NIREC Press Release on Hate Speech and Weaponizing Religion -Pre and Post 2023 Election


The Nigeria Inter-Religious Council (NIREC), under the leadership of the Co-Chairmen, His Eminence, Archbishop Daniel Okoh, President, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), and His Eminence, Alh. Muhammad Sa'ad Abubakar, CFR, mni, the Sultan of Sokoto and President-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) is disturbed by the ugly trend occasioned by the hate speeches before and after the 2023 elections. Weaponizing religion for selfish political gains is capable of causing of religious conflict in Nigeria. NIREC therefore condemns the statements that gives the impression that one religion has conquered the other or that a particular religion has been adopted as a state religion by a particular state. NIREC affirms that Nigeria is not a religious state but one nation for all.

NIREC condemns statements that give the impression of religious dominance and superiority in the country. We wish however that every Nigerian could be a true Christian or a true Muslim that would promote the religious values that could transform the nation. Given that most politicians in Nigeria practice one religion or the other, the Christian and Muslim politicians should proclaim fear and love of God by caring for the common good and welfare of the citizens.

NIREC calls on religious leaders to resist political manipulation of religion that could lead to anarchy. We condemn the antics of politicians whose main goal is to achieve their political interest by whatever means possible including using religion as a cover. NIREC calls on our political leaders to use their platforms to sue for peace, unity and harmony while also refraining from making statements or comments that are capable of aggravating the already heated polity of the nation.
NIREC calls upon all Politicians to play politics with dignity, honour and decorum by eschewing the politics of division and sectionalism.

NIREC appeals to the general public to continue to be patriotic, law-abiding and peace-loving. Nigerians must oppose all acts of machinations and manipulations of leaders who are using religion to tear the nation apart. Let us pray for a nation that will continue to promote peaceful co-existence. The task of building a prosperous Nigeria is the task of every citizen. God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria

His Eminence Alhaji Muhammed Sa'ad Abubakar CFR, mni (The Sultan of Sokoto and President-General, Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) - CO-CHAIRMAN

His Eminence Archbishop Daniel Okoh President, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) CO-CHAIRMAN