President Muhammadu Buhari has said that some Nigerians have developed the habit of hiding under the canopy of religion to advance their economic and political agenda.
“It’s a problem Nigeria has been struggling with for a long time, and it is completely unnecessary.
“Some people use religions as sentiment, but with adequate education, people are seeing through it now.
“Majority of the people just want to practice their religion without problem, but some people cash in on religious misunderstanding for their own ends.”
The President, who spoke today, January 17, in Nouakchott, Mauritania, when he met with Rashad Hussain, United States Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, recalled his private meeting at the White House with former President Donald Trump.
Buhari said that during their interaction, Donald Trump asked him: “why are you killing Christians in Nigeria,” adding that he had to explain to Trump that the issue in Nigeria was not religious, but criminal as well as a usage of religion by some elements to further their economic, and sometimes, political interests.”
President Buhari emphasized the necessity for adequate education of the people, saying: “when people are educated, they would be able to discern when others want to use religion for certain ends. They do it mostly for material reasons.
“Also, when some people are incompetent, they bring in all sorts of excuses, including religion.”
This was even as Ambassador Hussain said that the United States of America is interested in partnering with Nigeria in the areas of formal and non-formal education, towards religious harmony.
“There’s so much we can do together to promote peace, promote communal harmony. We love what you are doing, and we would be glad to assist as appropriate.”