The Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbanjo, has said Nigeria as a secular nation needs responsible political and religious leaders.
According to him, a religious leader who preaches against another and a political leader who cannot carry everyone along are irreverent.
He spoke on Friday at the launch of a book titled, “Winning leadership” authored by Pat Akem.
Osinbajo said, “So we are in a multi-ethnic, multi-religious society and need responsible political leaders. We need responsible religious leaders, not those who are prepared to destroy the unity of the country so that they can be hailed by their parochial communities. A religious leader who preaches that we should hate other religions is not relevant today. I’m a pastor, but I know that God loves Muslims. I must not discriminate against people of another faith.
“So any religious leader who says that another religion should not exist is not relevant for our circumstances today and the same goes to our political leaders. Any political leader who doesn’t recognise that this is a multi-religious, multi-ethnic society or any ethnic leader who doesn’t recognise that it’s a multi-ethnic society, and that you cannot function with one ethnic group and cannot carry everyone along is not relevant today.”
He also said emphasis should be placed on the orientation of the elite, adding that the success or failure rested with them.
Osinbajo said, “I think a point that should be thrown up is the importance of the orientation of the elite in any society. Leaders are the elite in any society. These of course cover political, religious, ethnic, and corporate leaders. The elite are usually responsible for the failure or success of any society.
“If the elites are selfish and self-seeking, our societies will be harmed. But if they recognise that their role imposes a huge burden of responsibility, then our society would be better.” ,,