President Muhammadu Buhari has said that religious leaders who involve in partisan politics will lose their respect and public status.
The President also insisted that the All Progressive Congress (APC) deserved re-election in 2019, in view of the achievements of the APC-led Federal Government.
Buhari then advised religious leaders and traditional rulers to encourage their adherents and subjects to read every political party’s manifesto carefully and vote wisely in the 2019 general elections.
According to NAN, the President spoke at the Interfaith Conference on Religious Harmony in Nigeria, organized by the Interfaith Initiative for Peace on Saturday.
He urged religious leaders to desist from partisan politics in order not to lose their value in the society.
Buhari also called on all aggrieved persons to always consider the stability of Nigeria first before their individual political ambitions, and to seek redress in court where necessary, rather than resorting to violence.
“It is my hope that all, who feel aggrieved will put the stability of our country first before their political ambition, or accept the decisions of their political parties or seek resolution through party reconciliation mechanisms or the law court. “Very soon, political campaigns will commence leading to elections in February next year.
“It is my hope and prayer that we will even perform better in the polling stations and see to the peaceful conclusion of the entire process without resorting to the negative use of religion and ethnicity.
“Having recognised the role our religious leaders have been playing so far, I appeal to them to eschew partisan politics and appeal to their respective members to read the manifestos of each political party, discuss and pray for God’s guidance before casting their votes.
“Religious leaders should not be seen to involve themselves in partisan politics or political controversies, otherwise they risk losing their status and public respect.
“On their part, the traditional rulers are also requested to enlighten their subjects, encourage them to ask questions and clarifications before going out to vote.
“As you are present, I will request that you encourage your subjects to come out and exercise their voting rights as responsible citizens.
“To all of us politicians, I ask that we discharge our political responsibilities with integrity, bearing in mind that we will one day give account to God almighty.
“I am proud to say that our country has moved on; the era of free money, lack of transparency and accountability is over.
“We deserve continuity, we deserve a better future for the coming generations.
“I sincerely hope that 2019 will move us closer to these goals and so I look forward to a peaceful, fair and credible election come 2019,” the President said.