Sanwo-Olu, represented before the State Government, Ms. Folashade Jaji, gave the advice on Wednesday in Ikeja, during the celebration of the International Day for Tolerance 2022.
The Nigerian News Agency reports that the theme of the event was: “The role of religion in democratic governance in Nigeria.”
He said that religion had an influence on democratic governance, especially in the socio-political ecosystem, as it was seen as a way of life and a moral compass by which all the faithful were bound to live.
According to him, ordinarily, the issue of religion in government should not be a cause for concern, since religions teach positive virtues such as love, honesty, integrity, transparency, responsibility, decency and respect.
“These virtues, if properly assimilated, will undoubtedly have a positive impact on governance, which will translate into greater well-being for people.
“However, it must become a matter of concern when religion becomes a tool in the hands of unscrupulous people to fan the embers of disunity and chaos in our society, to achieve a selfish end.
“We have a duty to resist any attempts to cause confusion, promote hatred and intolerance, because they are antithetical to the teachings of all religions and therefore counterproductive,” he said.
The governor said that it was important that the neighbors continue along the path of mutual respect, in order to maintain the prevailing climate of peace, which was the basis of growth and development.
He praised religious leaders in Lagos state for their commitment to promoting religious tolerance, harmony and friendship across religious divisions.
Sanwo-Olu said the state government will remain impartial and protect the right of citizens to practice whatever religion they want.
“We will also remain committed to our promise to create equal opportunity for all citizens without discrimination based on religion, ethnicity, tribe, gender, or socioeconomic status.
“I urge all Lagos residents to uphold the spirit of tolerance, understanding and accommodation, for which Lagos is well known, especially as we prepare for another general election in 2023,” he said.
The wife of the Governor of Lagos State, Ms. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, said it had been sadly observed that the political landscape was turning toxic with hate speech, fake news and outright misinformation.
Sanwo-Olu, who represented Fashola, said this had resulted in insults, slander and all sorts of dangerous tactics and antics.
He urged political leaders to be tolerant of views seen as contrary to their beliefs and sociopolitical leanings, as stakeholders should learn to respect such opposing views.
In his remarks, the Commissioner for Internal Affairs, Prince Anofiu Elegushi, said that tolerance is not just an ethical duty, but the political and legal necessity of individuals, religions, groups and the State.
From left: The Lagos State Governor’s Special Adviser on Islamic Religion, Alh. Abdulahi Jebe, Commissioner for Home Affairs, Prince Anofiu Elegushi, President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Lagos State Chapter, Bishop Stephen Adegbite and Special Adviser on Christian Religion, Most Reverend Bukola Adeleke during the Walk for Tolerance to commemorate the 2022 International Day for Tolerance held on Wednesday 16 November 2022 in Ikeja
Elegushi called on religious institutions to educate the population about their civic responsibilities.
“Our religious institutions have a great role to play in educating and enlightening the population regarding their civil responsibilities and obligations for national survival.
“Our pulpits must teach religious tolerance, respect for humanity and peace,” he said.
Furthermore, one of the imams of the Lagos Secretariat Mosque, Dr. Saeed Ahmad, reminded Muslims that righteousness, justice, fairness and piety remain the hallmarks of Islam.
Ahmad said that they should always remember that they were not only accountable to the government but also to God.
Source Credit: NAN