In seven years religious differences has not affected my work relationship with Buhari – Osinbajo

abe osinbajo
abe osinbajo

From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, has declared that despite President Muhammedu Buhari being a devout Muslim and he a pastor, both of them have worked together for about seven years without issues.

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This is even as he charged religious leaders to use faith to promote peace, ensure prosperity for the people as well as development of societies.

According to a statement by Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity

Office of the Vice President, Laolu Akande, Osinbajo stated this in an audience with visiting Senegal-based Grand Khalifa of Tijjaniya Islamic Movement Worldwide, Sheikh Muhammadu Niass.

The Vice President who described President Buhari as a model of leadership that accommodates people of different religious backgrounds, said: “President Buhari is a devout Muslim and I am a pastor; both of us have worked together for about seven years; we have not had issues.

“The president has shown great leadership; he has shown that he wants a country where people of different faiths live in harmony and with love for one another.”

The VP stressed that, “We must use our faiths to promote peace and prosperity for our people; we need to work together to ensure that our people benefit from religion.

“We tend to underestimate the importance of religion in spite of the fact that it plays important role in the development of societies in the spiritual and physical realms.

“There are many nations of the world that have benefitted from the impact of religion both spiritually and physically.

“We must, therefore, use religion in our countries and in Africa to help our people to live better lives.

“In other parts of the world, leaders of faith have used religion to better the lives of the people,’’ he said.

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Osinbajo added that in spite of differences, Africans must be able to sit together and dialogue and avoid situations that create disunity.

“With what is going on across the world, people of faith must continue to emphasise that both major religions (Islam and Christianity) promote peace.

“We must allow our people to practice whatever religion they want to practice,” he said.

The VP commended the Tijjaniya Movement for its progressive ideals and compassion for the needs of the people.

Earlier, Niass who spoke in French interpreted by a spokesman thanked the vice-president for the opportunity to meet with him and his delegation.

He described Osinbajo as a great personality, the type needed both in Nigeria and in Africa.

“The vice-president is a great personality with an exceptional character, standing on two feet — one as a political leader concerned about the progress of his people and the second, as a man of God.

“Africa needs a person of your nature with very strong background in religion and politics.

“I pray that Almighty God will upgrade you and enable you to achieve your desires and aspirations because, as I said, not only Nigeria, but Africa will benefit from your leadership qualities,” he said.

According to Niass, Nigeria is the heart of Africa and whatever Nigeria becomes, Africa becomes.

He also expressed the group’s gratitude to President Buhari for his support, while praying for his safety and for Nigeria to overcome all its challenges.

Niass and other members of the Tijjaniya Movement across Africa and the worldwide converged on Gusau to celebrate the 36th international Maulud anniversary in honour of the movement’s departed leader Sheikh Ibrahim Niass.

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