President Muhammadu Buhari knows the role religious leaders play in the politics.

He said those engaging in partisan politics or political controversies among the clerics risked losing their public respect.

Buhari said this at the Interfaith Initiative For Peace Conference tagged, ‘Religious harmony in Nigeria: Towards the 2019 general election’ in Abuja.

The President said his advice became necessary having witnessed the roles religious leaders had been playing so far ahead of the elections.

He expressed the hope that the electoral process would be completed peacefully without resorting to negative use of religion and ethnicity.

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The President said, “Very soon, political campaigns will commence leading to elections in February next year.

“It is my hope and prayer that we will perform even better at the polling stations and see to a peaceful completion of the entire process without resorting to negative use of religion and ethnicity.

“Having witnessed the roles our religious leaders have been playing so far, I appeal to them to eschew partisan politics. I also appeal to their respective members to read the manifestos of each political party, discuss and pray for God’s guidance before casting their votes.

“Religious leaders should not be seen to involve themselves in partisan politics or political controversies. Otherwise, they risk losing their status and public respect.

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