Dr Reuben AbatiA public analyst and former spokesperson to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Dr Reuben Abati, has admonished religious leaders, whom he said used religion to divide rather than unite the country.

Abati, who was the guest lecturer at the second annual lecture of the Fountain of Hope International (FOHI), which took place at the FOHI secretariat in Samonda, Ibadan Oyo State, said adherents of Christianity and Islam, who both professed belief in God, and in fact, admitted areas of convergence in their texts and doctrines, however, act as if God had been divided, according to their passions.

In his lecture on Christianity and Other Faiths: The Place of Religion in Enhancing National Development, while commending the developmental roles religion had played in the country, he noted that “in spite of this, the church is radically divided, between the traditional church, professing a ‘better’ understating of the doctrine and the revivalist pentecostal churches, whose modes of worship and interpretations of the doctrine are as varied as the increasing variety of emergent churches.”

He added that within the Islamic community, the dominant Sunni sect was perpetually in conflict with the Sufi sect involving the Tijanniya and the Quadiriyya.

He said the task ahead was to reposition religion in Nigeria, noting that “religious leaders must embark on a self-rejuvenating journey of introspection with a view to checking the odious, profit and ego-driven competition among the faiths.”

Chairman on the occasion, Mr O.B. Okuboyejo, urged the organisers to sustain the tempo, while the chairman of FOHI, Mr Olusesan Okutoro, thanked members and guests at the occasion for their steadfastness, and urged them to prepare for the FOHI 2017 Conference coming in November in Lagos.

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