines a human being.
The duo spoke at a reception organised for the Anglican Bishop, Osun North East Diocese, Rev. Humphrey Olumaikaiye, by Akande at his country home in Ila.
They made the statement just as Olumaikaiye called on Christians and Muslims to stop preaching religion, if they are ready to address the various challenges facing the country.
Instead of preaching religion, Olumaikaye urged the faithful of the two religions to preach love, tolerance, understanding and peace.
According to Olumaikaiye, love supersedes every other preaching and remains the only way out of the various challenges confronting the country.
He said: “It is time we all stop preaching religion, we should be preaching love because the God we worship is a God of love. Love supersedes everything. We should all preach love, love together in love.
“If we love one another, this country will be great. If we live together in love, you will not harm your neighbour. If we live together in love, you will not be greedy. What is meant for everybody, someone will not corner it.
“We should strive to make life worth living for other people. That is the essence of life. After all, nobody is greatest to last forever. We are all on borrowed seat, another person will soon occupy it.
“Even when we retire, something will take us from this place and that is death. That is the more reason to come together and live together in love, do things in love, and by doing that, this country will be great.”
Olumaikaiye commended Akande for his religious tolerance, describing him as a bridge builder between Muslims and Christians in Ila and its environ.
He lauded Aregbesola for the infrastructure development and transformation of the state, describing his administration as focused and progressive.
Speaking, Akande described Olumaikaiye as a godly, friendly, brilliant and distinguished personality who is enlightened beyond religious purpose.
Akande said: “When you see a distinguished gentleman, whereever he works, whatever his religion, you will appreciate him. Whatever you are, you are a nature of this world.
“Whatever you are and after you pass on, people don’t forget you, you are a leader of the society. Bishop Olumaikaiye is a distinguished gentleman.”
In his address, Aregbesola said the world will be great if everybody relates to one another and as human being in good manner rather than religion.
Aregbesola said religion should not be a factor to determine the existence, stating that each and everybody should be defined based on his or her relationship with the people around him.