Premium Times (Abuja)

19 February 2013

Nigeria: Stay Away From Politics, Atiku Tells Nigeria's Religious Leaders

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has asked religious leaders to steer away from politics because it would spare the nation needless controversies.

The former Vice President said if religious leaders had stayed away from politics, the nation would have been spared the controversies and dissipation of energies that trailed the introduction of Sharia in some parts of the North.

In a statement issued by his media office in Abuja on Tuesday, Mr. Abubakar said while Muslims are free to practice Sharia in line with Islamic injunction, it is important for religious rulers to ensure that they do not give politicians the leverage to "smuggle religion into our politics."

"The interests of our country will be better served if our religious rulers ensure that religion is taken away from politics and by our politicians not dragging politics into religion," Mr. Abubakar said.

Mr. Abubakar, in the statement, dismissed allegations that he is preparing one of his sons to become the Governor of Adamawa State.

The former Vice President implied in the statement that the allegation was being peddled by his political opponents in Adamawa State.

Mr. Atiku said all his children are content to pursue professional lives in their various callings and that he had no business imposing his choices on them.

He said such allegation could only have come from 'busybodies' looking for cheap publicity.

He urged those spreading "such mischievous falsehood to desist and find something more useful to do with their time than planting the seeds of discord and acrimony among the peace-loving people of Adamawa State."

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