Fred Ezeh, Abuja
The Senior Pastor, Good Tidings Bible Church International, Pastor Dayo Olutayo, has accused some unpatriotic’’ politicians of using religion and ethnicity to divide Nigerians.
He recalled with nostalgia how Muslims and Christians lived together peacefully some decades ago irrespective of religious and ethnic differences.
Such division, he said, had been responsible for the obvious hatred among Nigerians, which, he added, had slowed down socioeconomic and political development in Nigeria.
As 2019 political activities gather momentum, the cleric appealed to politicians seeking elective offices to eschew hatred and bitterness and promote courses that would promote peace and unity among Nigerians.
Pastor Olutayo told journalists these at an event to distribute financial grant to over 500 Muslim and Christian beneficiaries of its empowerment programme for small businesses in Abuja, on Sunday.
He noted that the church has taken the front row in the campaign for Nigerians’ participation in the forthcoming political activities in 2019.
Said he, “It doesn’t come by words alone. We have taken a step further to empower people educationally, financially and otherwise so they could have voice and knowledge to take their rightful place in Nigerian political and economic discussions.”
The Church, he explained, partnered with the Social Market Exchange, to disburse the financial grant to the beneficiaries in the first batch of its empowerment programme for small businesses.
He explained that the empowerment initiative was borne of utmost desire of the church to rekindle the hope of as many as they could reach within the available resources.
Daily Sun confirmed that different amounts of money were distributed to beneficiaries based on their individual business plans.
The cleric, however, encouraged churches, corporate organisations and individuals with financial ability to assist lift the poor off poverty so they could confidently participate in political and economic discussions.
He added: “It’s regrettable that unity of Nigerian is strengthened during sporting activities and otherwise becomes the case during electioneering activities.
“It is an indication that politicians have taken pleasure in using religion to divide Nigerians against themselves for political or selfish reasons. It must stop forthwith! Nigerians must resist it because it will take us nowhere.”