…Reminds Osinbajo And Akande That Nigeria Is Constitutionally A Secular State

A rights group, Human Rights Awareness Hub (HURAH), has lashed out at the media spokesman to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Laolu Akande, for “grave indiscretion in introducing religious sentiments to campaign for his principal”.

Through gestures from his aides, Nigerians have now got the drift and awareness of VP Osinbajo’s staunch wish to join the presidential race but he is still to speak out, ostensibly for lack of political courage to do so.

But lamenting over what it described as “the cat mien” approach of Osinbajo to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari come next year, the HURAH particularly took exception to “herding out his politically naive aides who have been heating up the systems with provoking statements.”

Specifically, the group in a statement by its national chairman, Comrade Funsho Aiyeola, and Secretary, Comrade James Nwachukwu, condemned in totality a trending video campaign for Osinbajo by Laolu Akande, where he harped on Osinbajo’s Christian attributes to sell him to Nigerians.

“It is disheartening that Laolu Akande as a seasoned journalist could throw away the ethics of his profession simply because he is in government, by pretending not to understand that Nigeria is a secular country and that campaigning for somebody to become President should not be anchored on a particular religion.

“That Osinbajo is a church pastor does not make him necessarily a good presidential material; as Akande, out of his 20-minute speech, spent about 15 minutes describing Osinbajo as ‘spirit-filled and God-fearing’.”

“His introduction of religion to national politics, knowing how fragile and sensitive Nigeria is on religious matters and sentiments, leaves much to be desired,” the group criticised.

Akande in the video that is now viral, says, inter Alia: “The Osinbajo I know is a man to follow. He is God-fearing, resilient and filled with the Spirit of God, directed by the hand of God …”

Condemning the resort to regious sentiments to campaign for the VP, the rights group said Akande has in a way hurt the sensibilities of other Nigerians who are Muslims, the native religions’ adherents and atheists, among others.

“Rather than tell us how Osinbajo intends to revamp a Nigerian economy that has been worsted under a government to which he belongs, rather than tell us how the VP will curb the gale of insecurity typified in insurgencies, kidnapping, banditry and robberies, all he cares for is how Osinbajo is well rated in the church circles,” the HURAH further berated.

The group thus advised the Nigerian voters to ‘shine their eyes’ and look out for credible leaders with sound campaign agenda rather than the ones seeking votes with religious or ethnic sentiments like Osinbajo.