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Nigeria vice president says key to country peace, progress is in the church

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo. Courtesy Photo.

The vice president of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has encouraged Christian leaders in the country to pay no mind to what they have described as an “Islamic Agenda” and instead focus on a “Christian agenda”.

Mr Osinbajo said this while addressing pastors in Lagos at a conference tagged “Towards a Better Nigeria.”

He said a part of the problem with Nigeria is the failure of Christian leaders to take their “rightful place.”

According to local press, he said: “Part of the problem is the failure of Christian leadership to take its rightful place. We focus our minds on something we call the Islamic agenda. We look for it everywhere as if we are looking for demons.

“But where is the Christian agenda. Are we not entitled to one? We are too divided as Christians to have an agenda. The key to the unity and progress of Nigeria is in the church,” he boldly stated on Sunday.

The Christian vice president comments came as Christian leaders criticized the Federal Government’s issuance of a non-interest Islamic bond, better known as sukuk.

He said: “The Sukuk is an Islamic concept, which enables people to have access to credit. It is essentially like a bond.

Nigeria became a member of the Islamic Development Bank in 2005, whose purpose is to foster the economic development and social progress of member countries and Muslim communities individually as well as jointly in accordance with the principles of Shari\’ah i.e., Islamic Law.

According to the Pew Research Center, Nigeria has the largest Christian population of any country in Africa, with more than 85 million persons in Nigeria belonging to the church with various denominations.

Mr Osinbajo also called for the issue of corruption to be dealt with.

He said: “There is no nation on the face of the earth that would survive under the weight of corruption that our country had gone through.

“Nigeria’s elite, regardless of political, religious or ethnic differences, think alike. They are driven largely by the same motive.

“They are selfish, unprepared to make the sacrifices either in service or self-restraint that leaders of successive societies make. High-level corruption knows no religion, ethnicity or other considerations.

“We have to address the issue of corruption pointedly. The system is corrupt. Corruption is generally the rule in our society. This is a time to build. We can become Africa’s most productive nation in the very near future.”

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