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CISLAC Slams Religious Leaders, Says They Have Become Economic Beggars

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Mr. Auwal Rafsanjani, the Executive Director of the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, (CISLAC), has said most religious leaders who lower themselves to political leaders have lost their integrity and respect.

While speaking during an interview on the Channels Television breakfast show on Monday, Mr. Rafsanjani said communities and religious leaders who ought to uphold justice and serve as beacons of truth in society have become ‘beggars’ of political favour.

He said, “In the past, we all knew how our grandparents stood for the truth. They would face a governor, a minister, a local government chairman, a director, or a president and tell him the truth, not in an abusive way but in a very corrective way.

“Now tell me, who do you see speaking the truth to our leaders, whether privately or openly? We hardly see those things happening, and that is why now you will see that religious leaders have practically become [with due respect] beggars.

“A governor will call them and they will rush to come to him. In the past, a governor would have to come to community leaders or religious leaders in whatever capacity they found themselves. Now they are running after the government house all the time or running to come to the villa.

“I think that has grossly undermined the integrity and capacity they are supposed to have and also caution leaders when they are doing wrong things.”

Mr. Rafsanjani also criticized Nigerian elites who appear to have lost their bearing in their fight for justice, adding that materialism has taken over many people’s consciences and weakened the integrity of the entire system.

According to him, rather than condemning the actions of the political elites, religious leaders have kept mute and asked their people to pray for their oppressors.

He said, “Most people that are in the position to speak the truth, you tell them they are not speaking the truth or they are simply being quiet.

“This is a major challenge, and you can look at it from different stakeholders in Nigeria. Religious leaders who are supposed to tell the truth sometimes just decide to keep quiet and ask their followers to pray for oppressors. Community leaders are also in the same shoes.”

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