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A member of Ondo State House of Assembly, Hon. Success Torhukerhijo has called on religious leaders to participate in nation-building by nudging public officeholders when going astray.
Hon. Torhukerhijo who made the call while delivering a lecture at Baptist College of Theology, Igede-Ekiti, Ekiti State recently charged clerics in the nation to criticize constructively any government policies that are anti-people and undermine development.
Delivering the lecture entitled: “Roles of Pastors In National Transformation,” Torhukerhijo said it wasn’t out of place for religious leaders to check politicians at the helm of affairs of the states and the federation while promulgating obnoxious policies that are against the citizenry.”
According to the lawmaker, “The tendencies of humans to be subjective and selfish have however led to the belief by many that church leaders should leave secular politics out of church business.
“But it is important for church leaders to get involved in what transpires in the political space because it is in the collective interest of the Nigerian people of all faith for church leaders to draw attention to and condemn the actions and inactions of political office holders that have a negative impact on the lives and livelihood of the people.
“Pastors exert a profound influence on all societies and many of the world‘s people. Throughout history, they have proven to be the primary force for social progress, motivating individuals to develop spiritual qualities and empowering them to make sacrifices for their fellow human beings and to contribute to the betterment of their communities.
“These universal principles which lie at the heart of Christian churches – tolerance, compassion, love, justice, humility, sacrifice, trustworthiness, dedication to the wellbeing of others, and unity – are the foundations of progressive civilization.
“It is thus obvious that Pastors can help to meet the manifold challenges confronting the world community.
“The Pastors have enormous responsibilities in ensuring that national transformation is achieved. They must be abreast of events happening around them and prepare their sermons to reflect such.
“The Pastors must exhibit courage and be able to speak out against Government policies which are inimical to the realization of an egalitarian society, which is a vital aspect of a nation that is desirous of transformation.
“Their sermons must be fearless and seamless, spiritually loaded and must at all times tend towards terminating vices that could constitute blockage to national transformation either from the leaders or the followers.”