Segun James

A Non-Governmental Organisation, the Legacy Initiative International (LII), has concluded plans to hold a religious leaders’ conference in December to deliberate on issues relating to religion and ethnicity ahead of the 2019 general elections.

As part of this move, a Christian religious leaders meeting will hold in Lagos, while a similar summit for Muslim leaders will hold in Kano. A joint convention of both bodies is slated for Abuja in December.

The leader and grand patron of the LII, Dr. Kenny Martins told journalists in Lagos that the initiative will prevent anarchy as the nation moves towards the general elections, adding that religion has been identified as a solution for peace in the country.

According to Martins, “we want the Christians and the Muslims brothers to sit face-to-face and discuss the issues. The common thread tying both the Christian and the Muslim communities together is good governance. We want them to discuss this frankly between themselves.”

He also said that religious leaders should play a more dynamic role in the selection of political office holders, saying that the spiritual factor was necessary to aid the Nigerian voters enthrone good governance by electing only persons that have been duly vetted into political offices.

Martins, who was flanked by other patrons of the group including Bishop Bayo Babalola, Bishop Oscar Ossai, Prince Chudi Chukwuani and the group’s national secretary, Chief Johnny Ucheagha at the media parley, also explained the roles played by the group in stabilising the country’s democracy.

He, however, lamented that despite the abundance of churches and mosques in the country, the God-factor had been totally removed from governance.

“Let the Christian and Muslim leaders sit together formulate a template for solution and play the power game together, interrogate the candidates and when you have found them worthy you preach about them from the pulpit and from the mosques.

“We are canvassing now for PVCs and people are getting aware, the Adeboyes, the Oyedepos are doing so, but when they have gotten these PVCs, what do they do with it? It is inappropriate for Christians not to bring their first eleven in moral quotient to governance, same with Muslims. Let the first eleven from the religious leaders take over the government so that our country can move forward,” Martins said.

Also at the event, Prince Chukwuani, former national chairman of the National Democratic Party (NDP), noted that “We have to set a different narrative to save Nigeria. We do not want to introduce perpetual conflict in Nigeria.”